DATA

THE PROS:

Apolis is partnering with Indiegogo to create the world’s first transparent designer and artisan collaboration marketplace called Global Citizen Exchange. Every year the Apolis team travels to a new location where the brand partners with a local manufacturer to co-design an artisan product. Through Indiegogo, Apolis rallies funding for these collaborative projects. The brand produces only what is ordered, to help artisans scale sustainably with no waste.

The brand operates using a model it refers to as “advocacy through industry”. Apolis co-creates products with manufacturers in a way that helps to provide people in the countries that the brand operates, access to opportunities they may not be given elsewhere.

Apolis states that the suppliers that it works with pay living wages and provide job security and benefits.

THE CONS:

We don’t have any information on how Apolis ensures workers’ rights are respected at its supplier facilities.

We don’t have any information on what Apolis is doing to reduce its carbon footprint and water use.

/ Apolis has one store in Los Angeles.

/ Apolis has 18 employees.

/ Apolis retails online.

/ The brand operates using a model it refers to as “advocacy through industry”. Apolis co-creates products with manufacturers in a way that helps to provide people in the countries that the brand operates, access to opportunities they may not be given elsewhere.

/ Apolis identifies itself as a for-profit social enterprise where its customers act as benefactors. The brand reports that this allows for growth as a sustainable business instead of depending on fundraising for support.

/ The brand publicly discloses a list of the countries its suppliers are located in.

/ The brand publicly discloses some of its suppliers’ names and locations.

/ In its product descriptions, Apolis communicates supply chain information.

/ Apolis communicates the true cost breakdown of the glassware collection it manufactures in collaboration with Studio Xaquixe in Oaxaca, Mexico. The brand also shares the wages of workers at this organisation. Minimum wage in Oaxaca is currently $89 USD a month. Apolis reports that working 44 hours a week, a Xaquixe glassblower makes $592 USD a month plus medical security, housing credit and savings for retirement.

/ Apolis shares information and updates about some of its suppliers. This includes information about how many units the supplier has made for Apolis and how many hours of work this has provided for the people working at the supplier facility.

/ Apolis’ states that it’s mission is advocacy through industry.

/ Apolis states that the suppliers that it works with pay living wages and provide job security and benefits.

/ Apolis states that 60% of its collection is manufactured in Los Angeles.

/ The brand does not have a publicly available supplier code of conduct.

/ One of Apolis’s partners, Saidpur Enterprises, located in Saidpur, Bangladesh, supports artisans and provides access to a wider market. The organisation also provides literacy classes, training on nutrition, women’s legal rights, educational awareness and finance. Since its partnership with Apolis began, Saidpur Enterprises has made 100,474 units for the brand, providing 1185 days of work for 21 artisans. The cooperative uses the profits to provide school supplies to children whose parents cannot afford to purchase these items, without which they would not be able to attend school at all. Apolis shares a video about the organisation and some profiles of the artisans that work there.

/ In 2015, as part of its Global Citizen Exchange initiative, Apolis partnered with Studio Xaquixe in Oaxaca, Mexico to produce a glassware collection made from recycled glass. The brand reports that over the last 10 years 75% of all glass blowing studios in Mexico have closed due to global competition. Apolis aims to sell 30,000 units, providing 90 days of work for 14 artisans. Minimum wage in Oaxaca is currently $89 USD a month. Apolis reports that working 44 hours a week, a Xaquixe glassblower makes $592 USD a month plus medical security, housing credit and savings for retirement. Apolis shares the true cost breakdown of the products.

/ Apolis scored 24 in the environment section of the B Corp certification. The median score is 7. The environment section evaluates a company’s environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resources and energy use; and emissions. This score has not been updated since 2012.

/ Apolis partnered with Studio Xaquixe in Oaxaca, Mexico to produce a glassware collection made from recycled glass. The studio has self-developed technologies that have allowed them to reduce fossil fuel usage by 80%, by substituting it with waste cooking oil and methane produced via an anaerobic biodigester.

/ Apolis uses natural dyes for some of its products.

/ Apolis uses organic cotton that is sourced from Uganda and Ethiopia in some of its products.

/ We don’t have any information on whether or not the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its carbon footprint, what the brand is doing to reduce its carbon footprint, if the brand has measured the water footprint of its supply chain, and what the brand is doing to reduce its water footprint.

/ Apolis is a certified B Corp, with an overall score of 83. This score has not been updated since 2012.

