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More than often, people mistake us for a social project, an association, an ONG, a Facebook community, a cooperative, a production unit, and so on. Despite the fact that we share some characteristics with all of these, we are first and foremost a concept store and a retail platform, with everything that entails - the first of its kind in Romania.

When we launched, back in 2013, there was a unique movement happening in the local fashion landscape - because it was lacking a specific direction up until that point, many initiatives have leaned upon the ethnic and folk-inspired trend that strongly arose in the context of that year. However, the majority was limited to posting online content about the topic, rather than taking real action and making a true change in the industry.

Undoubtedly, writing about the Romanian tradition, the ethnographic research or the artisans and the story of their art is important, but only for the present moment when the text is in front of the reader - a dimension that we also approached through our constant blog writing. But most of the time, the information presented especially online is quickly forgotten by the reader - a fact that made us wonder how could we have a long-lasting impact and make a real difference in the future of Romanian craftsmen?

There’s no better way of truly promoting and sustaining the authentic tradition and the future of the artisans, than by selling their products and offering them the chance to reach a global audience. Our platform was designed as such, aiming to encourage the artisans to develop themselves, their craftsmanship practices and ultimately their community.

Soon after launching, we found that the competition is not always playing fair and it doesn't necessarily have to come from another retailer, but sometimes it can come under the form we least expect. We have found the hard way how complicated it is in today's business context to keep our ethos. But even if we struggled with unfair competition - fostering misleading, deceptive information or dishonest, immoral conduct and causing brand confusion - we've remained faithful to our efforts towards fair trade and ethical values. And most importantly, we never gave up on our ideal of truly repositioning the Romanian craftsmanship, regarding it not only as a piece of history but also seeing its potential to be transformed into a cool modern fashion item. BRS thus managed to offer a carefully curated selection of Romanian authentic traditional pieces that are as relevant and desirable for the local context as they are for the international market.

Photo Source: Blouse Roumaine Shop Archive.
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