Josh York, a self-proclaimed opportunist, has been making clothes since he was twelve. It all started when Josh sewed his name into a maroon beanie and began selling them to friends at school and music shows.
Josh: I wanted to do something good with it I was inspired by what was happening here in Detroit and all the good that was going on and I thought I can make my own impact so let’s sell these beanies for profit and then turn around and give that profit back to homeless shelters in the area.
Mitch: When did it occur to you that hey I could turn this into something that could do some good?
Josh: Right out of the gate that was my goal I was raised on the philosophy of help the people in your community and then go outward from there.
Now running York Project, a social streetwear company, Josh is producing clothing and other wearable goods right here in Detroit – with a mission. It runs on a one-for-one motto. Buy a good and York Project donates the value of that item by purchasing needed essentials like toiletries and socks for the homeless in our community.
Josh: We call them the kit of living essentials
Mitch: Yeah and what’s inside?
Josh: The standard kit is a tote bag with toilet paper, socks, bottled water and then seasonally we do donate beanies gloves um a lot of toiletries to date we have donated over $100,000 worth of these totes since we started.
Josh and his team distribute the kits one Saturday a month at the intersection of 4th and Charlotte. It’s a confirmation that the effort is worth it.
Mitch: I get the sense that there is quite the ground swell of young people who are looking to get involved and do good if they can just find a way to sort of make it match the way that they live.
Josh: That is why we have been able to get to where have because we try to make it easy and fun for people to do good.
It started with a maroon beanie but has blossomed into a project for good, Josh York is sewing that giving spirit, right here in the heart of Detroit.