“Planting trees and slanging tees” is the motto of the eco-inspired company Green Dream Clothing Co. (GDCC) that plants a tree for every article of clothing sold. With items and clothing ranging from $5 to $60, this local charitable company ensures the environment benefits from the products they sell.
GDCC began when owner Adam Swartz was assigned a class project his sophomore year at Indiana University. As an Arts Management major, he was assigned a lot of real life projects, starting his business being one of them.
“I have always cared a lot about the environment and wanted to give back in a way,” Swartz said. “TOMS was new and kicking off when I started this brand and I jumped on the wagon of one for one…at first I wasn’t sure how I wanted to give back then I decided on the tree program.”
GDCC partners with a couple non-profits including Plant-It 2020 that assists in planting the trees for them. They offer a choice of 11 states throughout the US and 31 countries to plant the trees in. So far Dream Green has planted over 5,000 trees.
“We fund them to go out and plant the trees. They have nurseries all over the world from Colorado to Zimbabwe,” he said. “I have also planted some trees myself with some friends.”
After graduating from IU in 2014, Swartz moved to Colorado and his business took off. He sells all of his products including hats, tank tops and tees, mugs, socks, lighters, stickers and more both online and in Boulder at the Buffalo Exchange. He is also currently looking for a few other brick and mortar locations in the Denver area to continue selling his products locally.
“Our style is very minimal, clean and modern,” he said. “Two or three years ago when I was starting, there was still a little bit of the graphic tees, but I’ve narrowed it down to just the upside down logo.”
The upside down umbrella logo that he drew junior year in the back row of his Buddhism class is the trademark symbol identifying his brand.
“A normal umbrella blocks stuff out and an upside down umbrella allows things to come in, like experiences and change, letting things happen and rolling with it,” he said. The mentality is to allow all of life’s experiences, good and bad, help shape who you are, what you dream of and where you dream of going.
Swartz is also open to new designs, as he recently teamed with a well-known local boutique that is assisting with the production of a new winter sweatshirt. The partnering boutique prefers to remain anonymous at this time.
“We are continuing to increase the quality and narrowing down the manufacturers,” he said. “I’ve been through a ton of trial and error over the past few years and expanded the product line.”
The GDCC crew just returned from Iceland where they were shooting new products, which they plan to add to their online inventory soon. In the upcoming year, Swartz plans to aim his products more towards women and outerwear and continue to find sponsors including athletes, photographers, and more retailers so that one day he can succeed in his goal to own his own store.
As advice for aspiring business owners Swartz recommends to just go for it and follow your dreams.
“Just do it,” he said. “As cliché as that sounds, I started this with no knowledge with my computer in my dorm room and as long as you care about something enough, just get off your ass and do it.”