Business sophomore Drew Curry was so inspired by his trip to Calcutta, India, when he was 15 years old that he’s donating a percentage of profits from his online T-shirt store to Calcutta schools.
The Ollin opened in mid-August.
“I always had this idea that I wanted to come back some day to help these people,” Curry said. “That is the idea behind The Ollin.”
“Ollin” is a Nahuatl word which means movement and action with the earth, Curry said.
“When I read what it meant, it just fit,” Curry said. “It was the culture that I wanted to create while giving back to the community.”
The logo represents a heartbeat and a seismographic line, Curry said.
The project took more than a year to develop.
The T-shirts promote a positive lifestyle, Curry said. The store offers four different models, three with Ollin’s logo and one in the style of Occupy Wall Street signs.
Curry said he would like to begin selling the shirts in local stores soon.
“I was tired of clothing with negative messages,” Curry said. “I decided to combine this with my desire to help Calcutta.”
The Ollin began in Seattle, Drew’s hometown, and all of his coworkers are located there.
Jenna Lott, one coworker, said she was interested in the project as soon as Curry told her about it.
“He shared his dream with me and I immediately wanted to join him,” she said. “I’m positive this is going worldwide.”
Lott said the donations will have a positive impact in Calcutta.
“I believe in The Ollin so much,” she said. “We have a real chance to give these kids an opportunity for education.”
Curry decided to give 15 percent of The Ollin’s profits to the Calcutta Mercy Ministries for school uniforms, meals and supplies.
“I chose education because it’s a way for people to break the poverty cycle,” he said.
Curry is the founder and chief influencer of The Ollin. He said they use nonconventional titles because they want to avoid a defined chain of command in the project.
“We don’t want a hierarchy,” he said. “We like to do things different. We like to do things more fun.”
Ryan Jordan, The Ollin’s movement maker, said he is in charge of promoting the store.
“We are not a clothing company,” he said. “We are a movement. We want to take clothing to a different level.”
Jordan said he feels proud to be part of the movement.
“We really want to make a difference,” he said. “It’s not about fashion; it’s about a better world.”
Curry said he is confident The Ollin will be successful and make a positive change in Calcutta.
“It’s tough in Calcutta to even get the kids to school,” he said. “Hopefully, The Ollin will help change that.”
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