Barely Dressed, Fully Aware

By Eleine Fang

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TRU2U makes clothes.

But unlike other clothing companies, TRU2U’s clothes are made sustainable products and fair labor.

Locally based in Amherst, TRU2U is a rising company focused on social change and a better future. With a summer of hard work behind them, the staff looks forward to connecting with the student body in the fall.

A socially-conscious apparel brand, TRU2U focuses on making products with sustainable products and fair labor, according to the company’s website. The company seeks to compete with similar retailers in their use of sustainable material, good working conditions and fair wages for those who make their products, environmental consciousness and honest marketing.

One thing TRU2U prizes is choosing integrity over the cheapest price.

Based in Turkey, the TRU factory mandates comfortable and fair labor conditions. The workers’ wages and schedules are valued more than bidding the lowest price on the product. The company  uses transparency in dealing with such aspects of production to make sure their consumers to see what goes into the making of the clothing on their backs.

With 20 years of communications experience behind her, the founder of the campaign, Mary Jo Viederman has high hopes for TRU2U. She has worked for socially-minded companies and non-profits such as Stonyfield Farm, The Body Shop, Patagonia, Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic, Odwalla, Whole Foods and others.

For the last three years Viederman has been running Charter 21, a communications firm in Amherst. The company’s goal is to “educate and inspire so that it is easy for companies, non-profits and individuals to do the right thing,” according to their website.

Viederman hires interns from the Five College area to work with employees from Charter 21 on social and environmental companies.

As a client of Charter 21, TRU2U has been fueled by students and interns from its beginning. TRU2U students have designed the logo, modeled the clothing, marketed the brand and collaborated with web designers over the website.

Early campaigning for the company started on indiegogo.com, a fundraising platform site. With a goal of $25,000, the company sought to launch their first order by the fall. Friends, families and students alike have all commented and participated in the fund-raising effort.

Now, as the first order is in progress, the company has been looking to partner with different social change organizations. TRU2U aims to help these organizations support their causes and support the fair labor movement using a fundraiser model. They hope to integrate causes they support in these companies into what TRU2U stands for.

MJ and the TRU2U team have also been looking to collaborate with student organizations in the Five College area. The team’s goal is to integrate students as much as possible in the campaign and to create social awareness in younger communities. Proceeds from the fundraiser will not only support TRU2U, but participating organizations as well.

TRU2U hopes to educate the community about what goes in to making everyday items like underwear and socks.

Eleine Fang can be reached at [email protected]