Michael Spitzbarth, founder of German clothing line 'bleed', proves that cruelty-free fashion is not only good for the animals and the environment, but that it's also very high in demand!
Recently interviewed by The Discerning Brute, Spitzbarth and his bleed team began a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to make the "classic leather biker jacket"--using dyed cork as the main material, and that campaign became the most successful fashion campaign of all time in Germany! The initiative raised over $80,500, which was $15,000 more than the initial goal.
Spitzbarth founded the company in 2008 and is the CEO and head of design. The company name is in reference to the fact that no human, animal, or any aspect of nature should suffer for their products. The clothing line is vegan, eco-friendly, and sources its products with fair trade practices from Portugal, and Spitzbarth, a vegan himself, states it makes no sense to focus on pnly one of these practices, without incorporating the rest as they go "hand in hand".
While the team saw the potential of using cork due to its sustainability and used it in aspects of their clothing, the Montado Black Edition is the first product that uses cork as its main material. Spitzbarth states the jacket was made not only to offer a vegan alternative for the classic leather jacket, but also to replace toxic imitations. While he states he is confident in his brand's products, the result of the fundraising was still a pleasant reminder of the demand of good quality and ethical products:
"We are convinced of our products and their quality, of course – we wouldn’t sell them otherwise. But the success of the crowdfunding campaign still came as a bit of a surprise. It looks like the people were just waiting for a sustainable and vegan alternative and it’s overwhelming to see what has been set in motion here."
On notions of vegan products limiting style and resulting in sacrifice, Spitzbarth put it simply:
"Just because we don’t want anyone to suffer for our consumption, be it human beings, animal or nature, doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to dress stylishly. That has actually been one of our goals from the start: Prove that fashion can be both – sustainable and well, fashionable."
To check out bleed's products, visit their website here!
Photo Credit: http://www.thediscerningbrute.com/