By Kayla Matthews
Most students in Grade 11 are concerned with deciding what college they wish to attend or what they want to do with the rest of their lives while enjoying their final years of high school.
For four girls from Toronto, they didn't want to wait until graduation. Three years ago, they turned their dream into a reality and started She Clothing Co. Who are the minds behind She Clothing Co.? What are they doing differently, and why are they making headlines in 2019?
The Minds Behind She Clothing Co.
She Clothing Co. is the brainchild of a quartet of young women from Toronto:
Laura David, who handles communications and sourcing
Alara Karahan, the company's marketing and social media director
Jordan Murrell, She Clothing's finance director
Lara Ground, the company's creative director
Each of these accomplished young women has taken the message, "Be the change you wish to see in the world" to heart, creating a clothing company that lets them get their point across.
“Launching a clothing brand while also being a high school student has been a rewarding experience, to say the least,” David told Retail Insider. “It’s taught us a lot about how to balance various activities at once and it’s also given us real-world skills that you can’t find in a classroom.”
“We started planning and came up with the idea over the summer of 2017,” says Murrell, “so I don’t think we were even thinking about the possible impact that school would have on us running this business at first. Overall, it was harder than we thought it would be — trying to find time between all of us to coordinate and communicate, but we learned that it’s all about finding balance.”
That desire to change the world is part of the fabric of every shirt, hat and hoodie this groundbreaking company creates.
A Heartfelt Mission
The term feminism has gained somewhat of a negative reputation, thanks to popular media and radical extremists on both sides trying to turn it into something it isn't. She Clothing Co. is working to reclaim the idea that feminism is for everyone, and that all people deserve to live in a world that treats men and women equally across all aspects of their lives. Their logo — the symbol of femininity with cat ears and whiskers — showcases their commitment to creating that world.
“We wanted to start this clothing line because we felt that there was real discontent with women, young women especially, about gender issues in Canada and even around the world,” David says. “We started this brand in 2017, so after the American election and the first Women’s March, we saw people’s frustration but also saw that a lot of women really just didn’t know where to channel those feelings.”
“We wanted to find a way for women to show their support for the cause while also making a tangible impact in fixing the problem of gender inequality in our community,” she explains. “In terms of bringing the brand to life, we literally all just got together over the course of summer 2017; we’d meet at someone’s house, brainstorm ideas, reach out to organizations, figure out designs, and really tried to refine our mission and direction with the brand. We put our first product out that fall, and it turned out to be a crazy success!”
Men aren't exempt from the damaging stereotypes She Clothing Co. is hoping to fix. Society may mock them for showing emotion or being "too sensitive," as if being emotional was the exclusive province of women. That's the mission of She Clothing Co. — to create the world they want to live in, one where men and women share genuinely equal footing.
All Method, No Madness
She Clothing Co. isn't just making T-shirts, hoodies and hats for their fans to wear. They're also trying to make a difference by educating their customers, supporters and followers through social media engagement, a weekly newsletter and a video series the four founders put together. The goal is to remind people they're not only buying a sweater — they're helping make a difference by wearing it.
She Clothing's ultimate goal is to help young women in need and to assist anyone who is fighting for the same cause. They are working to reclaim feminism from the extremists, which is no easy task, but one these four bright young women are more than willing to tackle head-on.
Making Headlines in 2019
One thing that sets She Clothing Co. apart from other clothing brands is that the company donates all their profits to charities in Toronto that are working to break down the barriers women are facing around the globe. In 2018, the company teamed with GEM — Girls E-Mentorship, a mentorship program that pairs girls in Grades 10-12 with a mentor who's succeeded in the young woman's chosen field. In total, She Clothing raised $2,000 and supported two GEM scholarships that year.
In 2019, they've paired with the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women's Empowerment, or JAC. This program focuses on improving girls' well-being by providing programs that support their mental, physical and social lives. She Clothing Co. has committed to raising $3,000 for JAC's STEM program, which introduces these young women to mathematics and science while teaching them skills like coding and problem-solving.
The Future of She Clothing Co.
It's been nearly three years since She Clothing Co. opened its doors, and the four founders are showing no sign of slowing down.
“The most exciting part about launching She Clothing Co was definitely seeing something that we created come to life,” David says. “There’s nothing like putting so much time and effort into something and finally seeing all that hard work pay off. The best is always when we get to visit the organizations we work with because we really see how we’re having an impact on the lives of women and also get ideas for other ways we can help. We’ve built so many connections and grown tremendously as people through this brand, and I think that’s been the best part of it all.”
The company, above all else, has dedicated itself to creating the world they want to live in and that they hope their eventual children will grow up in. A world where men and women are truly equal, where a woman can go to work without worrying she's making 80% of what her male colleagues make, and a man can shed a tear without worrying about anyone considering him as less masculine.
She Clothing Co. is, quite literally, becoming the change they want to see in the world. Time will only tell what the future holds for She Clothing Co., but as it stands, they will continue earning money for JAC through 2019 and keep revolutionizing long into the future.
Kayla Matthews is a researcher, writer and blogger covering topics related to technology, smart gadgets, the future of work and personal productivity. She is the owner and editor of ProductivityTheory.com and ProductivityBytes.com. Previously, Kayla was a senior writer at MakeUseOf and contributing freelancer to Digital Trends. Kayla's work on smart homes and consumer tech has also been featured on Houzz, Dwell, Inman and Curbed. Additionally, her work has appeared on Quartz, PRNewswire, The Week, The Next Web, Lifehacker, Mashable, The Daily Dot, WIRED and others.