The Basques, living in the south of France and the north of Spain, believe that in the olden days, during transhumance, the sheperds’ wives used to give their husbands an undergarment that was endowed with the power to protect them from the harshness of nature’s elements. The new fashion brand Hemen Biarritz, ‘hemen’ means ‘here’ in Basque language, managed to revive the genuine savoir-faire and the high-quality textiles that built the reputation of this legendary present. The idea for Hemen was sparked by this century-old tradition, but financing, as happens with so many great initiatives now a days, was found in a very modern fashion through Kickstarter. The brand designs underwear with personnality for the men of today. Inspired by the Basque country, its traditions, its history, its craft and culture, the strength and colors of the elements, all the products are designed in the famous surf city Biarritz, one of the more prominent cities of the Basque country, under the name Hemen Biarritz.
Next to valueing the rich Basque tradition, Hemen is also deeply concerned about the impact on the environment, and motivated by a civic approach, and therefore produces underwear made exclusively from GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textil Standard) organic cotton. It’s a fact that the intensive farming of cotton is one of the most polluting endeavors on the planet. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and dying is done without using heavy metals or other harmful substances, making it the only option for Hemen. Despite the fact that the method is approximately 20% more expensive, the yield return being less efficient, but the harvested fiber is smoother, softer, and therefore more pleasurable to wear.
Understated but not basic, the range of undergarments by the Basque rooted Hemen Biarritz is intended to be both unique and for everyone, without harming our environment.
Photography by Gabrielle Duplantier.
For more information and to order online see here.