A student-created clothing line will soon start selling T-shirts printed with social commentary ranging from, “I am a Sex Slave,” to an image of an orphan in Africa.
The shirts, created by Trendsetter Clothing Co., become available for purchase Jan. 1, 2012 to support philanthropic organizations around the world and speak out about global issues.
Cesar Hernandez, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences and political science and former student body president, is the chief operating officer of the clothing company. He said he wants to help people in need through The Seraph Foundation – a non-profit organization he created that funds scholarships and will soon fund philanthropic organizations.
He said the graphic nature of the shirts should not be an issue.
“We’re going to be (as) graphic as human society is because to those sex workers, I’m sure nothing is being censored,” Hernandez said. “To those people, there is no censorship.”
All of the purchasing will be primarily online, he said, with the exception of buying shirts from a booth at the Bull Market.
Hernandez said the foundation is partnered with other non-profit organizations, like New Global Citizens, based in Arizona.
“You buy a T-shirt, which funds The Seraph Foundation, which funds other non-profit organizations like New Global Citizens, which funds other philanthropic organizations throughout the entire world,” he said. “It’s basically a sustainable cycle of love and compassion.”
T-shirts will be sold for $20, he said. Half of the profit will be distributed evenly to the international organizations such as an orphanage in Uganda, a group who distributes supplies in Haiti and sex trafficking rehabilitation in Thailand.
The Seraph Foundation was created by Hernandez and his fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi, three years ago to maintain fundraising money for the fraternity, Hernandez said.
Jose Almanzar, a senior majoring in business and CEO of the clothing line, created the idea of Trendsetter after Hernandez traveled to Africa in December and wanted to help orphaned children.
“I wanted to create a company that promotes (people) to be more socially conscious of the world around them,” Almanzar said.
Hernandez said Almanzar wanted to create an interactive website to track the donations.
“When we launch our website, you will be able to click on each country and you can see exactly what the progress is, the amount of money given to each cause and the effect that has been done,” he said.
The other half of the profit will return to the company for expenses and marketing, he said. The foundation will distribute the money evenly to all of their partnerships.
Maya Codina, a senior majoring in psychology, said she is interested in buying a shirt from Trendsetter as soon as they are available.
“I think (Trendsetter Clothing Co.) is a great plan,” Codina said. “With clothing, it is easy to get a message out there – for example, shirts that say, ‘Got Consent?'”
Currently, The Seraph Foundation is solidifying alliances with local Florida companies to provide shirts and printing. As of now, Hernandez said Tru Designs, a company based in California, will supply the “organic, socially conscious T-shirt” – meaning the material made for the shirts are grown in the U.S. and the shirts are not made in a sweatshop.