Beth Doane is trying to save the rain forest one T-shirt at a time.
Author Layla Schlack Photography Jonathan Robert Willis
WHO • BETH DOANE, 27
MISSION • “To show the world the Amazon through the eyes of the kids who live there,” Doane says, “and to improve living conditions there.” Her company, Andira Rain Tees, donates school supplies to children who live in endangered rain forests, then prints their drawings on organic cotton tees. Doane ensures that the factories that produce the shirts have fair labor practices, and the company plants a tree for every shirt sold. “I’m not someone who can do things only part right,” she says.
MOTIVATION • Initially, Doane started a clothing import-export business called Andira, but she quickly grew disenchanted with the fashion world. “I was finding lines I really loved overseas, thinking of them as art, but no one else cared,” Doane explains. She wanted to do something that incorporated art and fashion in an ethical way, so she worked out the logistics as she did her research. “It’s really powerful seeing what these kids come up with,” she says. “The drawings are bright and fun at first glance, but then they’re also really strong images.”
CASUAL WEAR: “I travel to the jungle about three times a year, and I like to wear the ‘Tree of Life’ tee when I’m flying,” Doane says. The scoopneck, designed by an 11-year-old girl named Mariela who lives in Peru, shows a tree that appears to be crying. “It’s always a conversation starter.”
For more information, go to www.raintees.com.