Kanati Co. Announces New CEO and New Retail Location

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Kanati Clothing Company announced today a new CEO and a new retail location opening on the 29th of August. The iconic Canadian label has been making changes since its reshoring efforts and transition to domestic manufacturing earlier this year.

The company will begin seperating its divisions to create their own distinct identities. The company offers private label manufacturing to medium sized labels that have existing retail distribution and also offers design services along with its in-house label which has been a staple in Aboriginal culture in Canada since 2009.

Story via The Denver Post 

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Nike Is Spending $175,000 to Give Its Employees Amazing Coffee

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This year, Nike has commissioned a ton of brick laying in its headquarter city of Oregon including expansions and new parking lots with a total of 148 building permits since February, but it’s actually spending most of its money on improvements to existing buildings.

Portland Business Journal reports that at least $18 million has been spent on renovations, including $6 million on updates to the Mia Hamm building, which contains the Nike Sports Research Lab, and a new barista station for the Nolan Ryan building that will run $175,000. That’s right — Nike’s spending nearly 200 grand on coffee.

It’s also noted that there’s been an uptick in security-related permits like cameras, video systems, and turnstiles to keep trespassers at bay, so don’t get any bright ideas.

 

Original Story Posted on Complex Style

What the Hell Happened to Karmaloop?

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Greg Selkoe knows why people point the finger at him.

When you’re the founder and CEO of a company that, at its peak, was revolutionary in its offerings, employed 250 people, and was regularly doing over $100 million in sales annually, you get blamed when things turn to shit.

And things did. Big time. But there are reasons—complicated reasons—and Selkoe wants you to hear them.  

“Retail is a hard fucking business,” he said, roughly a month after being ousted as Karmaloop’s CEO.

Selkoe, now 40, started Karmaloop out of his parents’ Boston area basement in 1999. His idea was to sell cool clothes online to cool kids who didn’t have a cool boutique in their town. At the time, the idea of buying clothes on the Internet was preposterous. As “The Karmaloop Story” on karmaloop.com facetiously tells it, Selkoe got into business to combat the “evil forces of McFashion”— the Aeropostales, Banana Republics and Abercrombies—that “spread a dastardly agenda throughout the universe,” otherwise known as selling wack clothes. The mall brands were the Evil Empire. The rebel force was Karmaloop. And it successfully navigated the potholes of the early aughts to carve out more than just a niche in the e-commerce industry.  

“It was bigger than just selling clothes,” said Selkoe. “It was about a culture.”

Selkoe realized the gear and brands Karmaloop featured had stories to tell, so the site posted interviews with designers and brand owners, and stories about up-and-coming artists—first within the EDM world, then hip-hop. Karmaloop was about clothes but became as much about content that introduced Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, and Kendrick Lamar to a new audience.​

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Culturally speaking, Karmaloop was completely different than anything else in preppy, buttoned-down Beantown. It was the cool place to work and those lucky enough to score a job there felt like they had won the lottery. Employees could wear whatever they wanted; dogs roamed the office; music played; the company encouraged employees to explore other artistic interests outside of work. For many of Boston’s young creative set, it was the perfect place to work.

“If you proved yourself, you were able to move up in a department you wanted to move up in,” said Jeni Ni, a former women’s buyer at Karmaloop. “You got to interact with the owners. Free product was given out. It was an awesome environment to start in.”

Especially if you liked to party. Back in the early days, if you didn’t know Karmaloop for its clothes, you knew Karmaloop for its parties.

“It was part of the image and marketing that we projected with the company,” said Selkoe. “It helped us get tight with a lot of these artists that were up-and-coming.”

Partying or retailing—it was a toss-up which Karmaloop did better.

Long days frequently turned into long nights. Employees were expected to take care of business—drinking on the job or getting high was not tolerated—but things changed come quitting time. Multiple former employees, who requested anonymity so as not to jeopardize relationships in the industry, attested to wild behavior.

“We were a ratchet crowd,” said one. “There were afterparties in our office where people were having sex, there were drugs being done. That company has done so many crazy things that a movie should be made about it.”

Instances of employees drinking so much that they slept in their offices or under their desks weren’t unusual. Drug use was rampant. Marijuana use was commonplace and, according to multiple former employees, there were even times when managers offered employees cocaine. “It was a regular thing,” said one former staffer who spent five years at Karmaloop.

Selkoe, who is seven years sober, says that’s farfetched. “If that happened, no one ever told me about it,” he said. “And I never saw anything like that.”

“THERE WERE AFTERPARTIES IN OUR OFFICE WHERE PEOPLE WERE HAVING SEX, DRUGS WERE BEING DONE. THAT COMPANY HAS DONE SO MANY CRAZY THINGS THAT A MOVIE SHOULD BE MADE ABOUT IT.”