/ As part of its Defend Tomorrow campaign, Apolis is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to expand the co-op in Bangladesh that it sources its Market Bag from. The money raised will go towards building the Bangladesh Sewing Academy, the purchase of 20 new sewing machines and the wages of 2 trainers who will provide 20 women with employment training every 6 months.

/ Apolis is partnering with Indiegogo to create the world’s first transparent designer and artisan collaboration marketplace called Global Citizen Exchange. Every year the Apolis team travels to a new location where the brand partners with a local manufacturer to co-design an artisan product. Through Indiegogo, Apolis rallies funding for these collaborative projects. The brand produces only what is ordered, to help artisans scale sustainably with no waste.

/ Apolis partnered with Atelier Ace to create an organic cotton handloomed scarf in Ethiopia. The brand reports that the scarves provide sustainable employment and a fair wage for an artisan cooperative of women located in Addis Ababa. The cooperative also works with groups around Ethiopia to help provide skills training and job placement opportunities for women in prostitution. The brand reports that it has manufactured 1728 units to date and has provided 3 days of work for 72 artisans.

/ Apolis launched the Honduras Coffee Project with Portola Coffee Lab to support a coffee farm in Siguatepeque, Honduras that sustains a community school of 230 students and a hospital employing over 60 people. The brand has manufactured 3040 units and has provided 17 days of work for 3 farmers.

/ Each garment Apolis produces is hand stitched with a red cross. The brand states that, the cross stitch symbolizes the common thread that connects all global citizens committed to quality and change.

/ As part of its Defend Tomorrow campaign, Apolis is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to expand the co-op in Bangladesh that it sources its Market Bag from. The money raised will go towards building the Bangladesh Sewing Academy, the purchase of 20 new sewing machines and the wages of 2 trainers who will provide 20 women with employment training every 6 months.

/ Apolis founders, Raan and Shea Parton were two of the five mentors for The Venture presented by Chivas Regal, a global search with a $1 million reward for the most promising social entrepreneurs.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO, Shea Parton, made in the last financial year.

/ Apolis is a privately owned company.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

/ Apolis is partnering with Indiegogo to create the world’s first transparent designer and artisan collaboration marketplace called Global Citizen Exchange. Every year the Apolis team travels to a new location where the brand partners with a local manufacturer to co-design an artisan product. Through Indiegogo, Apolis rallies funding for these collaborative projects. The brand produces only what is ordered, to help artisans scale sustainably with no waste.

/ The Apolis Cotton Initiative, is a microeconomic program employing formerly displaced Ugandans to become stakeholders in the rebuilding of the Ugandan cotton industry. The initiative grows organic cotton fibres. The cotton, which is also milled, woven and dyed in Uganda is used to make the Apolis Philanthropist Briefcase. Every 100 units of the Philanthropist Briefcase utilizes the entire annual yield of cotton for one Ugandan farmer. The brand reports that it has used the annual cotton harvest of 12 farmers so far.

/ Apolis launched the Honduras Coffee Project with Portola Coffee Lab to support a coffee farm in Siguatepeque, Honduras that sustains a community school of 230 students and a hospital employing over 60 people. The brand has manufactured 3040 units and has provided 17 days of work for 3 farmers.

VOICES

TakePartBEKAH WRIGHT | TAKE PART

Apolis receives several collaboration requests each day but moves forward on approximately one out of 100. For example, an opportunity to develop an organic-certified supply chain in Turkey was declined when they realized that it was cost-prohibitive and wouldn’t allow for the company’s goal of job creation.” – 09/29/2015


CommonThreadAARACHEL MANIAGO | ALTERNATIVE APPAREL / COMMON THREAD

With projects in six countries and local manufacturing partnerships in Los Angeles, Apolis represents a new paradigm in how global businesses can operate, offering a full range of well-designed, high-quality products to equip and empower a global citizenry. We are inspired and motivated by their stories and actions and look forward to hearing and seeing more from Apolis in the future.”

 

Raan Parton, Creative Director (quoted by John Ortved in the New York Times):

“We believe that there are artisanal manufacturers all around the world who possess unimaginable talent. Our goal is to shine light on this talent and bring excellent products to a global market.”

If the chef is going to take responsibility for anything that comes out of the kitchen, then the chef should be responsible for every step along the way.”

 

Raan Parton, Creative Director (quoted in Take Part):

It’s pretty powerful to see what good logistics can do,” Parton says. “There’s a sense of no borders, and we see our global citizen philosophy playing out by being able to connect with people and making things accessible.”