by petercortle | January 27, 2012

A change of pace for the ‘founderED’ feature this week. For those keeping up with this weekly segment to learn what it takes to grow your own brand, we’ll have more of that next week. Today is about something (more) real.

By now, you should know that the birth of Life Changing Apparel stems from not only my passions for streetwear and design, but also from my profound interest in philanthropy. This third element is what separates LCA from the thousands of clothing (streetwear) brands that claim to be “communicating-a-unique-lifestyle” and “supporting-the-homie-pursuing-his-passion” through words. Our social aspect is what defines us and allows #LifeChangers who wear LCA to truly represent a unique lifestyle being a part of the world’s first social streetwear brand (otherwise, you’d see a different page pop up here – – right?). All of this made possible without forcing you to compromise your style and actually supporting our friends who are on their grind doing what they love.

The social aspect is what we have believed in at our core from day one. We’re not the corporate slim telling you (less than 1% of) profits are being donated so we can work up your emotions and get on your good side after having become the cash cow making millions. (Though we’ll take a moment here to fully admit – we are trying to spark your emotions to make it easier for you to do good). This fundamental belief is why I’d like to share with you an update from Haiti – where LCA’s efforts our currently being focused.

Our good friend Clemson (who I’ll introduce more formally in a future write-up) reached out this past week with the following message:

Peter, we hope these pictures can facilitate a better understanding on how people are living in such bad conditions and we have hope to find more opportunities to help the kids here.

Three months ago volunteers used to visit the camp to sanitize these toilets but not anymore. The situation is critical and the entire community is forced to attend to their needs outside in the ravine.

Now their first daily need is WATER. No human being can live without water. We are looking forward to the help from LCA with our main focus being the water issue.

No one has consistent daily work and most Haitian families are surviving with $2 US a day which is just enough to buy a candle with some bread. Yet, we continue to be so optimistic. Hope to move forward with you. – Clemson

This is REAL. In many ways, I’m a bit of a hypocrite for taking what I have now for granted after having experienced Haiti first-hand last summer. Being able to feel cool air, drink cold/unbleached water, and use a bathroom without having mosquitoes bite my ass 34 times (hey, it’s reality), were all things I would might have given my left kidney for while I was in Haiti. Yet, back in this cool bubble, I find myself having to be constantly reminded of the main reason I’m doing this while burning through my life savings.

The children are often times powerless to change their own situation. But as Clemson mentioned, they have hope. Through me and YOU. We’re in the position to initiate change. Whether it is through a purchase of LCA gear which provides one child in need with clean water or through your own initiative, it doesn’t matter nor do I care. What matters is that we make an honest effort one way or another.

For more updates on our giving aspect, continue to follow AUDrey and her ‘SOcial’ features every Saturday. Next week, I’m going back to being a hypocrite and writing about footwear – more specifically custom LCA dunks.