Why We Are Made to Order
When Vapor95.com was being established, the team and I invested a lot of time into discovering what our motivations were outside of our appreciation for vaporwave aesthetics. To most of us, the Vaporwave movement was a massive part of our childhood and early adult lives.
Through the combination of music, aesthetics, the subculture and the love shared for Vaporwave by our community, we found a place we could think of as home outside of what may have been a broken one. We found refuge at a time where people around us couldn’t really identify with us. We found a medium for genuine self-expression that wasn’t restrictive or judgemental.
We found peace and we wanted to do the same for you and every other person we came into contact with. Being made to order plays a big role in that, so I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time to explain why we do it and how it benefits you.
One of the core beliefs among the founders of Vaporwave culture was something akin to anti-industrialism.
At the time Vaporwave emerged -the late 90s- brand names and crass advertisements were on their way up. MTV dominated pop culture, the Backstreet Boys were a thing and more and more, mass-produced, low-quality items filled the market place. There was a growing feeling of disconnection between business (especially brand name fashion) and real people.
There was no feeling of “this is mine” or “this feels like me” because everything was defined by trends and TV ads.
Our top priority when establishing Vapor95.com was to promote genuine self-expression by having as varied a design palette as possible. We wanted every single person who came to our site to find something that was uniquely suited to them.
It’s one of the reasons we work with so many niche and incredibly talented- designers and are constantly able to keep updating our lineup.
If we had chosen to follow the trend of drop-shipping fashion sites, we would be sacrificing a variety of expressions for “popular” designs that could be mass-produced at a low cost.
There are only a few things worse than finding a piece of clothing with a design that you really love, ordering it, waiting weeks for it to arrive, to find out that it’s an itchy, ill-fitting, poorly held together mess.
We’ve all had one of these experiences and we have made it part of our mission to never let it happen to you. Given that every item is made to order, Vapor95 is uniquely positioned to ensure that every item ordered is made with quality in mind.
Not only are our clothes made with the best materials we can get our hands-on, but they’re all handmade in Los Angeles California, in a living wage environment. For clarity, what we mean by a living wage environment, is that instead of minimizing costs by paying our employees the least amount possible, we pay them a wage that gives them a sustainable livelihood. Yes, it “hurts” our bottom line, but we think of this arrangement as an investment.
Instead of forcing people to work in horrible conditions for pay that barely keeps them afloat, we arrange specifically to create positive working environments and keep pay rates that make our employees comfortable. Which in turn encourages them to maintain, top-notch quality on every single item.
It’s beyond speculation now that the global climate is shifting and there’s likely blame to lay at the feet of modern industrialization and our rampant use of automated mass production.
As a young adult, my and my team’s eyes were opened to the impact of human activity around the early 2000’s when Al gore released “An Inconvenient Truth” and global warming was becoming a more commonly heard phrase.
Of course, before that, we were inundated with messages about pollution, the diminishing rain forests and even the mysterious - and somewhat exaggerated - a phenomenon of acid rain. However, none of these hit home-like “An Inconvenient Truth”. Maybe it had something to do with “The Day After Tomorrow” debuting around the same time and how shocking that movie was.
Either way, all of us knew that we had to do as much as we could to minimize our impact on the environment where possible. Once again, being Made to Order suited this purpose. Instead of holding onto warehouse upon warehouse of pre-made clothing, we only make what we need and do our best to choose environmentally friendly resources in our clothing.
Being made to order allows us to spare the Earth from unnecessary production and keeps all parties involved completely guilt-free.
More Meaning in Every Item
This one isn’t quite about the bottom line or the environment... it also wasn’t necessarily intentional but so far, it’s accidentally become a positive part of our user experience. To some extent waiting for your clothing can be inconvenient.
Some first time users come into Vapor95.com expecting to be met with the typical user experience. They’ll sort through our design palette, choose a generic, but interesting design they want and finally, verify their size and expect their clothing to arrive in 3-5 days with premium shipping.
Normally, this would mean an item gets worn out once or twice and then it starts losing value. Not because the item gets worn out, or boring- but simply because there was less emotional investment.
At Vapor95.com, we invest in user experience every step of the way. Our site isn’t a simple library of T-shirts for you to browse, it’s an experience from start to finish. When you visit vapor95.com, if you’re new to vaporwave, you get an in-depth introduction, if you’re familiar you find a new hangout with deep insight and deep roots in vaporwave culture.
When you finally make the decision to make a purchase, you’ve been on a journey with us and you know that our designs are unique and not mass produced. You know when you get your Clothing, you’re not likely to run randomly into someone else wearing the same thing and in a beautiful irony, the wait for your clothing becomes more meaningful because of that.
Because to do it this way, is Our Truth
Ultimately, Vapor95.com is an intimate reflection of our values as a team. It stands not only as an awesome source of self-expression through fashion, but also as a home for like-minded individuals and lovers of vaporwave, a bulwark against the destructive tendencies of industrialization, an expansive library of high-quality design and an end-to-end positive experience for our customers, employees and other staff, all of whom we think of as family.
(Yes that was definitely a run-on sentence- but it was worth it.)
All things considered, we’ve done the best we can with Vapor95.com. We’ve stood by our values and given up cash to do so, we’ve created the best possible user experience we could and constantly strive to do better but most importantly, we’ve created a hub and a home for vaporwave culture which means so much to all of us here.