Good Conscience uses clothing as a medium to talk about important social issues. The founder of Good Conscious chose to remain anonymous for our interview because the brand is not about them, but is instead about all of us. After the tumultuous year of 2020 that was chock-full of negativity, ignorance, and strife, Good Conscience emerged as a platform to remind us that we aren’t alone. These ethically made, sustainable sweatshirts benefit several charities and bring awareness to topics like mental health, global warming, and social justice.
What inspired you to start a brand that is centered around mental health awareness?
I’ve had my fair share of mental health struggles: ADHD, anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder. Society makes you feel like you’re crazy for struggling with mental health, which only makes the issues worse. I realized during the pandemic how stigmatized mental health is and learned that there’s nothing wrong with me just because I experience my struggles with mental health and see a therapist. Good Conscience has been my escape from reality; it’s given me a creative outlet and made me so happy. I’ve always had a knack for graphic design, so I decided to use art to represent my voice. I wanted Good Conscience to be a support system to educate people on important social topics. Whenever I saw people wearing sweatshirts in grocery stores or on the street, I was frustrated that they were advertising things and brands that have no meaning. I decided that I should create something that people could look at, be educated, and feed good into their conscious.
How do you incorporate sustainability in your products?
I did a lot of networking through the process of launching this brand because I wanted it to be ethical and sustainable. I found a sustainable American manufacturer, only use ethical labor, and personally decided to go vegan and only shop sustainably because I want to practice what I preach. Sustainable clothing takes a lot longer to produce than fast fashion because everyone is paid a fair wage and the clothing quality is of a higher caliber so it deters you from buying things you don’t need. The fast fashion industry is really toxic for the planet and dangerous for workers, and I’m dedicated to ensuring that Good Conscience is a breath of fresh air from those practices.
What social issues does Good Conscience focus on?
$10 from every product is donated to charity because I want to give back and raise awareness about organizations that most people haven’t heard of. These sweatshirts are supposed to start conversations for the person wearing it and the people who see it. Each design has a specific charity that it supports. The mental health hoodie supports a scientific research lab in New York called Brain and Behavior Foundation that helps people with their mental health struggles. The climate change hoodie benefits Save the Arctic because I am really passionate about protecting the arctic and the animals who call it home. The website also has links to various resources for people to learn more about important social justice issues. People don’t realize it, but clothing is a form of art. The clothes we wear are a representation of ourselves: who we are and how we want others to perceive us. I wanted to use clothing as a platform to spread a message about serious issues in hopes to start a conversation about such issues.
Where do you see Good Conscious going in the future?
I would love for Good Conscious to be my full-time job so that I can expand into all forms of clothing and textiles to spread good messages to everyone. Long term, I would love to start a nonprofit to teach graphic design to kids. Graphic design has been a great medium to express myself and I want to give kids access to the technology and skills they need to use art as a tool for expression. I get such a serotonin boost when I get to help others and will always stand up for what’s right. The impact Good Conscious has had on people so far has been so amazing, and it’s great to hear feedback from people because this is all a learning process for me. Even though it’s hard for me to focus on things with my ADHD, it’s never hard for me to focus on doing work for Good Conscious. Above all else, I want people to think positively about the world, have ways to cope with their struggles, and start conversations through art.