Many people make the mistake of assuming that all college students party 24/7 and stay hungover, and while partying and having can be a part of the college experience, many college students actively work hard to prepare for their future careers. Some of the hardest working people are college students, so it is important when a student is taking proactive moves towards their career, that we take a moment to look at their work especially since there is an important message behind each of the designs. Without further ado, here are the four clothing brands created by college students that are worth checking out.
This first clothing line allows you to look stylish as you help the world. Miranda Kim, a student at UCLA, has always had a passion for improving the environment, so she and her sister, Rebecca, initially started helping the Earth by volunteering at beach clean-ups and working alongside environmental organizations. After doing their own research and learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island made entirely out of trash, the Kim sisters wanted to find an active way to fight against the growing amounts of plastic swimming in the oceans. Together with the help of their friend Joseph Darcey-Alden, the girls created SoulFace Apparel which takes used plastics from recycling bins and transforms the material into merchandise. “The t-shirts are a way for individuals to make a difference because they are helping to recycle plastics,” Darcey-Alden told the Daily Brun. “More importantly, it helps them get connected with the reality of the issue.” The brand not only sells shirts, but they are also adding stainless steel water bottles to their inventory to lower the use of one-time plastic bottles. SoulFace only sells domestically to ensure they are aligning themselves with eco-friendly options. Some businesses that sell internationally spray their clothes with formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve corpses, to stop the appearance of mold, and the chemical can enter and poison the ocean. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the environmental issues ruining the planet, but supporting this company is one step you can take a stand and contribute to the cause.
Although the design for this merch line came from doodles made during a high school math class, the pattern and the message behind it is attracting many customers. Ithaca College junior, Michael Zilvetti’s clothing brand Barbed NYC first launched back in November, but currently more than half of the fall collection is sold out. Lucky for you, Zilvetti is working on the next collection. Zilvetti told Ithaca Week “Out of those doodles, this kind of idea of barbed wire as a symbol came out.” Although he did not have previous experience in fashion before starting Barbed, Zilvetti pulls inspiration from streetwear, hip-hop trends and skateboard culture to showcase his art through the clothes. Zilvetti uses the image of barbed wires to show how society restricts artists by putting more importance on technology than on connection and expression. Climbing barbed wire is dangerous but not impossible, and this similar idea connects to Zilvetti’s thoughts about pursuing art. “That’s kind of the idea that a lot of artists face, where it hurts to be an artist, but you do it anyway.” He wisely stated.
Jalon Cooper’s business started from a shirt he made for himself and quickly turned into a company after people fell in love with the design of his logo and the message associated with it. Cooper, a junior at the University of North Carolina, established his clothing line, VZN Clothing, back in August with the intent of inspiring students to stay focused and committed to their dreams. “I just wanted to take that message and inspire others to each day visualize their goals and remain focused on the process of achieving them,” Cooper told the UNC newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. What makes VZN Clothing such a good brand to follow is because its main focus is on the importance of its core message. It connects college students across the nation who have different experiences under one common objective. Supporting this apparel is one to spread a positive message while looking cute.
These students not only working hard towards their future, but they are also spreading a positive message alongside stylish clothes. I think that the meaning behind each of these brands is admirable and deserves to be worn by everyone. We don’t often get items that look good while also making the world a better place, so make sure you set aside time to check out each line because it can only bring you positivity.