A six color screenprint of our new tee ‘Happy Industries’ by one of our local printers. Read more about the printer here.
Today only, take 20% of this tee with code: TEETUESDAY.
We’re super excited to be releasing a second design by the illustrator of our wildly popularAll Cats tee, Jenny Mörtsell. The Brooklyn via Sweden artist designed BK Food Pyramid for us, a stomach-growling hierarchy of her Brooklyn food needs. The artist explains:
It is funny to think back at, but when I first moved to Brooklyn from Sweden, in 2008, a friend of mine had to explain kale to me. I had also never truly eaten oysters. Tacos were something that came in a stale, hard shell that Swedish middle-class families ate for “fredagsmys” (a cozy, family-at-home time on Fridays). Coconut water was something I figured you’d you put in a Thai curry. The first bottle of kombucha I bought I shook vigourously before opening. Ordering an alcoholic beverage with the first meal you had that day meant you were a raging alcoholic. Oh how much I have learned!
With my acquired knowledge of how Brooklynites eat, I thought a new food pyramid was in order. A chart catering to the I-make-my-own-hours-creative-class on wheels (bikes or skateboards) that everyone loves to pigeonhole – including me. We who are holding up the craft beer sales and food truck operations and grass fed cow farms on our plaid shoulders.
In the bottom are the basic carb-y fuels for all those bike rides over the bridges, carrying moving boxes on the reg, and dancing the night away at some epic loft party in Bushwick. Cheap enough that the crumbly 20s made at last night’s dive bar DJ gig or for selling our last pair of Rachel Comey boots at Beacon’s can cover them. That’s slices, tacos, deli sandwiches, burgers, mac & cheese, bahn mi’s, sweet potato and/or truffle fries.
To the right above sits the second most important food group: beverages. These, more often than not, end up substituting all kinds of solid food. They are: happy hour locally-brewed craft beers, beer-and-a-shot specials (which is always too good of a deal to pass on until you remember why you should’ve), single-region drip-coffee to get us back on our feet the next morning for that poorly paid gig that might lead to something bigger, and of course, mimosas and margaritas (because that one and a half hour wait for a table brunch was just cruel).
To the left above come the vegetables and leafy greens, leaning heavily on the bitter brassica family: kale and brussel sprouts. They keep trying, but really, there is nothing bad to say about kale. It’s like the Mother Theresa of foods, so just keep eating it. Pickles were never a hard sell either in a borough that constantly suffers from self-induced morning sickness.
Third up to the left is the trying-to-erase-all-of-our-sins section. Here you have: kombucha because fermented, pre-industrial revolution foods make us feel so immortal, coconut water to get our out of whack electrolytes in order, and finally, juice cleanses to rid our systems from all the toxic thoughts of maybe moving to another state.
To the right there we have the food group that only nail salons can compete with on rapid, storefront expansion. I’m talking boutique sweet treats. Artisanal sugar calories are a better source of vitamins and minerals than store bought, right? And, it really is important to eat a lot of doughnuts, cookies, and ice cream in honor of that old sugar factory and it’s destiny.
On top the crown jewel of the self-made freelancer’s diet is poised – the-one-dollar-oyster. Eat that, you nine to fiver for not being able to be first in line when Maison Premiere opens at 4pm! Who needs health insurance and a working phone when you can have half a dozen Cape May Salt for the cost of a dusty Luna bar and a Smart Water and a Vitamin Water (plus tip)?
We couldn’t agree with you more Jenny Mörtsell. Today only, take 20% off this tee with code: TEETUESDAY
From our bag factory in Brooklyn to cotton mills in Peru to old school screenprinters in Jersey, meet the designers, craftspeople and factories that help bring Brooklyn Industries’ ideas to life >
Brooklyn Industries began making vinyl messenger bags in 1998 out of our factory on North 11th St. and Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg. However, we faced the tough decision to close it in 2000 as we started opening up stores. We didn’t really have a choice as prices out of Asia at the time were considerably less, and our customers didn’t want simple bags for the price of a sophisticated bag they could buy for the same price. Thirteen years later, this has changed. First, foreign factory prices have skyrocketed, and secondly, awareness and desire for artisanal, local product has grown.
Now, Brooklyn Industries is once again planting manufacturing roots in Brooklyn. We began a resurgence of making products locally in 2011, with the reopening of our bag factory at our headquarters in Dumbo (later moving the factory to our warehouse near the Brooklyn Navy Yard). This process of moving as much of our manufacturing back to the New York area as possible continues.
