The 686 Reclaim Project is based upon two things. The first is to minimize the process of bringing product to market by the lowest form of manufacturing. The second is to create a self-sustaining cycle of social and eco goodness. TRASH->RECLAIM->SELL->BUY-DONATE. Check the video for a quick update on what we’re trying to do.
Giving is truly better than receiving and 686’s RECLAIM PROJECT’s final cycle is to make sure we can properly donate Reclaimed products from the purchase of Reclaimed products. If you BUY a one-of-a-kind Reclaimed jacket, we will GIVE one away to someone in need. Since we sold a few thousand reclaimed jackets this year, we’re gonna give a few thousand away and the first drop is LA! We all took the day off and headed to Hollywood’s LA Youth Network http://www.layn.org/
It was a short stop as we’re limited on the interaction with troubled minors under 18 years. We received a tour of the temporary shelter, dropped the goods and peaced out. Only a few miles down the way in downtown LA, we made the last drop to Homeboy Industries. Their motto- - “nothing stops a bullet like a job,” resonates pretty deep.
Interestingly enough, Homeboy is a stone’s throw from our first HQ at the Brewery arts community. Throughout Homeboys space, you can see how Father Greg’s efforts has made a huge difference to the local community
Father Greg started Homeboy Industries by wanting to offer an alternative to gang violence and assisted at-risk individuals, recently released and former gang members trying to better their lives through employment. The “Industries” relates to the several businesses that “Homeboy” has, from Counseling to Bakery to Screen printing to Maintenance, Education and Tattoo Removal, they got some positive things going on.
A lot of heads don’t know this, but back in the day we had some sketchy times with heads helping me out in the warehouse. Hailing from LA, I was friends with a bunch of different heads. Some of them didn’t necessarily have the best resumes, but in my mind if they were cool with me and hardworking, why wouldn’t I offer them a job? It turned out that most of them were in some of the hardest gangs in LA and we had some crazy times, which I’m thankful, turned out okay. It made me realize that equality is the standard, but as an owner-operator, it's also my responsibility to make sure my employees and families are always safe. My gangster employees had my back, but they also attracted trouble from rival gangs, which none of us wanted. I vividly recall the day when the FBI called me while I was at a trade show and said “someone’s been shot , do you know this person?” From that point on, I made an agreement to myself that we had to be legit in every aspect, even if I had to be the asshole to tell them.