It was launched less than a month ago but is already enjoying unexpected success. Zealous Earth Value (ZEV) is a new brand of t-shirts made out of organic cotton and depicting environmental awareness messages that have been defended by youngsters in climate change protests around the world.
The idea came to 20-year-old Adriana Urbano when she was reading a fashion magazine and saw an article about a young man who launched his own clothing brand.
“The story inspired me. I thought about launching something different. I teamed up with a childhood friend and we chose to tackle the issues of global warming and climate change, which we are passionate about,” she told Barlavento newspaper.
They decided to use recyclable materials, which involved a lot of research until they found a printer in São Brás de Alportel which works with organic cotton – in other words, it is “100% vegan”.
Although the brand is just short of a month old, ZEV already has five unisex t-shirt models to choose from. Each one sports a climate awareness message in English.
So far, around 40 t-shirts have been sold and the brand is “growing on social media”.
Their clients are of “all ages” and are based mostly in São Brás, although the t-shirts have already been ordered by people in Lisbon, Viseu and even The Netherlands, as Adriana’s business partner and friend moved there and took some t-shirts with her.
“Outside of Portugal, mindsets are much more open. People are more aware of environmental issues than we are here, but we have to start somewhere,” Adriana said.
Hopes are that the brand will help show that people can make more environmentally friendly choices even when it comes to clothing.
“The most important message to pass on is that there are options. You just have to look for them.”
Plans for the future include launching a wide range of clothing with the same concept, adding three new colours, creating new designs and taking part in São Brás de Alportel’s Feira da Serra in 2020.
Adriana does not plan to open a physical store and prefers to sell online on Facebook and Instagram.
Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.