We here at FactoryTwoFour are always on the hunt for those living an original life, doing what they love, and creating their own path. We were fortunate enough to be contacted by the young entrepreneur Colby Russo who fits the bill; founder of Evok Clothing, and a member of the elite “Lassonde 400.”
As one of only 400 top student entrepreneurs in the nation to be accepted to the new multi-million dollar Lassonde Studios Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah, Colby is already an outlier among his peers. We received a few pieces from his newest SS16 collection that not only demonstrate his desire to create fashion, not just consume it, but also his desire to create fashion that fuels the local economy and culture: Each piece is locally sourced and produced – everything from the printing to the fabric to the design process is developed here in Salt Lake City, and a whole third of Evok Clothing’s profits go to charity and creative non-profits.
“The problem I saw is: The fashion industry is completely saturated with companies that exploit workers and solely are after financial gains, and that’s what we want to combat,” said Russo. “I support local artists, locally made products and fair pay for a day’s work. We wanted to evoke a message and inspire other companies to do better.”
The water resistant windbreaker (in beige) offers insulation from the elements, but can easily be adjusted with 6 brass snap closures; easy, rain or shine. It can be dressed up or down, and easily stuffed into a bag for easy carriage. The Lounge Hoodie (in white) features an Evok double-triangle logo above each elastic wrist, and a full logo across the front pocket with comfortably loose proportions, perfect over the heathered (in white, with grey ribbing) Reflect Tank.
This desire, to make fashion more than just fashion, is influenced by his early life spent in a Quaker community in Costa Rica, where authentic sustainability, simplicity, and the desire to build longstanding relationships are a way of life. Now, this might sound like a marketing promise, but it’s actually much more than that. Being the skeptic that I was, I chose to wash my Evok hoodie a total of 19 times in two days, to see if the fabric and print was qualitatively at the level Colby assured. Evok’s unique cotton blend offers unprecedented comfort and breathability, and to my surprise, all three of the pieces still get comments every time I wear them out for a rowdy weekend. Even after numerous falls on the board, I’ve experienced almost no fade in either quality, or cool — whereas any H&M tee, or Urban Outfitters tank, has long since disintegrated.
More information on Evok Clothing and Colby Russo can be found at www.evok.clothing, or on Instagram @evokclothing