Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day is our day, too!

Hello from near the top of the bottom of the world!

That’s Justin Cranmer, above, of Tucson, Ariz., wearing his trusty Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat in, yes, Brazil! This spring 2011 shot finds Justin atop Tijuca Peak, which offers a sweeping view of sprawling Rio de Janeiro below. The mountaintop is literally right in the middle of the city.

Justin's verdant travel photo seemed in need of revisiting today, of all days: Nature’s grandeur smack dab in the middle of bustling human life, Brazil, us.

Because today is Earth Day, the day people of every stripe celebrate where we all live, and what we can do to promote continuing to live here. And by here, we mean the big here, the spinning blue-and-green ball of home. The elemental sphere following its set circular path in space, three back from the sun. That here.

Earth Day is all about throwing the world a bone, so to speak. Championing things that can help to preserve what's here, before it's gone and can't be replaced.

So you know Real Deal Brazil products are made from recycled stuff, right? People sometimes forget that, getting all caught up in how we also happen to look mighty freakin’ cool, all rough-and-tumble and Woody Harrelson in Zombieland, and like that. Yet the heart of our signature products is reclaimed old canvas cargo-truck tarps from Brazil, tough and weathered and kind of grizzled, and as unique as you are.

The recycling runs even deeper with us, though: Our classic hats get their shape from strands of heavy wire pulled from landfilled old Brazilian truck tires.

Then there's our hat bands, which include an assortment carved from old coconut shells, or those assembled from trash-bound bottle caps collected from favorite brews.

Reclaimed resources, handmade into resourceful products that look cool enough to forget they're pretty Earth-nifty, too. That, good people, is the Real Deal Brazil!

So we choose to think of today, Earth Day, as a little bit our day as well.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Big, Big Changes to the Real Deal Brazil Brand!

OK, just in case you stumble on this entry days after it was originally posted, please take a look at the day it was published before reading any further. That should give you a good clue to its seriousness. Or lack thereof ...

Some huge changes to talk about, folks!

Like so many small businesses, the Real Deal Brazil has had a hellish time in this sluggish economy. Add to that the outrageous spikes in recycled-tarp prices in Brazil, and shipping from the rural center of such a vast and often underdeveloped country, plus the various customs hurdles, which are, honestly, a money-suck, and it’s been really, really hard. And it’s only getting harder.

But we’re still here!

Still, if we’re going to continue past this, then going forward, fundamental changes have gotta take place. It’s that, regrettably, or close our doors. And we aren’t quitters.

After some serious research and lengthy negotiations, we’re finally at the point of transferring production to where we can afford to keep this thing up and running. So, to China we go! Happily, we’ve found a Beijing-area town that specializes in fabric goods and industrial sewing, and a small nationalized company that can take things over immediately, for a reasonable price, even with shipping considerations.

The hat photo at top is just a mockup sent by our new sewing company.
Fabric is having to change, of course, since they neither have recycled canvas truck tarps in China, at least not for sale, nor can we remotely afford to import them from Brazil. We are, however, very pleased with the fabric change we’ve selected: We think the purple is fantastic! It’s really individual and fun, and fits, we think, the spirit of our brand. The sequins you see in the photo are hopefully within our budget as well, but that detail isn’t set in stone yet.

Hat style will also shift a bit, to more of a classic fedora a la Indiana Jones, since that’s what they do best there.

And we won’t have to go up on our hat prices at all!

All Brazilian product names will stay the same. We don’t want to add any further confusion to the transition.

Bags will likewise be the same new fabric; beyond that, we don’t know yet about the various styles. It’ll all depend on what this company can manage.

We’ll start getting new product in soon, and will then start updating In the meantime, we’ll keep selling the remainders of what we have, until we run out. We wish we could discount the remainders, but honestly, we’re too broke for that.

The best of an unfortunate situation. So we hope you can get as excited for these changes as we've become!