By John Vibes / Truth Theory
For most of their careers, members of the Wu-Tang Clan have been very good at using their brand to build a variety of different businesses, many of which are dedicated to giving back to the community or achieving some social goal.
The legendary hip-hop artists are involved in numerous different projects, including a clothing line called “36 Chambers.” Eight out of the ten official members of the group are vegan, so making cruelty-free products is a priority for the company.
The most recent product launched by 36 Chambers is a vegan wallet made out of bananas. The wallets have the same look, feel and durability as leather, but are made of fibers from banana trees. Since forming in 2016, the company has made a variety of other vegan products, including other wallets that were made out of different materials.
The company was founded by Wu Tang members RZA and Mustafa Shaikh.
In a 2016 blog post, Shaikh explained the company’s decision to use ethical products.
“We have various reasons for why we forgo animal leather. For RZA, it has to do with animal cruelty first and foremost. Speaking for myself, the deleterious environmental effects of raising animals (in particular cattle) is what drew me into looking more into vegan leather options,” Shaikh said.
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He also noted that plant-based leather is a better option than plastic-based leather because it is biodegradable.
“Thus, we should consider skin as a primary product of a cow such as the sirloin or rib. When farmers are deciding whether or not to raise cattle livestock, the price of the cow’s skin is taken into consideration. We need to take the same approach when purchasing a leather-based item; buying an animal leather wallet is the same as buying a steak at the market,” Shaikh added.
Last year, the Wu Tang Clan teamed up with the fast-food chain White Castle, to promote the restaurant’s plant-based “Impossible Sliders.”
Photo: 36 Chambers