Read more via COMPLEX here.

URBSocietyMagazine | How a Canadian Designer Made Racism Fashionable

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One designer from Canada is boldly turning racism into a fashion statement. Liam Massaubi, who is the co-founder of the popular label Kanati Co. recently created a “Savage” clothing line. The line features handcrafted leather hats with the word “savage” written in bold lettering across the front, leather sweatshirts and t-shirts.
Racism exists when prejudice+power combine and form social constructs and legislation that contribute to the oppression of the rights and liberties of a group of people. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons against many cultures and the Native Americans are no different.

The European extermination of the Natives started with Christopher Columbus. By the 1800’s they were regularly dehumanized and called “Savages” as they were not seen as civilized. This opened the door to mass genocide. Some estimates reach as high as 120 million Native people were killed off.

Read the full story here

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Boston streetwear company Karmaloop files for bankruptcy

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By Taryn Luna GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

 

Weighed down by millions in debt and by poor business ventures, the Boston streetwear company Karmaloop Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday.

Meanwhile, rapper Kanye West and hip-hop entrepreneur Dame Dash expressed interest in buying a majority stake of the 15-year-0ld company, said Greg Selkoe, founder and chief executive of Karmaloop.

“I hope people understand that Karmaloop is not going anywhere,” Selkoe said. “We had a business that was being held back by the debt and it didn’t seem that we had any other solutions.”

Selkoe, who earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, founded Karmaloop from the basement of his parents’ Jamaica Plain home in 2000. Karmaloop.com became known as a go-to online boutique for urban streetwear, primarily for men ages 18 to 35.

But Selkoe’s attempts to parlay that success into more than a dozen other e-commerce sites and side businesses ultimately failed and weighed down the company. Several sites that Karmaloop launched, including Monark Box, Boylston Trading, and the female-focused Miss KL, were shut down. The company also pulled the plug on an unsuccessful TV channel.

“We tried to do too many things,” Selkoe said. “We launched too many different sites in too short of a period of time.”

The bankruptcy filing listed $10 million to $50 million in assets and $100 million to $500 million in liabilities. The company owes Insight Venture Partners of New York $8 million and nearly $1 million to Google Inc., among Karmaloop’s biggest creditors.

In addition, dozens of vendors on the company’s marketplace website Kazbah have complained that Karmaloop is often months behind on payments. Consumers pay Karmaloop for the products, which are then shipped from the vendors. The company takes a percentage before passing on the sales.

Selkoe sent a colorful e-mail to vendors last year, saying cash was tight.

“We’re going to be paying people on a weekly basis,” Selkoe said Monday. “It’s a huge step in the right direction.”

In an interview last year, Selkoe said sales had reached $165 million in 2013. Sales for 2014 were about $100 million, he said Monday.

In the bankruptcy filing, Karmaloop said Comvest Partners of Florida and other lenders provided a loan commitment of up to $30.8 million to support a restructuring under the bankruptcy code.

Selkoe said Karmaloop.com, which has more than 4 million monthly unique visitors, will continue to operate. So will its European website StreetAmmo, its off-price members-only PLNDR division, and the marketplace Kazbah.

He said several high-profile buyers, including West and Dash, have expressed a desire to buy the company and keep him in place as chief executive when the business emerges from bankruptcy.

Original Story posted via the Boston Globe

Endangered black rhino trophy can be imported, US wildlife agency says

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A big game hunter who won a Safari permit to kill an endangered black rhino has been granted permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring home the animal’s head.

Corey Knowlton won the safari permit at an auction, paying $350,000 to the Namibian government. Another permit was auctioned for $200,000, but the hunter who won it was not identified.

READ MORE: Earth is halfway to being inhospitable to life, scientist says

Ironically, the money will go towards Namibia’s wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts. The black rhino is a protected endangered species, with only 5,000 left on Earth.

United States citizens make up a disproportionately large share of foreign hunters who book trophy hunts in Africa,” said Dan Ashe, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in a statement. “That gives us a powerful tool to support countries that are managing wildlife populations in a sustainable manner and incentivize others to strengthen their conservation and management programs.”

READ MORE: 2,000 dead snow geese ‘basically… just fell out of the sky’ in Idaho

Under Namibia’s management plan, which began in 1995, the black rhino population has grown from 2,400 to 4,880 in 15 years. Prior to Namibia’s poaching boom in the 1960s, the country had around 70,000 black rhinos. The program allows for the culling of five old male bulls to support younger males in mating and growing the population.

There is a high demand for poaching rhino horns, since they are used as traditional Asian medicine in China and Vietnam. The horns can fetch as much as $50,000 per kilogram on the black market.

