I had a message from Joe recently who has started up legendary Posi brand PPP again.
So I thought it only fitting to have a chat about whats new and old if you like.
Why did you decide start up PPP again?
Simply, the message is as relevant now as it ever has been. I’ve always loved the shirts that PPP produced way back before I was even around, the message is relevant not just to those in the hardcore scene or straight edge kids but youth in general. I set out just to do some reprints with permission from George Haye, the founder of PPP, and as I got more involved, it really struck me how much potential PPP had in 2016. People still want to represent this message why not do something great with it? I asked George and here we are.
Also working in healthcare, I see a lot of issues related to drug and alcohol abuse and it’s really bothers me seeing younger and younger people being affected. From my experience, in the UK we have a binge drinking culture and it is socialised from a young age that alcohol is something to be desired. My experience at university was really eye-opening to the dangerous levels of alcohol people were consuming regularly and how they didn’t seem to be interested in the consequences. People were taking substances that they didn’t understand and the common factor in it all was “everybody else was doing it so it must be ok”. To me PPP is a success if it can help one person make a better decision.
What’s going on with PPP right now?
As I said above, I’m currently in Berlin for a few days to see Youth of Today and Dag Nasty. There was no hesitation in flying out here, what a great opportunity to see such an influential band in one of the best cities in the World. One of my aims for PPP is to have the biggest influence possible and have a long reach. I really want to get to as many places as I can, talk to people, so if you would like to see PPP somewhere let me know because I want to be there. In terms of shirts, the first batch has just shipped out, we had a preorder and it sold out in 2 hours which was nuts. I have a handful with me in Berlin and the next batch will be coming fairly soon. There is another batch being sorted as we speak and more designs to mark our 30th anniversary celebration later in the year.
What made you choose to print on fair trade, organic garments?
A lot of band march is printed on brands that are harmful to the environment and made by people in unfair working conditions. It’s crazy that we can campaign for equality yet don’t support workers to actually achieve that by receiving a fair wage. We campaign for protection of the environment but use companies that produce huge amounts of pollution. In an ideal world we’d all use these kinds of garments but each change starts with a single step.
How did you get into hardcore?
I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep through my youth, I didn’t mind going against the grain if I believed what I was doing was right. I started exploring music more, I had friends who listened to metal like Lamb of God, I really enjoyed the music but I didn’t really think the lyrics were particularly interesting or applied to me but I appreciated the new sound and I did enjoy it. I started going to local shows in my hometown of Lincoln (UK) with a group of friends from school and this is where I really started getting some more exposure to what was out there. I started going to shows and learning a lot more, there was a lot of stuff I could listen to online and explore which was fantastic. But I think the first band that really caught my attention was Have Heart, it was powerful, it was full of emotion and great to finally hear positivity and optimism whilst talking about real issues. I started exploring more I knew this is what I wanted to be a part of.
What does The Straight Edge mean to you?
The Straight Edge to me is one of the core values in my life. I’m really glad I chose to follow this lifestyle because I would not be the man I am today without it. If it wasn’t for Straight Edge, I wouldn’t be in Berlin right now to see Youth of Today, I wouldn’t be travelling on my own knowing that I have a lot of people out there, who I have never met, offering such amazing hospitality. I’d more than likely be in a very bad state and not half as happy as I am now. Straight Edge has opened my eyes to so many things that would never have crossed my mind and I think it’s been a fantastic pathway to a positive lifestyle.
Anything else you would like to add?
I need to say this wouldn’t be doable without my fantastic designer Becky Pearey. Please check her instagram @beckypearey and follow her work.