ART23, what is it?
It's a new ready-to-wear brand that showcases the know-how of Belgian, but also European designers and artists. ART 23 does its utmost to respect the Earth and its people. All our clothes come from an organic agriculture certified GOTS (at least). In order to guarantee this commitment as much as we can, we work with the partners of the Belgian brand Stanley & Stella.
The birth of ART23 and its name?
Let's start from the beginning ... I was in my last year of bachelor's degree (2017), in Trade & Development in Brussels, I was and still am a follower of fair trade which could be a vector of development in many countries. That year, I came to the following conclusion: more and more fair trade and organic food products were being offered, but for textiles I found that the supply was too insufficient. Finding fair trade clothing was time-consuming and the style that could be found did not correspond to what I was looking for. One evening during a rich and lively discussion with my parents, the idea came up "why not launching a trendy, timeless clothing brand that respects human beings and their environment".
As time went by, and a few evenings later, this idea came up more and more in our conversations; until one day we wondered: what would be the name of this brand if we had to create it? As we thought about it, we came up at some points saying that there should be somewhere an article of law that would illustrate our values as well as those of this potential future brand. The magical moment when, after much discussion, the trigger was reached: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 23, which states that:
“ 1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”
These various elements addressed in this text have reasoned as a matter of course as to the name we wanted to give to this project. Over the months and years, I also wanted to add a local dimension to this project. Thus, in 2019, following two training courses in sustainable entrepreneurship and various reflections and analysis of the project, I wanted to associate Belgian and even European artists and designers. In the fashion sector, we often talk about stylists and couturiers, but never about designers - or at least much less - The second trigger was: why not use the abbreviation of the word "Article" to make it "ART", which refers both to Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also to the talents of the artists who collaborate with the brand.
Plans for the future?
First of all, ART23 would also like to develop a range dedicated to men that would meet the same conditions and criteria as the women's collection. We would also like to establish partnerships with several Belgian and European artists. Another project for the future is to work with certified workshops in the South, such as Cambodia, while setting up a collaboration between our European artists and those from the South.
We are aware that not everything we offer is perfect yet and we want to improve. However, change and improvement does not happen in a day; it takes time. The garments we offer are selected through existing certifications that we trust. Ideally, however, we would also like to work with garment workshops, not always certified due to the financial aspect that this represents, but which respect the principles of fair trade and the criteria established by Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In our view, the best way to do this is to go on site in order to check these elements as best we can. We are not yet at that stage, but we hope to be able to do so soon. Transparency is one of the core values of ART23. Therefore, it is natural for us to tell you about our shortcomings but also our strengths. It is in this spirit that we show you the different costs associated with our garments.
- Price of certified sweatshirt: 20,80€
- Printing: 5,25€
- Packaging: 4€ VAT: 11,37€
- Artist salaries, Operation & Salaries: 27,58€
- Total Price of the sweatshirt: 69,00 €