When people heard that Alife was also helping us on the Truth1585 Project, they were admittedly a little shocked. The Alife crew is a major O.G. player in the streetwear game, but they definitely represented a culture of…well…”reckless abandon” shall we say? But as I always said, Truth is not about anti-smoking. It’s about anti-big tobacco. And I felt the folks at Alife could really help articulate this story. And that they did…here are some words from the Alife Crew: Now available, the ALIFE DELIRIOUS TRUTH Campaign T-shirt. A gift with in-store purchase while supply lasts (ALIFE NYC Shop only, available in black or white). “As long as you know the facts, smoking is none other than your choice however delirious that choice may be. “ Long-time friend and collaborator Jeff Staple (we used to sell Jeff’s classic Chinatown Gun Shop Tee in the original Alife shop on Orchard Street) called and asked if we’d be down to participate in the latest Truth campaign.
We’d already participated in a Truth campaign once back in 2000 and we were happy to do it again, this time in the form of a T-shirt design (pictured below). We’re not ones to preach against personal choices. We believe everyone is free to make his or her own, and is bound only to the consequences that come with said choices. That said, we don’t like lies and The Truth’s mission is mainly to expose the tobacco industry’s manipulation of the truth about the health impact of their product.
Speaking of truth: At Alife, we smoked our share of cigarettes and eventually we chose to quit.
We feel we’re better off that way. Aside from killing us, cigarettes made us smell like shit, they were turning our skin grey, weakening our teeth, shortening our breath, yellowing our walls and artwork, they were burning holes in our clothes and in our wallets…
It was kinda fun while it lasted, but we can’t say anything good came out of it.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, Bodega is one the best stores in the country now. The secret store behind the deli has been pushing the retail envelope as well as bringing out some incredibly fresh SMU product. Hence, getting them and their influential community involved in Truth1585 was important to me. I love this athletic themed design they came up with. The tee is available exclusively at Bodega now. Peep the video below for more information and visit Truth1585.
If you follow me on Twitter, you will often hear me praise the city of Detroit. Big D has seen so much and gone through tremendous change. Yes, they have tough times. Yes, they have despair. But with all that, comes a mountain of opportunity. And I can see the people of Detroit excited for this change to happen. Most importantly, they are taking control of it. It’s such an exciting place to visit.
When you go, be sure to visit my mates from Burn Rubber. These guys are the street culture pioneers in D-town. And after talking to them more deeply about tobacco industry tactics, they see first-hand the effects on the young customers that walk in to their store everyday. Their design is meant to be in-your-face and alarming. But honestly, it’s no different than what Big Tobacco does on a daily basis.
Burn Rubber in association with truth1585 has created a t-shirt to raise awareness about the tactics being used by big tobacco companies in selling their products. The shirt that Burn Rubber has created portrays an under aged kid drinking the liquid equivalent to a poisonous cigarette. This is Burn Rubber’s outrageous depiction of what is happening in corner stores, gas stations and bodegas across the United States.
Pick up this shirt exclusively at Burn Rubber.
If you ever spend any amount of time uptown in Harlemworld, there’s only one brand young people rep harder than Nike—and that’s Newport. It’s not a secret that the tobacco industry specifically targets at-risk youth and impoverished communities. A shining light in this neighborhood is our friends at Goliath. They’ve been bringing fresh ideas and equally fresh gear to young people for many years now. It was important to me that they get down with the Truth1585 project. A few words from Team Goliath: We were honored to be asked to participate in the new Truth1585 campaign by jeffstaple. Truth is the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention campaign, and the only national campaign not run by the tobacco industry. For the Truth1585 partnership, Staple is working with select boutiques and street culture stores located across the country … Staple collaborated with each of the stores to produce original t-shirts — one for each boutique’s unique clientele. You can pick up our tee exclusively at Goliath.
(I love this “Menthol Camo”!)
