Innovation Fund 2017: Interim Apparel
The 2017 Innovation Fund, our annual crowdfunding competition, has officially launched! You can find all of the Innovation Fund participants here. Read on for the story of Interim Apparel, the T-shirt brand that helps you show the world what matters to you, created by Sherouk Omara ’16.
Like everyone else in America and around the world, I got sucked into the election cycle. Most of the time, there’s a lot I can tune out because I already know who I’m voting for. However, there was a lot of negative rhetoric about Muslims, Latinos, women, and other marginalized groups this time around (even more than usual), triggering what I can only call a spiral of hate. As a Muslim woman, sometimes I can’t help feeling a little helpless. What do I do?! I march, I give money.
As a self-proclaimed hermit, I figured it was about time I venture further out of my shell and do something a little more public. So the idea came to design shirts that stand for what I believe – promoting diversity and inclusivity for everyone in every way.
Meet Interim Apparel. (I’ll let you guess what the name means)
I’m sure some people will see this and think, “Hmm, that’s nice, but they’re just shirts. So what?”. It’s like the hijab – so what? And yet, the amount of attention that women who wear hijab receive is not because of the scarf, it’s because what people perceive that scarf to mean. What’s so special about a black glove and a raised fist? What’s so special about a flag or an anthem? What’s so special about these tees?
It’s what they symbolize.
Clothes are natural conveyors of opinion, and many people look for ways to express certain beliefs. When they go out, they want the world to know where they stand on certain issues, events, and causes. We know some of these people. We are these people. Heck, some of them backed our Indiegogo campaign!
We’re starting with shirts because they’re powerful, and our vision is to soon expand beyond that. Let’s celebrate and promote our differences because that’s what we love about our country, and what truly makes America great.
We set a fixed campaign because we told ourselves, if not enough people bite, it’s back to the drawing board. We aim to be more than just another clothing company. We want to be known for our values and beliefs and have our products reflect that. Our designs mean something important, and the great thing is that each person has a different interpretation of them. There’s a purpose to each design – it’s not just cool, it’s thought-provoking.
I think it’s important for everyone, but particularly marginalized groups, to know that we support them, we care, we’re going to fight, and there is such a thing as ethics in business. There’s so much potential for what we can do with Interim Apparel.
We’re just one part of a huge network of groups, causes, businesses, and people who wake up every day and say, “I’m going to do something to make our country better.”
In light of that, I’m happy to announce that 25% of the profits from every shirt ordered during the campaign will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.
Visit Interim Apparel’s Indiegogo campaign to pre-order a tee and sneak a peek at the newest design we released today!