OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich — This Earth Day, Grand Valley State University students Chad Howell and Jack Kleinrichert are making a statement with the launch of their recycled and sustainable clothing line called Forever Great.
The line is also designed to help the Great Lakes, through a 'Give GR8' initiative, in partnership with the non-profit Alliance for the Great Lakes.
"We give eight percent of our profits directly to them through our Give Gr8 initiative," explained Howell. "We wanted Great Lakes to be involved, we wanted the message of sustainability and keeping them around. Just Forever Great came out of all that... the mission of our company is to promote awareness toward plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, just bring a heightened sense of awareness to the real issues."
Both Howell and Kleinrichert are Michigan natives who grew up on the Great Lakes; giving them a deep appreciation of what they have to offer.
"A few months ago we were walking on the beach and we saw all the plastic and that's when the problem really became apparent to us," said Kleinrichert. "We just really want to get involved in the community, and I think this is something people can really latch on to. It's become a really prevalent issue and I just think, yeah, the potential is huge."
The business majors say the company also combats the "fast fashion" trend.
"The clothing industry is one of the largest pollutant industries in the world, it's the second largest pollutant industry," Howell told FOX 17 News. "That's why we decided to make the clothing out of recycled materials."
The pair is planning to organize several beach clean-ups this summer as well.
To learn more about Forever Great, visit the website here.