When was THIEF established and why?
In 2006, THIEF was started as a way to respond to unethical business practices concerning copyright, trademark and licensing infringements against designers and artists. Since then, we have expanded into developing products and systems that use sustainable and productive design to battle wasteful consumerism and misleading information. By integrating these products and systems into our everyday lives and habits, hopefully they will become natural behaviors instead of just selling point or marketing tool for companies and corporations, large and small. THIEF is simply about honesty. Taking objects and ideas and reusing them. Retooling them. Slapping an honest statement across the brand of consumerism. What is an example of a unethical business practice? An example would be any individual, company or corporation that, say, produces its goods in a foreign country just to avoid paying a fair wage to its employees; or one in a country that takes advantage of their lack of environmental protection policies concerning industrial waste and pollution. We would produce a product using reclaimed or surplus materials from that business, or we would print a THIEF image or logo over their brand as a way of starting a dialogue with consumers about the unethical business practices of this company.
Why the name THIEF?
The name is a great description for both good and bad. When a person has the word THIEF splashed across a large logo, the person wearing the garment is telling the company that they will not let them get away with something without being called on it. They won't let them steal their identity by "branding" them literally like cattle. They are telling the company that they need to give more than they take. Maybe the company is involved in questionable business practices which the consumer is trying to expose. It is also a word that may describe the behavior of the person wearing the product. Maybe they themselves are taking more than they are giving and consuming much more than they are producing. They are telling people that they themselves need to do better. By simply wearing a product that is recycled or reclaimed with THIEF on it, they are becoming part of the solution. It is a great conversation starter that usually ends up in an informative discussion about sustainability.
When the name is applied to the products that we produce, such as our furniture line and other products, THIEF means that we are recycling or taking back materials and components that are being thrown out and finding new uses for them through design.
What does "GREEN IS ONLY A COLOR" mean?
This is our way of saying action speaks louder than words. The word GREEN has been hijacked much the same way Hippie, Liberal, Feminist and Capitalism have been. We call it GREEN MOLD. Falling into a preconceived or socially accepted format of being green, which usually includes recycling plastic bottles and driving a hybrid car. The word MOLD is used both as a metaphor for stagnation, but also as a description of uniformity and control. DOING green is much more important that BEING green. Take a look at any local newspaper, magazine, or your internet portal that has advertising. Count how many companies actually use the word Green and use the color green in their message, just to get you to pay attention. Our goal is to promote projects and ideas that actually enable people to DO something everyday, in every part of their lives, that will not only transform their environment, but transform their actual habits, lifestyle, and methods by which they acquire, consume, use, dispose, and replace the things in their lives that cause damage, and enhance the the ones that do not..