WHY ETREFORT IS SHUTTING DOWN
A brief insight into the parkour clothing business
You may or may not have heard the news: Etrefort, a parkour clothing brand from Switzerland, is closing their doors as of the end of 2022. Just after the celebration of their 10th birthday, they are saying goodbye to making and selling clothing.
Why is this even news, you may ask. We see your point – brands start and end their businesses every day, especially in the clothing industry. However, this story dives a bit deeper. After all, there isn’t really an abundance of parkour/freerunning clothing brands in the world.
Parkour clothing as the priority
Founded in 2012 by Felix and Roger, two friends who trained parkour and wanted some super comfy and dope looking baggies, Etrefort arose exactly in that spirit: from the need of good parkour training gear. The rest is history. EF has widened their range of products so that basically every adventurer can jump into a certain item from their shop and be sure to have an excellent gear while contributing back to the parkour community. High quality, original design, ethical production. Born in the parkour world. And here they are, 10 years later, shutting their doors.
But how did we reach this point?
Production costs are rising. People find it normal for costs to rise in the more developed part of the world, but also expect that everything stays relatively cheap from the Asia-Pacific region. This leads us to having cheap merch but increasingly expensive ’real deal’*, which naturally drives people away from sustainable brands whose primary job is making clothing rather than selling merch.
But it gets worse. It seems like the whole market is designed to favor merch. Algorithms and social media favor the fast changing trends and numbers of views. Often, this works against the ’real deal’.
Of course, quality isn’t cheap. But quality also endures and doesn’t fade or tear in a few washes. Meaning that, over time, more expensive but quality goods that last end up being cheaper. Think about that before making your next purchase.
Through all these years, EF had some basic principles. One of them is ’Être fort pour être utile’, but another one is that ’YOU make the difference’. You, a customer. You, the one who wears the gear. You, who knows why you are paying $100 for a custom pair of pants, while knowing you can get some for $20 as well.
Where are we all going?
We all may love capitalism. But one downside of fast fashion is that countless merch ’brands’ can get richer every day, while a good and ethical and ecologically sustainable business is doomed to hit a dead-end.
Being in the similar waters as our friends at EF, we have nothing but respect and understanding for their decision. Our hearts are with them, hoping to see a re-launch sometime in the future.
But we cannot help but wonder how does our community that is built around some very profound values allow merch to dominate over quality and endurance?
We are making clothes, not merch. – Skochypstiks