Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fashion For Freedom Movement


From DRC's Creative Director, Eric Ndelo:

The fusion I see around me is astounding. So many different, creative individuals and organizations are using fashion to convey a message and it is more than just something I've observed.

It's a movement. And the message is freedom.

It make us smile to see that it's cool to be conscious and that there are so many like us - Obey, Invisible Children and So Me, to name a few - who are implementing social awareness initiatives to speak out for a cause. We all have a creative drive to convey a message through fashion that can be sold to raise funds to support the countries and people who need it the most. The people who have been hit with unthinkable atrocities or natural disasters.

As we at DRC ApeParel continue to push for freedom from oppression, exploitation, fear, slavery, murder and so on in the Congo (and worldwide), we are honored to be part of an amazing body of people in the fashion industry who are striving for real, honest change.

Support us and be part of the movement

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Congo's Treasure: her land

The River and Rainforest
The Congo is the planet’s second largest river by volume - the Amazon is first - and second largest rainforest. It stretches across central Africa and two-thirds of the forest is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

To get an idea of the magnitude of The Congo’s impact on the region check out this blurb from www.greenpeace.org: 

Millions of people across the region depend on the forest for food, medicine and shelter, and the cultures of many communities are founded on their relationship with the forest. No less than two-thirds of the DRC's 60 million people rely on the forest in one way or another.

The wealth of biodiversity is also immense. Forest elephants roam the area as do three species of great ape: gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. Animals and birds such as okapi and the Congo peacock are found nowhere else. And, as with all large forest areas, the Congo plays a vital role in regulating climate, both locally and globally.

Logging the rainforest in hopes to boost the region’s economy has been met with the cold, hard fact that the land has been stripped by unfulfilled promises. Corruption is wide-spread and until the minds and hearts of officials can be changed, plans to trade the natural resources of The Congo for financial gain, thus improved living and working conditions, will continue to fall down a well no one can see the bottom of. 

To the world, as much CO2 as has been released by the UK in the past 60 years could be released by the deforestation of The Congo. To the people, their lives are directly connected to the welfare of the land. It is our global and social duty to be conscious of these threats and work towards change and protection of the land.

The Gorilla Habitat

Logging, agriculture, illegal hunting are the main causes for destruction of the gorilla habitat in The Congo rainforest. Threats to both the forest and the gorilla go hand in hand and their safety rely on the success of the government to enforce penalties. 

Grauer’s Gorilla is the largest of the four types of gorilla and lives only in the DRC.

The Cross River Gorilla habitat is being carved into isolated blocks and can only be found on the Nigeria-Cameroon border.

The Mountain Gorilla lives in the heights of the forest and exists in just two spots today.

The Western Lowland Gorilla is threatened by the demand for bushmeat and the Ebola disease, but recently a secluded crowd of 125,000 were discovered in the DRC!

Organizations like the Wildlife Conservatory Society do tremendous work to discover vital information to help save these gorillas and their fellow forest mates. The most important thing we can do to help is put pressure on the government of these countries to implement defined restrictions on where and when humans can impede on the lives of the trees and all the species of bugs and animals that live in them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The new DRC ApeParel Website has launched!

It's up and running - click here! 

We are proud to present improved features, sly navigation and a design that is rugged yet stoic, gorilla-style. 

Our backend and under the covers coding is very complex with over 960,000 lines of code running the site. We have at least another 200,000 lines of code to be injected into the system before the end of the year, and boast 55,000 lines of content currently in the system - which will continue to grow at a rapid pace! Our goal here is to make it easier and faster for our providers to put content into the system and to ensure visitors interact with a clean, simple to use, fast interface.

To recognize the power, flexibility and scalability of Titus aka DRC 3.0, we use these technologies:

DRClassification System: the powerhouse -- allows us to easily organize and reorganize our content with a few simple clicks of the mouse; our content is now centralized and hosted on redundant in-house hardware.

DRCandy UI: the candy -- a highly customized user interface providing a vibrant, visually appealing experience for our customers; no candy is sweeter than DRCandy!

DRCache: the speed -- a developed component to make visits to the site load quicker than ever. Not only does the site look good, but it's fast as well!

DRCommerce: the shop -- a revamped system provides an exciting shopping experience. A virtual walk through our store is one of those experiences that makes you say "It's Cool 2 B Conscious!"

Look for future enhancements to the website like mobile phone apps, wallpapers, PS3 themes and more!


Credits

Website Architecture.....Jay Dawkins II
Creativity & Website Development.....Eric Ndelo
The Cause and blog content.....Jen Novelli

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let's Party and...with The Notorious B.I.G.















Fourteen years ago this week - on Wednesday, March 9th - a nation will remember one of the greatest rappers in history. That nation is the hip-hop nation. The rap nation. His home, the American nation, and many others around the world that knew Christopher Wallace as The Notorious B.I.G.

From sea to shining sea

Biggie's talent was born in the gang-torn, hustl'n streets of his Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, and as it grew, so did his notoriety. Twenty-four years later he was shot and killed in Los Angeles, where his death washed over his fans like a drowning wave.

Today we remember what made him great.

No one could tell a story like Biggie. His flow is lyrical, his delivery honest and he's a beast at his craft. And that's something that we at DRC ApeParel identify with.

When we created our logo, the Gorilla represented not only a native species to the Congo, but also a cool, intelligent and seize-the-day nature. We believe this instinct was crucial to Biggie's survival and success, much as it is to ours.

So, this weekend as we celebrate the birthdays of our Chief Operating Officer, Tony Mercer, and Creative Director, Eric Ndelo, we will commemorate the life and death of The Notorious B.I.G.

Join us in Gorilla City!

We extend an invitation to all of you - our fans, customers, volunteers, friends and DRC family- to join us at Sin City at 410 Westinghouse Blvd. in Charlotte, NC from 10pm-2am.

No Cover. No inhibitions. It's cool to be conscious!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Invisible Children & Girl Up

Invisible Children is a non-profit organization started by three Californian dudes who while traveling in Africa one summer, decided they could make a difference. Like most things, the evolution from that day to today, and a company generating the energy and funding to support six Ugandan-led programs, has been a process. It all started when they realized a massive amount of raw energy and love exists in people around the country who want to make a difference. They asked, how do we capture it?


Invisible Children: WHO WE ARE from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

This type of change is what we at DRC ApeParel envision when we get up in the morning, when we sit down at the office, and when we have a new design inspiration to bring to you.

As we grow and expand our reach, we encourage you to take this journey with us. Connect with us on Facebook, be part of the blog community, chat with us on Twitter. Tell us how we can strengthen our relationship with you and we'll impart things you can do to help bring peace to the Congo and other areas of Africa, like Uganda.

Challenge yourself to be a part of peace by checking out one of the six Invisible Children programs, as well as the Girl Up campaign supported by the United Nations Foundation.

Girl Up connects American girls with girls around the world who are close to the same age. This one-to-one connection not only raises the confidence and spirit of both girls, but the value of communicating across diversity and distance empowers them. The future of peace and prosperity for both countries where these girls live is dependent on what they choose to do with their lives. We need their strength and we need their leadership. Get involved or donate to Girl Up!




It's all about making the connection! We'd love to hear from you today!