words // Brandon Richard
Back in 2009, Chris Young sat down with his good friend Larry Crabb for a dinner discussion, seeking a business model that would not only sustain corporation operations, but offer a helping hand to those in need. That dinner marked the birth of Smartthreads 1=1, a socially conscious hybrid brand that utilizes a unique concept of 1=1; for every dollar they make, Smartthreads donates 50% of the profits or a brand new garment to a charitable organization.
The profit donations are spread between local needs and worldwide causes, such as people in need due to economic depression or areas impacted by natural disasters. For clothing donations, Smartthreads has partnered with Clothes4Souls, a division of the Soles4Souls non-profit organization that distributes new and gently-worn clothing around the world.
Of course, the question of whether or not this business model can be sustained comes into play. Young admits that Smartthreads 1=1 is operating in the red; then again, so are a lot of traditional business set-ups. However, Young says he feels a responsibility to see things through and has started matching donations out of his own pocket.
The good news is that Smartthreads is steadily growing. This year, they’ve delivered their product to almost 20 colleges around the country, including USC, Boise State, Colorado, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Georgetown, Michigan State and many more. Additionally, we here at Eastbay are ecstatic to become the first national retailer for Smartthreads this month.
Available now are Smartthreads college t-shirts and hoodies for both men and women. Men are the recipients of the Andy Hoodie and Dustin T-Shirt, while the more feminine Miranda Hoodie and Raylene T-Shirt are better suited for women. With every purchase, you’re not only supporting your favorite school, but also a business with a vision of giving back.