Selvedge and all things Raw: Expertly Not an Expert

by | March 1, 2020 | Life

Oh no! Another selvedge denim/workwear/leather/buy it for life blog. Make way in a crowded space. There are literally dozens (maybe more) of blogs potentially more qualified than this one. Perhaps that isn’t fair. My Co-Author is certainly well experienced and well-read on these subjects. So, maybe more accurately, this is is a fair and balanced, honest as fuck denim/workwear/leather/buy it for life blog.

Don’t expect expertise from me. Expect honest impressions, reviews and call em as I see them deep dives into a world I’ve chosen out of social responsibility.

“OK,” you might say, “here comes this fucker and his soap box.”

Nope. Not here because I have an axe to grind or a mission for the masses.

Why I chose the Selvedge Denim Life:

In 2017 I became a dad, and then, because my wife and I are clearly nuts, became a dad again in 2018. My world perspective changed dramatically and suddenly trying to leave the world better than I received it became a huge “mission critical,” in life. 

I’ve made a number of changes that help me sleep better at night for the sake of the future I hope my children will get to enjoy. Eating cleaner, repairing more and throwing away less, teaching charity through practice and also acting sustainably in the choices I make in my household in general became priority number one almost over night.

This has, most recently, lead me to better made, longer lasting clothing that will last lifetimes with the right care. Heirloom quality, one might suggest, and they would be on the right path. Maybe my kids will care. Maybe they will donate everything to goodwill when I die. Maybe I’ll freeze my head like Ted Williams and keep on rocking the same jeans 200 years from now just to annoy them. Who knows? But, again, I’m sleeping and living better with the decisions I’m making. 

Enter Tristan, co-author at The Arcuate, and lifetime friend. I met Tristan in 2002 at the University of Toledo while he was falling off the bridge to the freshman dorms. That’s not a joke. That dip shit fell off a bridge and a friendship was born.

He was rollerblading, yes, rollerblading. Both of us rollerblade and did long before either of us met. No, neither of us have any apologies for that. Kick rocks if you want them. Also, we already know what the hardest part of rollerblading is and the punch line end’s with the joke teller’s crushed esophagus and a wet gurgling sound.

I digress. Tristan and our friend Mike had the cops called on them after Tristan fell and Mike (in his infinite wisdom) jumped from the very same bridge to demonstrate it was “no big deal.”  Long story short, Tristan’s ankle was fooked and I helped them both escape the campus fuzz.

Mischief managed. Friendship forged. 

Back then then it was XXL sweatpants and tees over tees, or worse, double-layered collar-popped polo shirts; long unkempt hair and poorly grown stubble. We had…bad fashion sense. Certainly nothing lasted longer than a year and almost everything went in the garbage…or should have…then burned…and buried…in unmarked graves and spat on. You get the idea. Skip ahead a bit now. 

Graduation came, Tristan skipped town and moved to Japan and had a fashion awakening as he worked as an ESL teacher, lived in a closet and met his future bride. I moved to England, got heavily into street wear and English Folk-Punk. Wait, is that a real thing? Must be. Love it. Moving on. Key take away, we both lived, loved, matured (not really, we both still rollerblade. Again. No apologies for that. Continue kicking rocks if you still want them.) and gained world perspective. 

Cue TiVo fastforward noises (the in between is not that interesting). 

Now we are both mature-ish adults, settled in the men we’ve become and are both parents to two small humans each. Again, as mentioned perilously, I start making different choices in life for both my children and my sanity. I started pairing down my possessions. Did some learning about all the unsustainable shit in my life and got to talking to Tristan about…yes…selvedge denim. 

Selvedge Jeans from Choochai Indigo
Selvedge Jeans custom made by Choochai Indigo

Now, countless dollars later, too many wardrobe changes, plus some EYE OPENING SHIT I learned about the textile industry, clothing waste and what really happens to that spaghetti stained shirt you donated, you know…the one you convinced yourself someone would benefit from at the shelter or Good Will…man…here we are at The Arcuate. 

My only goal is to share my experience and shed some light on some cool stuff I’m discovering, relationships I’m establishing all over the world and make friends.

If you want to bitch about my opinions feel free. But be cordial. Or take them to Reddit with the rest of the keyboard warriors. That’s my only ask. Otherwise, be excellent to one another and help me learn!

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About the Author

Grant Schildhouse

Grant Schildhouse

Grant, our Editor in Chief, is a denim enthusiast and writer; The Arcuate is his attempt to combine these loves in one place. He wants to tell some of the stories behind those who make and wear denim with a passion. His journey into the world of denim continues, and he hopes you'll co-journey with him, allowing him to be your fireside storyteller.