Fashion is rarely known for utility—anyone want to try walking in these? But a new Denver-based apparel company is trying to prove that theory wrong by using fashion to help the environment. For Love of All Things (FLOAT)—which launched officially (and suitably) on Earth Day, April 22—aims to raise funds and awareness for environmental- and wildlife-focused nonprofits. Every Monday, FLOAT unveils a new, limited-edition T-shirt representing a specific nonprofit. The garment is sold for one week only, with $8 from each sale going directly to that week’s featured organization.
Founder James Weingarten dreamed up the idea for FLOAT while getting an International MBA from the University of Denver. Shortly before graduating, Weingarten started More Tekstyles, a clothing company he hoped to use to raise money for nonprofits. The high cost of vending through retailers soon ran the company dry, but the idea of using clothing to help charities remained, and FLOAT was born.
True to its nature, FLOAT aims to keep production local and easy on the planet. Many of the shirts are designed by recent grads from the Art Institute of Colorado and printed by local businesses like Denver Screen Print & Embroidery. Additionally, shirts are woven from eco-friendly materials—like organic cotton and recycled polyester—and printed with water-based inks that contain fewer harsh chemicals than traditional screen-printing inks and dyes. Online-only availability helps keep FLOAT’s expenses low, allowing the company to donate even more to the organizations it supports.
Weingarten says he’s already partnered with several interested nonprofits, with new shirt releases scheduled for about half of 2013. Though FLOAT is open to working with any organization, Weingarten plans to stick with nature conservation and animal welfare groups for now. Look for future campaigns for the Arbor Day Foundation, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and local nonprofits, including Big Dogs Huge Paws and MaxFund.
Get Involved: Get this week’s T-shirt (starting at $24) here. $8 from each sale is donated directly to this week’s cause: National Mill Dog Rescue, a Peyton, Colorado-based group dedicated to saving canines from puppy mills.
Bonus: Follow the ticker on FLOAT’s website, which lets you track fundraising progress in real-time throughout the week.
—Image courtesy of James Weingarten