By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
ACU’s original Fair Trade clothing line, HeartBeat, is set to launch in the next few weeks, challenging consumers to “give a beat.”
“It’s all ACU,” said Matt Worthington, Students’ Association Executive President. “Alumni and current students are partnering together to make an impact.”
Worthington and the Students’ Association rallied the support of the Campus Store for the clothing line, calling on a Silence Production to provide artist development and PovertyLink to research organizations to support.
Three T-shirt designs will be released each semester and will sell for $20 to $25, said Scott Harsh, assistant Campus Store director.
After production costs have been taken from the cost of the T-shirt, Harsh said half the profits will be donated to an organization of students’ choosing. Harsh estimated contribution per shirt will be about $4 or $5.
“We want this to be socially aware from start to finish,” Harsh said.
While the Campus Store has already removed all products made in sweatshops, HeartBeat’s line uses American Apparel fabric, which pays laborers Fair Trade compensation.
After the success of the spring semester’s dining hall fast and campus social justice organizations Awake 3:18 and International Justice Mission,
Worthington said the project seemed to be ideal for the university’s community.
“You see that students are becoming very aware of the world around them,” Worthington said. “It’s something the students can take pride in.”
And the project brings in alumni as well, calling on graphic designers Ryan Feerer (’05), Brent Couchman (’05) and Ben Hernandez (’06) to produce this semester’s designs.
Profits will support Stephen’s Children, an organization that works with youth in poor urban communities in the Middle East.
According to the organization’s literature, the children they serve are those whose “self-esteem has been badly damaged by poverty, by the lack of respect given to them since they were born, through the discrimination against them (as Christians) in school and by the fact that they have no father, no or few changes of clothes and no shoes to wear.”
In the future, Worthington said students can vote for an organization to support.
The Campus Store is gearing up for the line’s launch, ordering 150 total shirts and planning to display the shirts on the Campus Store Web site as well.
Heartbeat shirts will also be available at Monk’s Coffee Shop during a Silence Production shows. Heartbeat advertisements will pop up at FilmFest, on Paw TV, Abilene’s film festival, 24 Frames Per Second, and could appear on local stations.
The HeartBeat EKG represents the logo’s message: “The world is a dying place. Give a beat.”