Poachers’ attempts to retrieve the horns have hit news headlines, with some efforts leaving behind gruesome pictures of rhinos bleeding to death. Over 1,000 were slaughtered in South Africa in 2014. The brutal act is often done by subsistence poachers, driven by poverty or hunger, who then hand off the horns to a syndicate.

If the poaching continues, estimates by rhinosurvival.org say the rhino will be extinct by 2025.

READ MORE: Starving & sick: Sea lion pups wash ashore in record numbers, global warming blamed

To date the US Fish and Wildlife Service has approved just three permits to hunters to return to the US with trophies. The first permit received little attention, but Knowlton’s permit generated 15,000 public comments and 135,000 petition signatures from conservationists arguing against the culling of a species on the edge of extinction.

In this day and age, sport hunting of any critically endangered species – especially a species that is seeing massive rises in poaching incidents – cannot be supported,” said Kathleen Garrigan, a spokesperson for the African Wildlife Foundation.

Read more via RT here

THE NIGERIA: WHY INSTABILITY IN PAKISTAN MAY HELP REVIVE AFRICA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY

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It is no secret that the country of Pakistan has been struggling for a long time. The country of around 180M has faced an energy crisis, political division leading to civil unrest and most recently a surge in violence and terrorist attacks. Pakistan is also a country that is labeled a concern for corruption by Transparency International.

While many countries around the world face problems; all of these combined create instability and with that comes higher prices and less foreign investment. Fuel shortages increase costs of transport and it becomes a vicious cycle causing exports to drop.
We now see companies leaving Pakistan after years of business and investment in the country. The most notably as of recent being Walt Disney Company and the Canadian menswear label Kanati Clothing Company.

A recent article titled “Badly Governed to Ungovernable” in Pakistan Today stated “The only way that an ordinary businessman in Pakistan can be ‘successful’ is by hook or by crook, “putting wheels on files” by greasing palms and evading as much tax as possible to keep going. If a businessman wants to become big time he has three options: join cartel-mafias, become a crony-front man of the official Mafia or enter politics and get into government. Try and do it morally and legally and you will come a cropper because morality and legality are singularly absent in Pakistan.”

Pakistan clearly faces some challenges and even though there are some signs things will improve; this will take time. Many areas of the country often go without power and communications for up to 13 hours a day. A looming water crisis is expected to hit this year unless drastic changes are implemented.

Foreign companies have limited protection in Pakistan and it is now being revealed just how many companies are finding the country a concern to their flow of business and no longer willing to manufacture or invest in the country. Pakistan is a country on the decline according to the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” ranking system that places the country at only 128 of 189 countries.

“After much thought and discussion, we felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain,” said Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products in a statement.
He added that the decision is based on a recent report from the World Bank, which assesses how countries are governed, using metrics like accountability, corruption and violence, among others.

“As an organization that serves clients globally, we just can’t afford the disruption and down time in Pakistan. Our clients depend on a fast and reliable service. We can no longer wait and hope for improvements in Pakistan” said company co-founder of Kanati Clothing Company Liam Massaubi in a press release. He continued to say “We recognize when it is time to cut losses and move on. There are added benefits of a domestic manufacturing approach where we are able to control all of the variables, which we cannot do in Pakistan”

These problems leave many companies seeking new opportunities elsewhere in the world and many are setting their sights on Africa. Why not? Africa produces close to 10% of the world’s cotton and has one of the largest untapped work force in the world. By 2040, Africa will have 1.2 billion people of working age which will be bigger than India, China and Pakistan.

Many textile companies are taking advantage of this. Swedish label H&M built a factory in Ethiopia and the US company PVH which produces for labels like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger plan to produce in Kenya. Many Turkish textile firms are also looking at building factories in Africa.

Nigeria’s textile industry collapsed a few years ago and many of the factories were left to wither away and are now in a state of decay. There is hope that the Nigerian textile industry will see a new breath of life. The people are talented and willing to work, there is much more stability than Pakistan and companies can find better pricing and transportation options.

With numerous African countries becoming encouraged to compete globally with some major names in the industry willing to manufacture here, there is also hope trade will improve between African countries and economies will pick up.

Botswana exports to the United States under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) increased by over 50 percent between January and November 2014.

It is clear that there is much potential for growth and sustainability in the textile market from Africa. Instability elsewhere in the world strikes fear into foreign business and prevents them from meeting their company time requirements.

With big name companies finding Africa to be a key part to their business with a skilled work force, we can expect to see a flow of companies who are unable to find support elsewhere follow. It is an interesting time and a rebirth for Africa in the textile world.

 

Read the original story from The Nigeria here.