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Brother Vellies and others: your input needed

NEWS Can you help with our story where companies fail to live up to their brand promises?
Filed by Lucire staff/November 1, 2017/23.07

There’s a particular kind of new investigative method, born of an era of fake truth, alternative facts, fake news and fake-everything-else. It’s called citizen journalism: real people not always of the Fourth Estate are asked to provide first-hand testimony on a story reported. Lucire is interested in your stories about businesses who claim to uphold sustainable, fair-traded or ethical values, but where evidence disproves the assertions.
   In January 2017, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Marrakech asked for help from a Lucire reporter to recover over US$30,000 in unpaid bills for product delivered to a NY-based business called Brother Vellies. A look at the company website represented that the business was fair-traded, woman- and minority-owned, set up to support traditional craft businesses, especially in Africa. The business has been featured in major fashion media.
   The Marrakech firm provided invoices and delivery receipts for the goods, and evidence that Brother Vellies had continually increased subsequent orders while ceasing to pay as promised. They continue to sell product received from a small overseas operation, but never paid for. Lucire’s reporter located a skilled American negotiator with expertise in settlement, who spoke to the principal at Brother Vellies, attempting to begin the settlement process. He received no cooperation and no response. In the past eight months neither contact nor money has been sent to the Marrakech business. When we reached out to Brother Vellies, they promised us a response by the close of business on October 24. They have missed their self-imposed deadline.
   Are you a vendor to Brother Vellies? Have you had a similar experience with them? Are you a customer? Has the business lived up to its brand promise? Are there other businesses which can be reported about with similar stories, representing they are fair-traded and ethical, but whose conduct disproves their claims? Contact us at our form confidentially, or email us at
   We’ll report back on your replies.

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