Rhetorik is an ethical streetwear brand, started by four Cardiff students, Jimmi Sandham (Founder), Lizzy Bond (Illustratr), Zara Siddique and Zack (both Graphic artists). Founded out of a frustration at seeing often fairly bland, unethical clothing sold on the high-street for unjustified prices, the team decided to start a venture themselves and produce a product that looked good while encompassing the socially conscious principles both they and their now audience hold.
Lizzy is studying Chemistry at Cardiff University, passionate about fashion, skateboarding and music – her aim is to research and pioneer natural, ethical products in the cosmetics industry. Zara is a Maths and Computer science student, her compassionate nature has influenced her desire to provide an online platform to connect volunteers and donors with people in crisis. Jimmi is currently finishing his Masters in Creative Writing and aside from developing Rhetorik into a more substantial concept, his passion lies in writing with a plan to publish a novel soon. Zack, Rhetorik’s other graphic artist, studies Graphics at Cardiff Met. He’s full of energy and injects it into everything he does, one of the reasons Rhetorik designs are so lively. He is also helping to push the city’s flourishing bass and grime scene with ‘Endgame Presents’ – set to launch in 2018.
The company was birthed on a very low budget, and the team rely on the help of kind people spreading the word, and recognition of their aims built upon the innovative grassroots idea of three like-minded individuals.
Their tagline ‘Live True’ can be interpreted in two ways, the former aims to be encouraging the act of being true to yourself. The latter connotation is being true; with regards to social conscience, ethics, the environment and humanity. Their humanist values at the core of the brand are something they will carry with them in their efforts to expand into a full fashion range, including jackets, hats and jeans after such a great reception of their line so far.
Rhetorik’s entire stock is 100% organic and made in India, in an ethically accredited wind-powered factory, shipped instead of air-freight to reduce carbon impact. The pieces are then printed with their signature bold, geometric design in the UK. The brand is a bit of a ‘fuck you’, to the big companies who put profits before people and the planet. They are competitive with many of the unethical high-street brands, with distinctive prints hand-drawn both to look good and to make a statement.
‘When everyone starts buying fair products, the market has to adjust for it by putting more on the shelves. People often forget the power is ultimately with them, not with the big companies.’
In an age of so much social, environmental and political uncertainty, it is imperative that brands such as Rhetorik can grow via the nurturing and nourishing of both local and wider communities. You can support Rhetorik and their liberal ethos by purchasing directly from their website. Follow the brand below.