Posted 7:17 AM 4/26/2012 : UA students pocket a cause
TUCSON- Two University of Arizona students are hoping to heal the world with fashion. They recently launched a student-run clothing line that donates half of its profits to charities around the world.
UA Junior Ryan Westberg says it all started last fall when he went on the "Semester at Sea" program. "We traveled to 14 different countries around the world on a ship," Westberg says.
But he says something other than the scenic views caught his eye. "Everyone is just living on the streets, you drive by beaches at night and you see thousands and thousands of people just sleeping on the beach," Westberg says.
So he and few of his fellow travelers from other schools decided to create a clothing line called "Serengetee". It's named after a region in Africa. The company sells t-shirts and tanks, with custom made pockets that feature fabrics from around the world. "We comprised all of our money together and spent nearly every dollar in our pockets," Westberg says.
And so far the risk has paid off. In the first month and a half since it launched, the company has sold more than 500 t-shirts, raking in more than $10,000. "We're hoping it's the next big thing," UA Junior Matt Wasel says.
Wasel is a friend of Westerberg's, who works as one of Serengetee's marketing coordinators. "We pretty much started making the shirts out of our dorm rooms," Wasel says.
Now the company has a tailor. "No one shirt is exactly the same," Wasel says.
But Serengetee's mission is the same for everyone. "We're starting to get college students to care about people who are poverty struck and don't have a lot of money," Wasel says.
While the shirts may or may not become the next big fashion, Westberg and Wasel say they just hope helping others becomes the next big trend.
If you would like to purchase a shirt, just head to www.serengetee.com
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