When I was selecting who I wanted to work with for the Truth1585 Project, I knew Washington DC was a place that had to be represented. After all, this is where laws are born. And also where laws fall short. It’s very symbolic to have DC involved in the project in some way. My friends at Major were more than ready to set up. I love this design! It shows how politics often gets in the way of doing what’s right for the people. In fact, I’ll let the fellas from Major tell it in their own words:
Our latest project involves something that’s deeper than design, style, art or commerce. When Jeff Staple from the Staple Design approached us about Truth1585, we were excited to be involved in such an educational project that can actually help people.
Being in the Nation’s Capitol, we have grown used to all the “politics as usual” activities that surround us. Two major political parties can’t seem to agree on anything nowadays, and the term “bipartisan” support seems like an ideal concept that has become meaningless over the years. Yet, there is one thing that seems to get “bipartisan” support, and that’s the Big Tobacco. While legislators are busy trying to outlaw smoking in public places, we do not notice the fact that Big Tobacco is still paying the bills for most of these politicians through their lobbying efforts on the Hill, and a slew of big paying work opportunities for them before and after their political careers. That is precisely why the behavior of smoking is being outlawed, yet manufacturing of cigarettes remain unregulated for the most part. It’s a typical “let’s penalize the ordinary hard-working Americans for using, but let’s not do anything to the institution that creates the product.”
After some research, we found that a very senior ranking Senator was working to defend the Big Tobacco as their legal counsel before being elected to serve the people. We found numerous articles about how Big Tobacco contributes heavily to many of the political campaigns, especially in the South, so that their business interests are protected in the states like North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
The fact is that both parties don’t mind the money that Big Tobacco provides for their campaigns or pre/post political careers, and advocacy for the tobacco companies are spread throughout Capitol Hill. So why not expose that truth with a t-shirt design that depicts both party mascots blowing smokes? We think that the politicians have been blowing smoke up our collective ass for too long. It’s time to expose the truth.
OK, so I know someone at Reed Space.
I definitely had to get Reed involved in the Truth1585 cause! We worked with a handful of the country’s best shops to do messaging shirts centered around the “infamous” tobacco industry. We did a slight “Play” off of a popular tee to create this message about what smoking does to you clips and teeth. Bleh… The shirt is available exclusively at Reed Space in NYC only. Peep the video for more information & open your eyes!
(Hurray to Nico for being the only active smoker involved in this series. Don’t forget, Truth was never about being anti-smoker. We’re just anti-big-tobacco.)
Our friends from O.G.-status boutique, True, also contributed their efforts to the Truth1585 cause.
We worked with a handful of the country’s best shops to do messaging shirts centered around the “infamous” tobacco industry. In true street wear culture style, they flipped the existing TRUTH logo with a tagged remix. So smart…so simple. The shirt is available exclusively at True in SF. Peep the video for more information & open your eyes!
We’re still feeling all the positive love from Truth1585. We worked with a handful of the country’s best shops to do messaging shirts centered around the “infamous” tobacco industry. Our friends from Philly, Ubiq, did this dope 8-Ball inspired design. Instead of of a cue ball, it’s made out of ciggy butts. The shirt is available exclusively at Ubiq. Peep the video for more information & open your eyes!
I’m the type of person that tries to not be judgmental. I understand that everyone lives their own life…has their own path…and walks to their own beat. We all have our vices. We all have our little hedonist escapisms that our mothers would disapprove of. Some drink daily. Some gamble (here, here). Some base jump. Some ride fixie. And some smoke.
Smoking is the most interesting to me. Pretty much with any vice you partake in, you know the risks involved. You make a responsible decision and hedge your bets. Yes I know snowboarding in the Andes may cost me my life in an avalanche. I take the risk because the pleasure is that good. But smoking is interesting because with smoking, there is an entire business model…in fact, an entire industry built to hide the real facts behind the humble cigarette. I don’t have beef with smokers. Some of my closest friends are smokers. Many who work for Staple and Reed Space are smokers. My beef is with an industry that is in the business of replacing dead humans with new humans.
