Interview: Made In Truth Clothing
Sensible Reason recently had the opportunity to talk with the Made In Truth Clothing founder Eugene O’Neill, a former art teacher who now runs manages his Albany-based clothing line full time. The line features clothes that are “truthful” (hence, Made In Truth), as well as unique and thought provoking.
But besides developing an edgy brand, O’Neill has worked with non-profits and individuals to raise awareness about important causes and charities, including breast cancer awareness, a children’s hospital, and now UNICEF. Made In Truth has recently teamed up with Kristen Grennan (one of our managers here at Sensible Reason!) to raise money for UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations responsible for programs to aid education and the health of children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF is currently working towards a future where there are zero preventable children’s deaths per year. Since 1970 to 2011, the number of deaths for children under 5 years old has dropped from 17 million to 7 million, with every region in the world seeing marked decline. Those are amazing results, however there is still more work to be done, particularly in polio, measles, and maternal/neonatal tetanus. 1 child under 5 still dies every 5 seconds, and to UNICEF and their supporters that is a tragic number. That is why Kristen has teamed up with Made In Truth to raise $3500 for UNICEF. So far, they have raised $2700, 75% of their goal.
Learn more about why they teamed up and how Made In Truth got started:
Sensible Reason: How did you get involved in screenprinting?
Made In Truth: In school my concentration was printmaking. I practiced all traditional forms of printing, however screenprinting stood out the most because it was the most versatile out of all the processes.
SR: What was your inspiration for starting up your own company, Made In Truth Clothing?
MiT: I was always into fashion and had an eye for clothing design. One day in class I saw a girl print onto a t-shirt and it looked very easy. I began sketching up design ideas myself and started making a few shirts in the art studios. From that point on I never stopped.
SR: What has been the biggest challenge for you in starting up your own company?
MiT: The biggest challenge is participation. My company is growing and the demand for workers has me spread thin, making sure to create a “well oiled machine.” It’s hard to make people share the passion I have for this job, I have very high standards for each position.
MiT: Not giving up on my company when I was in school. I went to school for a dual major in Art Education with a minor in Art History. My life schedule wasn’t realistic and it seemed impossible to have a business as well. Nothing’s impossible.
SR: You have recently designed a t-shirt for a UNICEF fundraiser. Why did you decide to get involved in this project?
MiT: I had turned down a full time teaching position in order to pursue this career choice. It was hard to part ways with the kids, I was an exceptionally good teacher and it was easy for me to connect with them. Now I look for ways to get involved to help educate children of all ages through my clothing company as well as smaller teaching opportunities to not lose that side of me. The UNICEF fundraiser promotes a good message so I decided to do my part.
SR: What inspired you for this t-shirt design?
MiT: I envisioned the zero (0 preventable children’s deaths per year) to have the appearance of a track in which all of these different running shoes were clustered around like a traffic jam. Having them in all different shapes, styles, and sizes represents a theme of diversity and community. Children of every age and ethnicity are in need of our support and guidance. We cannot break the cycle of abuse and neglect if there aren’t consistent efforts to step in and make these children safe physically and mentally. The zero is also a symbol of life, in hopes that people’s generosity to help allows the message to become full circle; help others in need and you will receive the same.
Interested in supporting the cause? With each donation of $26.20 you will be helping to provide for children in dire need and help UNICEF to reach their goal of ZERO preventable children’s deaths per year. AND in return you will receive a Custom Event T-shirt designed by Made In Truth Clothing! Make your donation of $26.20 or more here!