Over the past few years, the theme of change has been at the forefront of discussion for millennials and beyond. As these times of adversity have presented themselves, a generation of entrepreneurs has taken these measures as an opportunity to design movement-inspired streetwear brands.
These up-and-coming fashion lines focus on elevating the customer experience while putting a strong emphasis on topics such as mental health, climate change and individual empowerment. To make their mission come to life, they took the staple hooded sweatshirt and evolved it into their own, all while donating, rejuvenating, and caring for causes that hit close to home for many.
Due to the growing popularity of these fashionable hoodie brands, we’ve put together a list of streetwear empires that continue to make positive impacts on the world today.
“It’s okay to not be okay” is the motto that the Happiness Project stands by. Jake Lavin, the founder of Happiness Project, experienced a tragedy within his community when a classmate lost his battle to mental health. Since then, Lavin has had a burning desire to spread happiness through his clothing brand. 15% of profits are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Our goal is bringing community together and bringing people together,” Jake told ONE37pm when we spoke this week. Keep your eyes peeled for a full profile on the brand, coming later this week.
This mega Earth-positive brand has taken extreme measures to protect the planet. Over the past year, Pangaia has donated $100,000 to charities that unfortunately have hit close to home for many. Covid-19 relief, Black Lives Matter and the United Nations are only a select few that have made the growing list. All of their products are tailored towards the vulnerability of the planet by using innovative materials, which is relayed by their climate action plans. On the Pangaia website, the brand provides community members with a plethora of knowledge regarding carbon footprints, diversity and ocean health.
CHNGE is a sustainable fashion brand that provides consumers with an opportunity to make a change through their purchase of hoodies, t-shirts, sweats and more. The company is committed to making the world a better place by donating 50% of its net profits. The apparel available for purchase consists of a variety of designs that are inspired by specific organizations and change topics. Upon purchase, the consumer is notified of which organization(s) is receiving the donations on their behalf.
Just like many things in life, the fashion industry has its flaws. Brendon Babenzien is a free-thinker who saw a need to hone in on the appreciation of classic menswear. The foundation of Noah focuses on human dignity over the bottom line. A portion of its profits is donated to causes that the company believes in while also speaking out on issues they find important. As the brand continues to create popular items (hoodies, t-shirts, etc.), it will maintain its many values at its core.
Interestingly enough, the fashion industry is runner-up for the second-largest polluter to the environment behind automobiles. Christopher Raeburn established the Raeburn brand with the idea of having a positive effect on both the planet and the people. As a means of innovation, the brand follows the four Rs: Raemade, Raeduce, Raecycle, and Raeburn. Through the rejuvenation process, the designers create reworked items of value. 1% of the companies annual turnover is donated to environmental nonprofit organizations to put actions behind their positive words.
There is a multitude of companies that have taken sustainability to the next level. At Blankverse Inc., they have implemented a mission and vision that is most considerate to the environment. To conserve the biodiversity and the local ecosystems, they donate one tree for each purchase made. On the topic of hoodies, Blankverse’s most popular pullover is designed with 100% global organic textile standard, adding to the ethical practices that the company follows.
In 2017, the local optimist group Madhappy was launched to create awareness around mental health. Since the start, the streetwear brand has used its authentic voice of power and ever-so-impressive apparel to build out free mental health resources with organizations across the globe. In continuation of their uplifting spirits, they donate proceeds of their collaborations to foundations that include the JED Foundation and Happy Not Perfect.
The Madhappy brand focuses on spreading optimism through its high-quality apparel sold. Along with their clothing line, they provide educational practices, personal stories, and mood playlists on their publication, The Local Optimist—a free platform that lends a hand to community members during the highest and lowest times of life.
What once began as the blueprint to a mood board soon spiraled into a print magazine, moments in time, and a community. Sporty & Rich is an apparel brand that is centered around the idea that “Good Health Starts Here.” To follow through with their love for mother Earth, the brand partners with a vast array of organizations that focus on environmental topics, LQBTQ rights, racial equality, women’s rights and world hunger. Each year, Sporty & Rich collaborates with a different charity to design collections to which a percentage of the profit gets donated. Mixed in with their charitable work, the community donates 1 tree per purchase, to aid in the restoration of the north-west region of Madagascar.
Krost is a mission-driven brand that partners with leading non-profit organizations. They use their apparel and collaborations to tell the stories of the causes. Since its start, Krost has formed an inclusive community that has donated 50,000+ meals to NYC food banks, supported 250+ March For Our Lives local chapters, and planted 10,250+ trees through ERP in Africa. These are just a small handful of ways in which the company has given back to the ones around them.
Just recently, they announced the launch of their basic apparel line, Support Your Friends by Krost. The line is standard to the brand’s community-based mentality as it is in partnership with a diverse range of movements both old and new to the brand. Another project that is unique to its kind is Upcycle Capsule. All of the designs were made from reused fabrics & materials from their previous works. This challenge to craft—or as they call it—“upcycle,” was one that Krost pushed themselves to create for the recognition of environmental consequences that are tied to the production of their designs.