If you're reading this,
then you'll be wanting to know what we do and why we do it. Maybe you're keen to find out who we are to make sure you're not getting ripped off? Good idea.
Let's start with the heart of the matter.
At Asphalte we’re on a mission: to make durable clothes accessible.
We aim to provide a range of garments that are attractive, durable and accessible. Our main weapon is preordering. This means we can cut out costs that don't contribute to quality and put all our cash towards what really matters: the calibre of our fabrics, manufacturing and service.
Here's a video that sums things up. Afterwards, we'll go right back to the beginning.
Why are we doing all this?
There's no doubt that the clothing industry has gone off the rails in recent decades.
Clothes have become "throwaway" purchases often made far away, and we're buying more of them, but binning 60% in the first year.
But instead of just complaining that the world is going to hell in a handcart, we prefer to focus on what we can do best.
And what we can do is start the next fashion revolution with loads of new brands.
Here's what we think this new fashion should look like:
Fashion that teaches us to consume less.
To stop believing that having 5 different pairs of jeans and 40 shirts makes sense. We prefer to think that it's plenty enough to have 1 or 2 pairs of jeans and 5 shirts that are all high-quality.
Fashion that takes a new approach to production.
Around 200 billion garments were produced in 2018, mostly to satisfy the gigantic industry which overproduces stock to sell it via special offers, even if this means unsold items piling up at the end of the chain. In future, we should only produce fashion that can be used. We believe that pre-ordering is the way forward.
Fashion that makes sense.
It's clear that more and more people want their purchases to have meaning. They want to know where the raw materials have come from and who has worked on them. It's up to future brands to be transparent and choose the right partners to make sure they're never ashamed to reveal all.
This is us: we're not just some random Joe Bloggs.
Asphalte is a team of 15 people. We have photos taken in hangars because it's cooler than taking them at our office in front of our computers.
There may be a few people missing from the photo, but you get the idea. We're not too old, but not too young either, and we're pretty nice (except for the guy on the left). We used to be in Paris, but since September 2019 we've been in Bordeaux.
We've come a long way.
Before founding Asphalte in 2016,we created a classic jumper brand, Six&Sept, in 2012.
This was a "work in progress": something you tell everyone is working well, but in reality isn't working at all.
We did 2 collections a year and brought out loads of jumpers, but we didn't need that many. And we could hardly afford them ourselves because, with the conventional system of resellers, stock, sales and the whole nine yards, they cost between 150 and 300 euros.
It just didn't make sense. Something wasn't working.
So, we decided to create Asphalte in 2016.
This is what we do:
First, we like asking questions.
Our aim has always been to make ourselves useful by giving your clothes more meaning. And being useful means helping people. You.
So, rather than trying to guess what you're going to want to buy in a year's time, we just ask you what you fancy all the time via a bunch of questionnaires:
The plan for a collection, is down to you.
Our clothes' final design and colours are your call.
By filling in our product satisfaction questionnaires, you help us to keep on improving what we offer.
It's obvious when you think about it for a second You know exactly what you want so, if you let us know,we just have to do it.
Next, we work super hard on our products.
Next, we work super hard on our products.
1. Our style team creates the garment, taking inspiration from what you say and finishes that have stood the test of time.
2. Our product development team then takes over, with 2 goals:
Finding the perfect fabric for the product. It has to be attractive, comfortable and, above all, durable. We work with a lab which tests fabrics and tells us how they stand up to tearing, washing, abrasion, etc.
Developing just the right design. We work with a pattern maker who develops our own patterns, then we bring out several series of prototypes to come up with a perfectly balanced design.
To give ourselves the best chance of getting things right, we don't make many products.
We prefer to bust a gut working on one product, rather than dilute our efforts across an entire collection and bring out lots of average goods.
Every product we release has to be timeless. Could it have been worn 10 years ago? Can it be worn in 10 years' time? If the answer's yes, then we're on the right track.
Every product we create appears again each year. There's no need to change a good product if customers are happy.
We work with great people.
Our suppliers and manufacturers are solid. We make sure of this by initially sending them a questionnaire to check they're on the same page as us when it comes to quality, responsibility and flexibility.
We then work hand in hand and visit them all regularly. Often, we use the opportunity to interview them and take photos to share with you because we've nothing to hide.
Once a product is ready, we launch our pre-orders.
This means you buy a garment before it's produced. As a pre-orderer, you're the one who makes production start.
With this system, there's no middleman, no stock, no sales and no unsold items.
We only make what we sell, so minimise costs and damage.
We do however produce 5% extra stock to give you the chance to change your size if the one you've pre-ordered doesn't fit.
The customer does have to wait a little while with this system, but it also means we can offer otherwise-impossible value for money.
We make eco-friendly clothes.
You'll have seen from the photo that we're mostly from the generation that's starting to realise that we're probably going to have to just wear pants for half our lives if we don't do anything soon to change our approach to the environment. And this wouldn't be a good look.
By nature, Asphalte is a responsible brand :
- Our products are made to last, which means we can reduce the impact of manufacturing clothes over years.
- We don't overproduce, but we've already said that.
- And our product team are always trying to lessen the impact of what we produce by staying local and keeping things traceable: not easy in this still overly opaque industry.
This is just the beginning.
From day one, Asphalte has gone in all guns blazing.
We knew that some people would be happy to wait a few weeks or months for their garment, but we had no idea just how many.
Every time we launch a style, you pre-order 3400 on average. This is wonderful and we hope it's just the beginning.
We're often asked why it works and we think there's one reason.
We simply give you what you want: the only thing we have to do is never believe ourselves to be cleverer than others and serve you as best we can. And in an industry that doesn't often listen to what customers want, we think this makes a real difference.
Thanks for reading this page to learn more about us. We hope to see you again soon.
And If you want to find out what we're up to, the easiest thing to do is sign up below.
Bye for now,
The Asphalte Team