Umbrla Supply’s “Buy a Hat, Plant a Tree” Mission

Photo courtesy of Matt Brodeur

You may have spotted the upside down umbrella logo stamped on hoodies, hats, and t-shirts around the streets of Denver. Beside the clean design, neutral tones, and comfort factor, those umbrellas stand for something more. For every purchase made at clothing brand Umbrla Supply, one tree is planted through the non-profit reforestation organization, Plant-It 20/20.

The brains behind this green fashion dream, which brings another meaning to circular fashion, was manifested by Adam Swartz, an Indiana University-Bloomington graduate and founder of Umbrla Supply. While he was studying art management, he was given a project to come up with a real world business plan. Adam began to make shirts to sell around campus, with the idea that every garment sold would go toward the planting of one tree.

When he graduated in May 2014, Adam moved to Boulder, Colorado and has been in the Centennial State ever since. He ran Native Roots Dispensary’s social media until this past summer, while scouting new manufacturers and suppliers for Umbrla Supply in the meantime. In October 2016, the brand branched into a new venture, Umbrla Creative, as Adam teamed up with business partner/roommate Matt Brodeur, a freelance photographer, to help him with his brand. Umbrla Creative has grown immensely in the last two years; they offer videography and marketing services out of a brick-and-mortar in LoDo, and get to travel all over the world to represent brands they love such as Boulder’s trek-gear company Matador and Ned’s Full Spectrum Hemp products out of Paonia.

When Adam’s not focusing on his business, he still designs for Umbrla Supply on the side. He describes his clothes as a reflection of his personal life: minimalist and clean, earthy heather tones combined with grey, teal, and fuschia. Adam says since he’s started, Umbrla Supply has planted 5,200 trees through Plant-It 20/20 and other local organizations. This winter, be on the lookout for Adam’s latest designed sweatshirts and hats, as well as a possible Tokyo pop-up shop and more collaborations in the Far East.

Slow Fashion

Photo courtesy of Robins Photography

Just about every sector of business is geared toward sustainability these days. Sustainable agriculture, energy and tourism are all a given, but sustainable fashion is just beginning to disrupt the traditionally wasteful mainstream fashion industry.

Denverite Deb Henriksen, owner and founder of the rocker-chic brand Equillibrium, is poised to keep moving the fashion industry’s momentum forward. Her mission is to educate others about their own consumerism while bringing her sense of style to life with responsibly sourced textiles and materials.

Henriksen owns a storefront, and creates and sells clothes made of sustainable textiles such as organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. The idea for Equillibrium was born in 1998, when Henriksen began to dream of having her own eco-friendly fashion boutique. In 2000, Equillibrium began as a wholesale brand that was carried in skate and snowboard shops around Denver and Breckenridge. She opened her first store in 2004 (now located on West Custer Place) and hasn’t stopped since.

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