Photo by Char Beck
By Raan and Shea Parton
When we first released the Philanthropist Briefcase in 2009 we were grateful for the initial attention surrounding the release, as well as everything that we learned from Filson’s timelessness & standard for quality. Yet today, with our fourth re-stock of the Philanthropist Briefcase were are honestly more excited than ever before. Our excitement began in October 2011 when the mill in Uganda that partners with Invisible Children was able to produce 200 meters of their 17.5 ounce canvas naturally dyed black. We patiently waited for canvas to slowly make it to Filson’s loading dock in Seattle, and today we are excited to announce that with a total of 700 units to date of the Philanthropist Briefcase produced, we have been able to utilize seven Ugandan farmers annual yield of cotton (Advocacy Impact 2011 | Uganda Project Film).
We work each day to ensure that our mission of “advocacy through industry” shapes each decision that we make at Apolis and we are humbled when we are so clearly reminded of why we do the work that we do. After several years of this work we have come to know that supporting the opportunities that communities create to sustain themselves, using their skills and their craft, is the most effective thing we can do. We are constantly inspired by the work ethic and leadership in rural communities, who start with limited resources, and often just a wing & a prayer. Their commitment and determination keeps us striving each day to find new ways to ensure that we maintain our half of the partnership: a strong market for their industry and an audience for their story.
We are proud to share the final pieces to the puzzle of creating the Philanthropist Briefcase in Seattle, Washington. Over the last couple years of working with Filson it is easy to understand that since they started in 1897 their approach hasn’t changed – “Might as well have the best.” We feel this approach is most accurately displayed throughout their Seattle manufacturing team, some of whom are lifers, that are privileged to call working at Filson their career. If you are ever in Seattle, stop by their flagship store and you can head to the back of the shop to look over this workshop, truly an American-made love story, that we are privileged to share with non-Seattleites!