I have to admit, Evozip is a pretty nifty idea. The concept is simple, you send in your favorite T-Shirt and they tranform it into a brand spanking new messenger bag. The upcycling of T-Shirts has been around for some time now, with even a book written about the subject (see Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-shirt). I’ve even dabbled in some T-Shirt upcycling experiments – check out my Threadless T-Shirt turned throw pillow. However, these Evozip messenger bags is probably one of the most useful T-Shirt upcycling ideas around.
“The founder developed Evozip as an urban art project to see how people would express themselves when not limited by the constraints of a t-shirt. Would you coordinate with your outfit or make your message stand out? Do you show the same skin until it falls off or will someone write a blog about a new skin that they wear each day? The name Evozip means to evolve quickly. While the design of most products is finalized long before production, Evozip bags and skins are meant to evolve after entering the market. The attachment system was designed to be simple so that people can show their own creativity.”
What would you do if you won $25,000 to to help fun your great idea? Well, luckily Verde Styles doesn’t have to worry about what they’ll do with $25,000 because they came up with a succinct plan that actually won them that exact amount from the Pepsi Refresh Project. Yes, that huge corporation that makes that very popular soft drink that you love to drink gave an independent T-Shirt company $25,000.
So what did CEO and Founder of Verde Styles, Nish Patel, and the rest of the Verde Styles team plan to do with the money? Read on and find out!
Coty: Tell us a little about the Pepsi Refresh Project and how you found out about it.
Nish: I found out about the Pepsi Refresh Project luckily through MTV considering I hardly every watch it. The Pepsi Refresh Project provides grants to individuals, organizations, and businesses to make the world a better place by giving back. The categories of ideas range include health, culture, education, neighborhoods, and the planet. Thanks to our friends and family religiously voting every day, Verde Styles to 8th for The Planet and won a $25,000 grant.
Coty: Why did you think Verde Style was a perfect fit for the Pepsi Refresh Project?
Nish: Verde Styles was founded on the basis of becoming a business with a major social impact. By not only being profitable, but also helping the community at the same time. We make sure all of our products are made ethically and within the United States. Refreshing is a word which I think describes Verde Styles. Our hip and artistic approach to environmental problems is a refreshing outlook in our world today.
Coty: What were some of the ideas/goals that Verde Styles put forth for the Pepsi Refresh Project?
Nish: Verde Styles main goal is to spread awareness about the environment through our tees. With the grant money, we can now travel to other locations around the country to make our nation a “Verde Nation.” Another idea that we can now fund is a “Zero Carbon Footprint” event planned for Earth Day 2011. The event will be powered by energy generated from people pedaling bicycles.
Coty: Some of your ideas are pretty ambitious, like “Host 20 recycling drives around the nation.” Has it been tough trying to accomplish everything you said that you would do?
Nish: As a small company, it is always tough to organize and plan events while taking care of other things. Luckily, we have many of our friends helping us get the job done, from helping us organize recycling drives at college campuses to thinking of new designs for tees and products. We continue to stay ambitious by keeping our website fresh with a new tee every Wednesday along with a fun interactive Blog.
Coty: Verde Styles was awarded a $25,000 grant last August, what’s your progress been like so far?
Nish: We have been working hard to keep the ball rolling. Just this past October, we traveled to West Chester University and University of Pittsburg for two amazing events. Also, we participated in Sustainability Day on Temple University’s campus. For the future, we have started to plan events at music festivals around the country.
Coty: You guys set out to plant 3,000 brand new trees. How close are you to that number?
Nish: After our successful events this past October, we have reached 2000 trees planted. After we have reached our goal, we will continue to plant trees as well as help other causes that Verde Styles believes in.
Thanks again to Nish Patel for stopping by and sharing his story of how Verde Styles was able to accomplish something pretty amazing. For more information on Verde Styles, please visit their website, you can also purchase their T-Shirts there as well!
In this episode of Co-Tee TV I wear The Motive by Heiko Windisch for ThreadlessÂ andÂ review ReUse Cereal by Stay Vocal, a Green America certified ReUse apparel company that was founded by Alex Eaves. Stay Vocal takes unused new products, that are ready to be destroyed, and transforms them into brand new products.
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ReUse Cereal by Stay Vocal.Pros: Everything about this T-Shirt is recycled, from the packaging to the plastic wrap and the actual T-Shirt itself! T-Shirt is limited to a print of 311. Great idea and the concept will most likely appeal to those who are highly active in the “green” movement and take the mantra “reduce, reuse and recycle” to heart. Stay Vocal was a Top 10 nominee for Green America’s business of the year for 2009. Rest assured that you are making a difference by purchasing a tee from Stay Vocal.Â Cons: Design is printed on the reverse of the shirt so when you wear it, the neck label is visible (yes, you can easily snip it off) as well as the inside seams of the T-Shirt. Print is a bit thick, especially since it is printed on top of the existing original print. I can definitely appreciate the idea behind Stay Vocal but I am unsure if it appeals to me in such a way that I would become a regular customer. Price: $15.
The Motive by Heiko Windisch for Threadless. Crazy looking spacesuit operated by two pandas will appeal to almost anyone who enjoys cute things. Unfortunately it is no longer in stock.Price: $12.