Students shirt up to give back

Founders of the Clothes Bros at the Bill Daniel Student Center on Monday, March 3, 2014.  Chris is on the left.  Travis Taylor | Lariat Photo Editor
Founders of the Clothes Bros at the Bill Daniel Student Center on Monday, March 3, 2014. Chris is on the left.
Travis Taylor | Lariat Photo Editor

By Madi Allen

Misprinted T-shirts are tacked to the walls, along with Baylor paraphernalia and a cardboard cutout of Batman.

Oversized couches with large tears line the walls. Perhaps the kind found on front lawns with “for free” signs taped to them.

You step into the kitchen and find a large screen printing press sitting on a small, ink-stained coffee table in the center of the room. You can barely open the fridge because of the press’ size.

This is the apartment of Fullerton, Calif., sophomore Andy Chon, Frisco sophomore Conner Hatfield, Denton sophomore Mitchell Heffington and Flower Mound sophomore Chris Wells, the creators behind “The Clothes Bros,” a T-shirt printing company based out of their kitchen.

“The idea started when Chris came back to our dorm room last year and told me about a guy he heard talk in Blaine McCormick’s class who sold T-shirts in college and made a business out of it,” Heffington said.

The four students started their business this past fall as a way to make money and get some experience creating a company. What started as a simple way to make money, the business has turned into one with a conscience.

After the students printed their original design, they wanted their business to make a difference and have since teamed up with Mission Waco to donate shirts to the homeless.

“Our business really started when I was asked if I could make the T-shirts for my rock wall climbing team earlier this year,” Wells said. “So I came back and asked the guys if we could buy the equipment and do it.”

Although Wells never made the shirts for his rockwall climbing team, the bros could now print T-shirts themselves on their press. Their first and original design, the shape of Texas, has become their signature logo, designed by Hatfield.

“We realized with a little bit of effort and a little bit of money, we could do this,” Heffington said.

Through their business, they began their “shirts for the streets” mission, a one-for-one process that donates a shirt every time one is bought.

“We started our ‘shirts for the streets’ program because we realized we had so much to give and wanted to give,” Wells said. “So anytime someone buys one of our shirts, we donate one to the homeless. We were inspired by Matthew 25:36 that says ‘I was naked and you clothed me.’ This is a way for us to minister and be a blessing.”

According to the Clothes Bros website, they use the connection made through donating the shirts to spread the gospel and build relationships.

“We just gave away our first two shirts, but more importantly gave away the good news of the gospel with them! #ShirtsForTheStreets,” @TheClothesBros twitter account tweeted in October.

The current dream for the team would be to see people they don’t know wearing their shirts.

“As awareness of the Clothes Brothers grows, awareness of our mission grows, so we just want to get our name out there,” Heffington said.