Integrity in Fashion: Noah NYC
Brendon Babenzien started Noah in the early 2000's but abandoned the project for many years while working at Supreme. Since reviving the brand in 2015, he has made sustainability a large part of the brand's identity. They set an example in a variety of ways, including transparency of the supply chain, disaster relief raising efforts and more. The line is the cross-section between skate and preppy culture, which is something we don't often see.
Last years black Friday, I was searching the web for the best steals and deals, as most probably did, and once I reached Noah's website, it was closed. The homepage had a simple message, directing their customers to Patagonia, who was donating 100% of their profits to grassroots environmental nonprofits, where Patagonia raised over $10 million dollars.
After the recent tragedy in Puerto Rico, Noah designed a t-shirt for the event and donated all the profits towards helping all the people in need. Of course Supreme ended up donating profits from their Brooklyn box logo t-shirt, but Noah responded in a matter of days, weeks before Supreme even opened their store. The graphic tee pictured a plane dropping a care package on the front and featured the text "Hurricane Relief, 2017, Harvey Irma, Climate Change is Real" on the back. So often designers who make clothing in reaction to current events seem in genuine, but by reacting in a matter of days, they showed how much they truly care.
Not many brands are transparent about their supply chains, Noah is. They give in-depth insight into the origins of all their textiles, their supply chain and more, showing how they only use ethical fabrics, produce in countries with strict environmental laws, and their mark up that pays for salaries, rent of their stores and more. When a brand is open about all the costs, the consumer is motivated to buy more of their products because they understand where their money is going.
After doing a project on sustainability in fashion for one of my classes, I was inspired to write about a brand setting an example in the streetwear world. Although I only own a single piece by Noah, it truly is a brand I am fully in support of and am excited to see what they do in the future. These were just three examples that I found particularly interesting, but by taking a look at the brands blog, one can quickly see that they are doing so much more, including projects riasing awareness for human rights, pollution and more.