The GREEN Program is launching an upcycled clothing line - Generocity Philly


Nov. 16, 2018 12:45 pm

The GREEN Program is launching an upcycled clothing line

Come Black Friday, the public benefit corporation that sends college students on sustainability-focused study abroad trips will sell repurposed graphic t-shirts, custom denim jackets and more.

The GREEN Program's Melissa Lee (L) and Lauren Hamilton visit P'unk Ave.

(Courtesy photo)

The GREEN Program (TGP) — that’s Global Renewable Energy Education Network — is expanding its revenue model while keeping its mission in check.

On Black Friday, the public benefit corporation that sends college students on sustainability-focused study abroad trips will launch the pilot of an upcycled clothing line, rePurpose, to benefit its scholarship fund.

The line includes graphic t-shirts, custom denim jackets, military-grade jackets and more sourced from vintage military surplus in Philadelphia, such as I. Goldberg, and thrift stores here and in Brooklyn.

All clothing is gender-neutral and will include screen printed designs by founder and CEO Melissa Lee’s fiancé that were “inspired by our TGP students who we have the privilege to explore different corners of the world with,” Lee said. Local design studio P’unk Ave supported screen printing for the designs.

TCP’s Lauren Hamilton at P’unk Ave.

Lee said there’s a close tie between TGP’s existing programs and rePurpose: Upcycling, or reused, clothing aims to be a more environmentally friendly answer to shopping than mass production. Case in point: It takes hundreds of gallons of water to produce the cotton for one new T-shirt.

“I’ve always wanted to have a merchandise line for TGP because our students are always asking for it, but I really don’t think we need more t-shirts produced in the world from a sustainability point of view,” Lee said via email. “Over a happy hour about a month ago, [Student Success Coordinator] Lauren [Hamilton] and I were talking about this and she said, ‘Why don’t we do a TGP upcycling line?’

From our Partners

“We both share a knack for thrifting and enjoy the creative process behind upcycling so it seemed like a great project for us to test,” she said.

TGP is storing the clothes at its office in Center City’s Graham Building, though Lee said she’d like to expand to a full warehouse if the program is successful. If this first line sells out, it can fund one full scholarship.

Sales will open here on Friday, Nov. 23.


From our Partners

How is your community better or worse than it was in February 2020?

Investing in resilience: How a collaborative initiative in Camden is sparking change

Power moves: New leadership at Broad Street Ministry and Compass Philadelphia


Generocity Philly

Beyond Literacy: Combining nearly 90 years of history into one org


Read by 4th

Manager of Data and Learning

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia

Assistant Program Officer-Economic Development

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Schultz & Williams

Project Manager

Apply Now

Meeting the moment: An opportunity for philanthropy to think big

After years of conducting community health needs assessments, why weren’t we more prepared for COVID?

‘We know we have to do things differently’: This partnership is ready to invest in Kensington in a new way


Generocity Philly

Inscripción Doble en Congreso: Lo que trae el futuro

Philadelphia (Open to remote for the right candidate)

Friends World Committee for Consultation

Operations Manager

Apply Now
Currently Remote

Leeway Foundation

Part-Time IPMF Coordinator

Apply Now
Northwest Philadelphia

Allens Lane Art Center

Administrative Coordinator

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity