Clothes for water

AUDREY THAMES
Staff Writer

Virginia Wesleyan College has its very own designer. Meet junior Joshua Beatty, a native of Virginia Beach who has taken his creative eye and applied it for the greater good through a brand known as Good Garments, United. I sat down one-on-one with Josh at Virginia Beach Starbucks to get a little more info on the backgrounds of him and the brand.
AT: What is Good Garments?
JB: Good Garments is a brand that I’m a part of. We create opportunities for people to change the world—in style. We produce items that represent quality and authenticity, among other things.
AT: How is Good Garments a movement?
JB: We want to raise awareness of the need for clean water in other countries. And we also just want to give the best-quality product possible, and make a statement. We are doing what we love. If Good Garments didn’t exist, I’m sure we’d all still be doing things to help people, as well as exploring our interests fashion-wise.
AT: How did you guys come about?
JB: Good Garments’ founder, Justin Tungol, used to play basketball overseas in the Philippines immediately after he graduated from high school. Over there, he found himself in good fortune and he had his own driver, a nice car, his own house. But he realized how little those things mattered when there are other people struggling. So he came back to the U.S. and founded Good Garments. Justin and I had met not long after he got back. I’ve always been into fashion personally, even when I was really young and couldn’t afford much. It wasn’t until high school that I could start expressing myself and I ended up getting voted “best dressed” which was pretty cool. I’ve always studied fashion in my free time. Materials, history, designers, influences, art, textures, patterns, fabrics, development, all sorts of things. I had been working closely with people from the Good Garments camp for a while, and eventually I decided to apply for a position formally. Everything just meshed well.
AT: Did you find it difficult starting up in Hampton Roads rather than a more urbanized area?
JB: I think people underestimate Hampton Roads, and Virginia as a whole. But I don’t really think we thought about the difficulty of starting in one particular area, though. From the start we’ve just been thinking larger than that. Our goal was pretty much to help people and change lives. Putting our focus on that, along with ensuring quality in our items, is what I think blessed us with the amount of success we’ve had. A lot of businesses don’t make it through their first year.
AT: Is there a reason you specifically chose clean water?
JB: Water is one of those things that gets overlooked. We see it everywhere, and assume it’s abundant everywhere. A lot of people don’t think about this much, but water is actually one of the most essential resources in the world right now. Within the next 30 years or so, people are going to be fighting wars over water if nothing is done to help these families. Right now, there are close to a billion individuals going without it, and water-related illnesses are extremely high right now. In the next 30 years, it’s said that water-related illnesses will kill more people than AIDS. And we as Americans sometimes take it for granted because we are removed from the epicenter of this crisis. So at Good Garments, we feel like it’s only right to raise awareness on the issue and help before it’s too late.
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