At one point or another, almost everyone dreams of leaving the daily grind behind to pursue something more worthwhile. Dallas’ Leon Jacobson and Matthew Ladin actually did it.
Not long after leaving corporate life behind, the friends-turned-business partners realized they shared a desire to make a positive impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth community. They began batting around ideas and GuudWEAR was born.
Launching on the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign, GuudWEAR is a socially inspired apparel company that donates a portion of everything sold to nonprofit organizations targeting homelessness.
“Seeing the rise in homelessness here in Dallas was deeply unsettling,” says Jacobson. “We wanted to make a difference in fighting this growing epidemic. We couldn’t stand idly by.”
Seven percent of proceeds from every item sold will be donated to a nonprofit organization. Their inaugural partner is Austin Street Center, which has addressed the needs of homeless men and women in Dallas for over 35 years.
As the company grows, the founders hope to broaden their reach to communities outside of Dallas with a special emphasis on helping veterans.
T-shirts are available online for $26.99 and feature designs inspired by nonconventional street art found around the city, such as manhole covers and placards.
“There are designs all around us that we miss because they aren’t what we’ve been taught constitute art,” says Ladin. “We find beauty and uniqueness in those overlooked patters and use them to create our hand-pressed designs.
In addition to being a socially conscious brand, GuudWEAR is environmentally friendly. Apparel is made with 100 percent cotton, and packaging is reusable and made of fully recyclable materials.
This fall, Jacobson and Ladin plan to expand the line with apparel featuring artwork inspired by other metro areas — a portion of proceeds will go to helping the homeless population within those areas — and other products, such as hoodies, tote bags and a collection for kids.
“I believe in dreaming big,” says Jacobson. “To that effect, we plan on using our platform to expand nationally. We aspire to make a positive impact in local communities all over the country.”