Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Pop up shop cares for environment through fashion

Thursday, February 13, 2020
Shoppers at Kith and Kin browse clothing racks during the Feb. 7 pop up shop featuring The Flower Boys Brand and Pocket Change Denim.
Photo by Nicolette Baker

It means something different for each person, according to Patrick Buck, who coined the phrase. For him, it’s a personal calling to care for the environment.

“Nature needs you. It needs you, and it needs your impact,” Buck said. “It needs every one of us.”

This phrase ”Nature needs you” graces the fronts of The Flower Boys Brand T-shirts, a brand of environmentally-friendly T-shirts owned by Patrick and his brother, Jerry.

Since early 2018 the brothers have sold the shirts with nature in mind. The line of shirts started with an idea from Patrick and last summer, Jerry helped build a website to start selling the merchandise online.

During February’s First Friday with the Arts event in downtown Cape Girardeau, the duo’s company was featured in a pop-up shop at local retailer Kith and Kin.

Kith and Kin, owned by Leslie Phillips, strives to provide ethically sourced and environmentally gentle clothing, including thrifted denim and sweatshirts. The pop-up shop included not only The Flower Boys Brand but also Pocket Change Denim — tailored, modified denim by Southeast alumna Taylor Dumars.

Dumars modifies jeans with rips and safety pins, creating each unique piece from vintage jeans and denim jackets.

It’s something she said she has done since early 2019, following compliments on modified jeans during a trip to California. After gaining support on the social media platform Instagram, she said she knew she wanted to sell her creations.

The thrifted jeans she uses in her products help reduce the impact of fast fashion on the environment, she said.

The earth has been warming consistently according to research by NASA, with world temperatures increasing by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Manufacturing methods from fast fashion, as well as the waste of excess clothing on the environment, may be contributing to this increase in temperature.

Fast fashion is often defined as the result of manufacturing clothing with environmentally and ethically dangerous practices in order to quickly produce cheap, low-quality clothing.

The World Resources Institute reported it takes 2,700 liters of water to manufacture one cotton T-shirt — enough to keep an adult hydrated for two and a half years. Sea levels have risen significantly over the last 100 years, increasing at a rate of 3.3 millimeters per year, according to NASA data.

During the Feb. 7 event, The Flower Boys Brand offered a limited edition turtle T-shirt — a tangible reminder to save those sea turtles.