UCSB Grad Builds Ecologically Minded Clothing Company
Sunday, December 21, 2008
“Eco-friendly,” “humanitarian,” “organic” - we hear these words everywhere. We try to do our part by driving hybrids, conserving electricity, buying reusable shopping bags. We do our very best to keep the preservation of our world in mind. Charles Perry has taken philanthropy and environmentalism a few steps higher. Perry is the creator, owner, and operator of World Minded, an eco-friendly clothing company based out of Mammoth Lakes, California.
Perry, a former UCSB biology student, had to leave school abruptly when his mother, Diana Perry, fell ill several years ago. “She was an incredibly giving and remarkable woman,” said Perry, “My mom was selfless.” Diana’s desire to care and give to the world around her is what inspired Perry to create World Minded. When she passed away, he said he wanted her selflessness to continue to spread, and he had an idea of how to make it happen.
Perry created a clothing line that would extend his mother’s helping hand to people all over the world. He created an online company and donated 10 percent of all profits to an alternating worthy cause. “We started with some bigger names,” said Perry, who noted that the list of benefiting institutions included Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute and Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots network. “Then we shifted focus to people that could use some help, some grass-roots causes,” Perry explained.
The clothing is 100 percent eco-friendly and made from organic cotton. Perry has also turned to manufacturing companies in the Mammoth Lakes area to keep shipping pollution down.
World Minded is also a creative outlet. Artists everywhere can submit their ideas for possible T-shirt designs. The featured designer is Lana Hansen, a current UCSB student who is finishing up her art degree. Recently, World Minded started individual and business membership opportunities. For $45, customers can get a lifetime membership, a T-shirt, a bumper sticker, and the ability to flaunt their World Minded clothing by having their pictures posted on the Web site. You can also join their e-newsletter through their Web site.
Perry, whose wife is expecting their first child, said he wants to make World Minded “a full-on global company.” Anyone who has a specific humanitarian cause or effort in mind is urged to submit it online. He believes that we can all find self-gratification in giving. “We try to inspire our customers through stories of people who are already giving and selfless,” he said.