JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Everything is connected, especially the way we shop, according to 22-year-old
Rosalyn Truong, who has set out to promote eco-consumerism by selling children’s
T-shirts with a message.
She’s named her fledgling project the Endangered Apparel Collection and she plans to use hemp cloth made in China to produce her first line of shirts. It is a global community venture. Her designers will be elementary school-age students around the world who illustrate contemporary world problems. Their original designs will appear on T-shirts accompanied by ecological facts.
Truong is trying now to reach elementary school children in China for original art of the endangered native giant panda. It is not an easy process. On a recent Craigslist posting http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/wrg/953315013.html, she is asking for help in making connections in China. In particular, she hopes to find teachers or administrators in public elementary schools in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu who would be willing to teach students about endangered giant pandas and create a related art project that she can print on her clothing.
Profits from the sale of toddler-size T-shirts will be donated to preservation and conservation efforts.
“Animals and kids definitely go together,” Troung said.
Working with hemp clothier Richard Dash of Dash Hemp in downtown Santa Cruz,
Truong hopes to have 1,600 T-shirts made with alternative fibers and inks. It is estimated that only about 1,600 giant pandas are still living wild in the western parts of China.
In community college ecology classes, Truong learned about the web of life.
“I was seeing how everything is connected and what we can do as a major part of it to preserve it,” Truong said. “I wanted to give people the option to spend their money on something that they really do think will help. We as humans have a responsibility to do something to preserve it.”
This will be the first entrepreneurial effort of this kind for Truong, a part-time Cabrillo College student. Truong expects the next T-shirt design will focus on the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. The Seattle native hopes the project will grow into a seasonal line of hemp kids clothing for sale in the U.S. She plans to create a nonprofit organization to support the efforts.
Dash, a long-time industrial hemp advocate, has agreed to make the T-shirts for her at a Chinese facility he uses that is “worker friendly.”
Dash is working to raise awareness about the commercial viability of domestically grown industrial hemp, an effort that has met repeated legal roadblocks throughout the country. “We’re doing it shirt by shirt,” Dash said. “Most people get the difference between the rope and the dope but when they start wearing it, they get it viscerally.”
For information, contact Rosalyn Truong at 251-0198 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared here.