Here are the facts:
The tobacco industry’s success depends on its ability to get people to try smoking long enough for them to become addicted. Plain and simple. 1,200 people die every single day from tobacco. It’s a simple game of math. If the tobacco industry doesn’t REPLACE those lost customers, they LOSE BUSINESS. When Nike loses a customer, it’s because he converted to Reebok. When Big Tobacco loses a customer, it’s either because he quit. Or because he died. It’s fucked up. Fortunately for them; Big Tobacco’s marketing tactics are strong. 3,800 young people try a cigarette every day. And 1,000 young people start smoking daily each day. Big Tobacco is winning. We want to reverse this.
Many people think a cigarette is no more than just tobacco rolled in paper. All natural right? Especially with these companies touting “organic” cigarettes. Fact is, the tobacco industry adds nearly 600 chemicals to cigarettes, some of which increase nicotine boost when inhaling. THERE ARE NO FUCKING RESTRICTIONS on what the tobacco industry can and cannot put into a cigarette. It is not regulated by the FDA. Ever notice how every single thing you put IN or ON your body has a full ingredients breakdown on the package? Everything from a breath mint to your shampoo has every molecule fully described. Interesting how cigarettes are exempt from this isn’t it? The fact is, Tobacco products are the only product on the market that kills when used as intended. Read that again and think about it. Most products say “may harm or kill when NOT used as intended.” Tobacco products kill when used AS intended!
Murder, Suicide, Fires/Arson, ALL Car Accidents and ALL Illegal Drugs AND AIDS. Think about how many people all those things kill in a year in the U.S. Well tobacco is responsible for more deaths than all those. COMBINED.
There’s a misconception that tobacco companies are like any other business trying to make a profit. They make a shitload of money when your younger brother gets hooked and then gets his crew of buddies to get hooked too. Increase the market share. But our next generation is the collateral damage.
This is something I feel really passionately about and so I started to talk with thetruth(a youth smoking prevention campaign) about what they’ve been doing for the past decade and how we could maybe do something together. This started a long road of eye opening for me. Learning ALOT. Studying ALOT. And understanding how the tobacco industry thinks. It’s so gangster you would not believe it! I’m gonna try and school you on some things in future posts. So I said, “let me start a specialty brand of clothing with you guys“. Hell that’s what I know how to do. The brand can be the vehicle for spreading these facts. We need to OUTBRAND Big Tobacco. I want to create something that’s more empowering than smoking. Generate something young people want to affiliate with. I’ve been doing it with gear, kicks, art and retail for the past 15 years, so I am up for the challenge of outbranding Big Tobacco now. But I can’t do it alone. I need all my friends, peers and colleagues to help out. The first thing I wanted to do was go and talk to some of them about smoking and get some insight from different people I respect in the industry. In doing so, we also started talking about doing a t-shirt collection centered around this subject. Each shirt will be dropping at their respective stores and I’ll be showing you what we came up with for those in the coming posts. But big shoutout to all the friends that helped me with this: Alife, Bodega, Goliath, Ubiq, Burn Rubber, True, Major and of course Reed Space. A lot more good stuff to come! This is only the beginning.
We Love Smokers. Shit, we love everybody. Our philosophy isn’t anti-smoker or pro-smoker. It’s not even about smoking. It’s about the tobacco industry manipulating its products, research and advertising to secure replacements for the 1,200 people who lose their lives to tobacco every day in America. If you’re down to support, head over to truth1585.com for more info. Also go to the truth to learn a lot more and follow them on Twitter (@truthorange). Hit up the shops we’re working with and ask questions. Ask how you can get involved. Hit me up directly and find how to fight the good fight. My goal is very simple: BRING DOWN BIG TOBACCO. If we can reverse the numbers and get fewer people to try smoking, they WILL go down. Promise.