Reflecting back on origin stories, I founded Oshki before my senior year in high school. It wasn’t a scripted idea where I had everything laid out in a 50-page business plan. It wasn’t an attempt to boost my resume and increase my odds of college acceptance letters. It wasn’t even due to a passion that I had for fashion or a desire to fix the fashion industry. I saw a problem in my own backyard and wanted to do my part to help address it.
Fast-forward to this summer, when I was a fresh college graduate weighing my career options. Most of my friends already had return offers from their previous internships and were signing apartment leases in big cities across the country. I wanted to go where my heart was and see if I could make something more of Oshki. When is it easier than when you haven’t started a family and have few commitments at play?
Thanks to our artist Jimmy Cobb’s design skills and Trout Unlimited editor-in-chief Kirk Deeter’s strong belief in Oshki’s mission, we landed a partnership with Trout Unlimited (TU) to produce 7,500 custom-branded shirts for their end of year fundraiser. The long-sleeve performance shirts, like the others sold by Oshki, are made of fully recycled plastic. Trout Unlimited is a non-profit organization that works on river conservation efforts across the country. TU was founded in Michigan in 1959, so this partnership was a natural fit. The organization has grown to engage over 300,000 members and leads the charge in fighting for salmon and trout conservation.