The Parton Brothers Go Global
Shea and Raan Parton, the California brothers behind the socially conscious (but not preachy) men’s line Apolis, have been certified globetrotters since elementary school. These days, they put their traveling skills to good use by sourcing materials and doing production in the countries where they have the strongest ties. Here, older brother Raan walks us through some of the destinations that appear on their itineraries again and again.
Taken by Raan during his last trip to Uganda, at the cotton initiative supported by Invisible Children.
“We’re looking to start some new projects in Vietnam. Vietnam was ruled by the French for a hundred years and then occupied by the U.S., and it’s a really long-term process to build trust and to learn about each culture. It’s like a moving target. The last time I was in Vietnam for about three weeks, I bought a motorcycle—a sixties-era Russian Minsk—and put over 2,000 miles on it. It was such an amazing way to see the country.”
“Working in Africa has been a challenge—well, every new country is a challenge, but there’s a lot more development attention going on in Africa. In Uganda, we work with Invisible Children, which is a youth-minded non-profit that’s had a bigger effect on Uganda than all of the other non-profits combined—and it’s just, like, two, 28-year-old guys. We work with them to produce a cotton fabric that we use in luggage, tote bags, and brief cases. We’d like to figure out how to do T-shirts and stuff, too, but it’s a ton of work.”