THIS STORY ... LIKE SO MANY OTHERS ... STARTS WITH A RELATIONSHIP. It was in 2001 when Leigh & I met in high school and from the beginning, it was clear that we shared many common interests … which was probably a little shocking to both of us, me being a Jersey guy (not totally “Jersey”, but close enough) & her being a nice southern girl from Virgina. We shared a love for great food (early foodies), fashion, culture, nature, traveling, the importance of family & friends...but in addition to those interests, we also shared an acute awareness and passion for humanitarian principles. We were concerned with the meaningless loss of life in Darfur, a call for war rather than peace...and while we were both fairly big consumers, we were concerned about a growing consumerism attitude that seemed to completely disregard its impact on our planet. As our relationship grew throughout our college years, Leigh and I became increasingly passionate about the inherent obligation each of us has to be positive citizens of the world.
During our senior year we started thinking about how we could make a difference and ways to make caring cool. One morning, Leigh woke up with an idea that she shared with me over breakfast…why not create a line of graphic t-shirts using sustainable materials with graphics inspired by issues that we cared deeply about. It was a great idea & so we started forming the concept for what would become Threads 4 Thought.
We started to sketch out all different ideas for what the initial line of t-shirts would be. We hired a graphic artist to help us create our first series of graphics and refine our ideas. The graphics featured all kinds of messages … the continent of Africa filled with interlocked hands representing unity, Africa spray painted on a shirt, a dripping earth with the phrase “killin is softly” and a graphic that spelled out “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in 12 different languages.
We found a factory in LA, made our initial set of samples and took them to fashion trade shows around the country. Thanks to some great celebrity support at the outset (big thank you to Don Cheadle, Jamie Foxx & Gavin Rossdale … all of whom wore some of our very first t-shirts) we were able to get the tees placed in some of the best stores in the country. Not far behind was Urban Outfitters, who was the first national retailer to carry the brand (another thank you!).
With some wind in our sails, what began as a small business manufacturing and marketing sustainably produced cause driven graphic tee shirts has now grown into a complete lifestyle brand. Our mission for Threads 4 Thought was to create great fashion that evoked a lifestyle of shared responsibility for each other & our world. We continue to work towards that mission every day … using sustainable materials to make our products, working with factories that respect their employees and treat them humanely and fairly. We are honored to work closely with two highly effective charities that we have worked with since we founded the Threads - the International Rescue Committee (the IRC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
We hope you enjoy our products - wear your Threads well!!
Co-Founder along with Leigh Fleet