Kamikaze Boarding was created to bring fresh inspired clothing to the planet without causing disruption to the environment – they are an ethical snow skate surf clothing brand that is constantly evolving to bring the latest designs that also happen to provide environmentally conscious clothing to all extreme individuals. We spoke to Chris from Kamikaze to find out a bit more about the brand and their plans for the upcoming season…
Are you a boarder yourself? What fills your time?
Being based in Brighton it’s fortunate that everyone at Kamikaze Boarding is a boarder! We all understand that when the conditions are perfect for a surf – it’s time to get to the beach. My passions are kitesurfing and snowboarding: When the sun is out and the water is warm kitesurfing is my favourite thing. As soon as the sea gets cold and the evenings close in its time to head to the mountains.
You are part of the team at www.kamikazeboarding.com which is an online store specialising in Ethical urban street wear and skate decks, can you tell us a bit about the company?
Kamikaze Boarding was set up to create an original design led British street wear/board wear brand. We also wanted to build a brand that has a positive effect on the Earth without preaching about it. So in this respect we aim to produce as much organic and fair trade clothing as we can. All our power is sustainable, and even our stickers are recycled.
How did the Kamikaze journey begin?
The idea started in 2008 with of a conversation between two like minded friends who shared a passion for design and board riding. With many months in the making, the first range was officially launched and is in shops around the UK. It wasn’t easy and we are constantly evolving our products and designs to make sure the fresh appeal is always there.
Where did the name come from?
The name was the hardest thing to get right but the easiest thing to agree once we came up with it. When thinking about the exhilaration and thrill of board riding, it can sometimes be easy to let fear take over and stop progression. Having the confidence in yourself to push further and try harder is what Kamikaze means to us.
Judging from your website the ethical side to the business is really important to you. Can you tell us a bit more about your eco ethos?
There are so many products out there to choose from, so as consumers we should choose products that have a positive effect on the environment rather than a negative one. We believe all purchases should be thought about and the intention of the individual should be to purchase products that the consumer considers to be ethically or environmentally positive. Do the research or even just read the label, and we as consumers should be able to get a better understanding of what is and what isn’t good in order to sustain our life as we live it now.
What steps do you take to ensure you are maintaining your ethical approach?
We recognize that the planet has given us the cotton with which we make our Kamikaze Boarding clothing from and so we feel it our duty to give something back. There are no big factories churning out gallons of fumes here. Where possible; all of our clothing is made from Organic Cotton and although the dye and inks are chemical based we will try to minimize wastage as much as we can and reduce our carbon footprint. All our garments come from Fair Trade suppliers so you will know that we respect the people who make your clothes. Every item of our surf clothing is hand printed here in the UK by our dedicated team.
You have quite an extensive range of men’s apparel, do you do all the designs yourself?
The design team are all in house. The day is always varied, but normally if we are designing garments, we will begin the day by finding ideas whether that be photographs, other illustrations or something that sparks an idea. Once an idea for a design comes it takes many attempts on scraps of paper to come up with the solid foundation of the eventual design. We will work on a colour palette for the print and then start mocking up the print on a template to see whether it works on a garment. Sometimes the designs work well but most of the time they don’t and will end up in the bin, it’s all part of the journey.
Do you have any plans in 2011 to diversify into new areas, or continue to develop existing lines?
2010 saw a late arrival of our bamboo Skate Deck range. We had firmly arrived as a skate deck brand after many consumer requests to release our own brand of eco decks. 2011 will see the delivery of our new summer T-shirt range which have been in production for the last few months. We also have an exciting Custom Kamikaze Surf Board range available for those of you who wish to hit the waves Kamikaze stylee.
You have a nice range of team riders supporting you across a selection of sports, how did you come about choosing who to sponsor?
Our team is made up of experienced kitesurfers, surfers, SUP and skaters from across the UK and Europe. The team is very much a part of where are core roots are. Supporting our team is a fundamental quality that Kamikaze Boarding believes in. Our Team are ambassadors of the brand and ethics who carry the message in the sports they enjoy. We are always looking for new team members to share the Kamikaze journey with and ask that any budding rider gets in touch.
You cater for a wide range of men’s designs on the site, what are your best sellers and why do you think this is?
Our journey has taken each season as a different stage in the progression of the brand. Creating a new design that will be a success is difficult to predict but part of the enjoyment of working for Kamikaze boarding. I would say that the best seller has been the Boardwax design. I believe part of the appeal is down to the simplicity of the message that the Boardwax design perceives.
Would you ever want to get your goods into core board shops, or just keep selling direct?
We are actively expanding the amount of shops our range is available in; Fortunately the quality of our clothing and hardware makes customers want to return, and keeps the stores that support us happy. To date we are in stores across the UK, Germany, Spain, Czeq Republic and the USA.
Is there anything else you would like to say or shout out to our readers?
Thanks for the interview! Have a great 2011 and keep riding.
If your interested in Kamikaze Boarding please check out their range on the website here.
Interview by: Marcus Woodbridge