But how do we make clothes and bags here when the costs are still significantly higher? We have been grappling with this issue for several years, doing tests with local factories and searching all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to find manufacturers to work with us. Along with bag production in Brooklyn, garment production in NYC, and t-shirt printing in Queens, I am proud to say that as of mid-2014, we are making 50% of our T-shirts within 150 miles of Brooklyn. We are knitting yarn in Clifton, NJ, dying the yarn in Shoemakersville, PA (no, there are no shoe factories there) and then sewing in small shops in Allentown, PA and Brooklyn. In addition to the local approach, we are using organic, recycled and bamboo yarns almost exclusively. It is a micro, small lot approach to making t-shirts, but we think it will work! -Lexy Funk, CEO
Brooklyn Industries has always remained committed to sustainability. This year, our focus is on enhancing the sustainability of our graphic t-shirts. We have long-offered eco-blend t-shirts made with one or all of the following components: certified organic cotton, recycled polyester (made from recycled water bottles) and/or natural rayon sourced from bamboo and birch wood. But by later this year, a third of our tees will be 100% sustainable. What’s more, we’ve been making many new friends in the tri-state area who are helping us further reduce the carbon footprint of our tees: by Summer 2014 more than 50% of our t-shirts will be made within 150 miles of Brooklyn.
Today only, take 20% OFF all eco-friendly tees and accessories. Online only with code: ECOTUESDAY Shop now>
I get inspired at work by looking out our Dumbo office window every so often at the skyline view of Manhattan. It’s always the same, and never the same. - Judy, Marketing
My picks: Creekside Tank, Tulip Maxi Skirt, Pebble Tote & Crossbody
I get inspired by eating good sushi. I also get inspiration from the interesting people and things on the streets of New York. - Koh, Window Designer
My picks: Paddington Raincoat, Slater Pocket Sweater
Listening to electronic, sad, or country music usually inspires me, but if I get really stuck creatively, I take the Archimedes approach and try and step away for a long walk past rundown warehouses. - Teddy, Art Director
My picks: Lawrence Floral Shirt, Dillon Tweed Pant
Winter, we’re seriously over you. And this time, it’s for real. Despite how hard you’re trying to hang on, we know spring is bloomin’.
One of our favorite parts of Spring’s arrival – the scent of flowers from trees and flower shops fill the streets. This year, fashion is getting in on the action, with floral prints being a mega presence on the runways during the SS14 collections, such as Christopher Kane, Nina Ricci, and Thakoon. We here at Brooklyn Industries found ourselves under the same spell – in particular by our borough in bloom with the yearly, epic-ness of the Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical gardens, riding bikes and brunch outside in the warm sun- what?!? Spring’s reawakening also inspires us to look back to our younger years in the ’90s. Remember all those floral rayon dresses we used to wear? Maybe you don’t, but we do and we miss them so we had to bring them back!
So get ready for warm days ahead- and celebrate the first day of Spring (TODAY!) in Brooklyn style! -Janeane, Women’s Designer
This March, we’re blending into the city with The March Coat, available in camo and black. This versatile, lightweight, military-inspired jacket also features a funnel neck, full zip with covered snap placket, patch pockets at the chest and hips, and a slimming drawcord at the waist, and will take you from March through the start of next year’s winter.
Getting outside again also means strolling around BKI headquarter’s neighborhood, Dumbo, Brooklyn – and getting some shots of the amazing mural project, Dumbo Walls, installed last summer under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Walk beneath and along the BQE to find large murals from some giants of the design and art world, including Stefan Sagmeister, MOMO, Shepard Fairey, CAM, Yuko Shimizu and many, many more. So get out and visit Dumbo and see one of the most amazing and free open air galleries New York City has to offer.
From gigantic to tiny… Watertower pins
We’ve fallen so in love with everything about the Sunny Side Bag, from handpicking the materials to assembling it by hand, that we’ve become slightly addicted to making new things right here in our Brooklyn studio. This week, we’re rolling out the Spirit Clutch, which also moonlights as an iPad case, the Luster Pouch and the Penumbra Tote. The newer products maintain many of the Sunny Side’s appealing features, including the lush leather, contrast pop stitching and neon straps. The Penumbra Tote is a more subdued variation, consisting of darker, heavier leather and black straps for those who like a little more subtlety in their style. Each piece is limited edition and handcrafted here in our Brooklyn studio. If you’re looking to gift something unique, or to add a shot of color to your winter attire, grab these handcrafted products in stores or online here.