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Armed with a mission to change people’s perception of Eco-friendly clothing, Jamila Smith created, BE TH3 CHANGE, a brand that blends her love of Streetwear with sustainability.

“I want people to realize that not all Eco-friendly clothing has to look like it’s made from a burlap sack! It also doesn’t have to read Save the Whales, Wildlife Fund, or any other blatant environmental related slogans. There is nothing wrong with those types of tees; it’s just not something I want to wear on a daily. I think Streetwear can take a step in the right direction by making fashions that appeal to street culture, which are less taxing on the environment.”

As a lover of t-shirts, Jamila saw three major issues which she was seeking to address. One problem she saw was that most of the tees she wore were made with conventional cotton, which is very taxing on the environment, and the Eco-friendly brands did not offer styles that she found appealing.

“Most Streetwear brands on the market use unsustainable materials for their garments, and Eco-friendly brands don’t always offer styles that most people want to wear. So I decided to combine the two, make styles which are appealing to most people, yet are made in a sustainable way.”
One type of shirt that will be used for this brand is similar to your normal 50/50, cotton/poly blend. However, instead of using virgin resources, they are made with post-industrial recycled cotton, and water bottles (recycled poly content). These materials may be unconventional to most, but they are even greener than organic cotton because no virgin material is ever used.
“I mean, seriously, tees made with recycled cotton and water bottles; that’s pretty DOPE!”
The second problem was that most brands did not manufacture their tees in the USA, and if they were wholly made in the USA, they were not Eco-friendly.
“This is one area that I would not let up on! I was very adamant about creating tees in a sustainable way, and wholly making them here in the US. I did not want even one part of the process happening overseas. The reasons I am so hellbent on wholly manufacturing my tees here in the USA are simple. First, because I live here; and as an aware adult I see how hard it is for people to get jobs. Also, I see how heartbreaking it can be for them to lose their jobs to workers overseas just because a company wants to save a few bucks and increase their profit margins. More importantly, the items will be made in the USA because it helps minimize the ecological footprint generated from outsourcing materials from all over the world.”
The third problem she noticed was that most Streetwear brands are run by men and cater to men.
“I don’t mind that this is a male dominated industry by any means, but at some point it’s nice to offer options for women other than a smaller version of the men’s tee. Sometimes as women, we want to be street and sexy!”
In the spirit of offering more for ladies than just a smaller version of the men’s tee, Jamila is offering some cut designs, as well as upcycled t-shirt scarves. It almost doesn’t get any greener than that when it comes to Streetwear! BE TH3 CHANGE is a brand that is taking the initiative to do better before it becomes a requirement. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
“I want to provide tees that people like and can feel good about wearing. I want you to know that when you put on one of my tees, or scarves, you’ve made a choice that is better for the planet and the people on it.”