Project615 is a Nashville-based apparel company that donates proceeds from the sales of their high quality products to world changing causes.
Project 615 was first formed in the summer of 2010 after co-founders Derek Evans and Matt Blinco visited one of the nation’s largest homeless communities, Skid Row, in downtown Los Angeles. Derek and Matt, who both resided in Nashville, TN, were dreaming about starting their own t-shirt company and brand, and their time on Skid Row sparked an idea: what if their new business was also able to impact people in their own community who were experiencing homelessness?
The idea stuck. Once they returned home to Nashville, they began to design and print their t-shirts, as a fundraising and awareness effort for the homeless. A few weeks later, Project615 officially launched. As they began selling their products in other stores and pop-up events, they built impact into their business model by donating 5% of their revenue to nonprofit organizations addressing homelessness and hiring people with barriers to employment in their screen printing workshop.
The social enterprise has employed over 50 people recovering from homelessness and addiction. One employee in particular has worked as a screenprinter for three years. After a history of incarceration, addiction and homeless shelters, he found purpose and meaning in Project615’s work and is now one of their best employees.
As their business grew, Project615 expanded their donation efforts. In 2013, they ran their first fundraising campaign raising over $3,000 for orphans in Haiti. Their next campaign raised $5,000 for Set Free Nashville, which works with individuals recovering from addiction, homelessness and mental illness. Now, Project 615 has two retail locations in Nashville, TN and has donated over $500,000 to world changing work, including:
- ending human trafficking in Southern California and Tennessee
- building clean water wells and children’s homes in Uganda
- serving meals to address hunger and food insecurity
- providing support for individuals living with ALS, and working towards a treatment
- providing critical aid to those affected by natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and the East Tennessee wildfires
- empowering youth through jobs, mentorship, job training and college scholarships
- funding research and treatments for pediatric cancer
Project615 continues to grow and expand its sales and outreach efforts through donations and employment. It accomplishes its true mission every day: to be a company that infuses positivity into its community and uses its talent and influence to make the world a better place, one t-shirt at a time.
To learn more about Project 615, check out their member directory profile.