Updated: Feb 10
Ines Bartl is the tour- and merch manager for the all-female punk band Bad Cop/Bad Cop. While the band is based in Southern California, Ines is taking care of them whenever they go on tour in Europe. Since March of this year, Ines runs with TMom Merch her own sustainable online merchandising store in which she offers products from Bad Cop/Bad Cop as well as selected pieces from other punk bands.
Music is her passion
Ines is pure equality empowerment and represents all the values that also we at music is her passion are carrying in our hearts. Besides diversity and fairness, she stands for sustainability. Ines is a personality who not only represents these important values in her working life but also lives them in everyday life. She is helpful, warm-hearted and exactly the kind of person that everyone likes to have in their team. But how did it come about that Ines was in charge of the band Bad Cop/Bad Cop on tour? "Because I saw them live in Las Vegas and just talked to them, we connected became friends and started working together. I always found womxn bands really cool, not only female-fronted but bands where womxn play drums, bass, etc.", she tells us. She has always been a fan of bands like L7, Luna Chicks, The Donnas, and the whole riot girls from the 90s. These all-female bands have always fascinated her because till today there are not too many of them. And especially in punk rock, she finds it a pity that this is the case because punk is actually a form of music that embraces the values of equality empowerment.
"If you also know the people to the music, that is what touches me deeply."
Ines about Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Over time there are many things that connect Ines with the band Bad Cop/BadCop. First of all, there was the music: "the lyrics have depth, but you can just as easily have fun". And then, of course, there is the human component, which is based on deep mutual respect and trust. Two values that could not be more important on tour. But how do you actually achieve this standing as a tour manager? "Definitely the most important thing when working as a tour manager is to withdraw yourself, I mean when we are on tour my personal needs are not important.My clients are the priority.", Ines explains us. And how can one gain respect? "By making a good job. But, unfortunately, in my experience one as a female tour manager has to do a double or triple good job than a male tour manager." Ines, too, has experienced situations in which it was not always immediately expected that she would be the tour manager or respected on an equal footing. But she does not let this get her down and on the contrary, she continues to outgrow herself.
Starting her own business
Listening to Ines talk about life on tour with the four girls from California makes you want to get on the tour bus immediately. The music develops a stirring power on stage that brings people from all cultures together and lets them celebrate with one another. Empowerment is very important and it is not uncommon for young girls to come up to the band after the concerts and thank them for the inspiration that led to them playing an instrument themselves or even being part of a band.
But this dream of living on tour shattered in March 2020 when the first wave of COVID-19 put the Western world in lock-down. Ines had just been on tour with the band all over Europe when it became clear pretty quickly that the concerts would have to be postponed until further notice. Shortly before, Ines had placed a large reorder of merchandising articles. With lots of great products in her luggage, Ines travelled back to Berlin. And very quickly she realized that now is the right time to implement an idea that had been there for a long time. "The idea for the online store had been around for years, but there was always a lack of time to implement it.", she tells us. And thus she arranged in an absolutely affectionate way the TMom Merch with the products of Bad Cop/Bad Cop and their support act Makewar. The store was created as a corona help to compensate for the financial loss of the two bands. However, it became clear relatively quickly that this wonderful online store will continue to exist beyond the pandemic period. She is constantly expanding the range and is now also offering rare records and, in the future, merchandise from other bands. Listening to Ines passionately talking about her store, one quickly realizes that there is a lot of passion in her work and that she is completely dedicated to it.
Sustainability and Merchandising
Ines attaches great importance to sustainability in her online store. Sustainability to her means more than just a focus on environmentally friendly products. From the packaging, and the logistics to her everyday office life she is as fair and ecological as possible. In the run-up to the tour, Ines had thought a lot about how to have the merchandising products sustainably produced. "I have been doing the merchandising for many years and this time I had small companies in Berlin produce everything fair and sustainable." The textile products are made of organic cotton and are GOTS certified. (The Global Organic Textile Standard - GOTS - is recognized as the world's leading standard for processing textiles made from organically produced natural fibres. At a high level, it defines environmental requirements along the entire textile production chain and, at the same time, the social criteria to be complied with.) The products are EarthPositive, which means that they are made with completely sustainable renewable energies and are produced without any toxic substances.
"When you talk about feminism and empowerment, you should not forget who is at the beginning of a product's production process."
Fairness is a topic that is also very close to Ines's heart and to which she is actively committed. Ines attaches great importance to ensuring that everyone in the entire value chain is paid fairly and well. "For me, fair wages are also an issue of feminism, because the clothing industry, which also implies merchandise, is an average 80% female." The products like shirts and bags are fairly produced in India and then printed in Berlin. She knows all the companies she works within Berlin personally and also appreciates this personal contact very much.
We appreciate Ines very much for all her wonderful skills and are very grateful for the valuable input we get from her. Ines also likes to share her knowledge, she advises bands on the concept of fair, sustainable and ecological merchandising.