Breathe Green, a business started by junior finance major Nishid Patel, is focusing its eco-fight on deforestation through raising money and spreading awareness through contests and event appearances.
“I always dreamed of starting a business,” Patel said. “Not just your ordinary business, but a business that gave back and wasn’t all about the money. A business that I would be proud to say I founded, a business that could bring change in the world.”
Patel started Breathe Green and Verde Styles in 2008 after competing in the Temple’s Business Plan Competition. Though the business plan did not win the competition, alumni and judges supported the idea to help turn it into the company it has become.
Breathe Green plans to reach out to both the Temple and Philadelphia communities. Within the year, Patel hopes to continue to use artistic means to deliver messages worldwide, as well as see the company expand to helping other green causes to really make a positive impact.
The team consists of seven people. Matt Munchnicks, also a junior at Temple, is the marketing director. Sean Coker, a sophomore, works as the artist, and four other students from different colleges nationwide are part of the Breathe Green business.
Marketing Director Michnick has set out a plan for the company and hopes to make use of social networking Web sites. The company Breathe Green and Verde Styles is currently based online, shirts are sold locally.
“Money that was raised from selling shirts was donated to the American Forests Association to plant a tree,” Patel said. “They planted 1,000 trees with our donation.”
Breathe Green also hosts an online contest designed to help expand the clothing line of environmentally friendly T-shirts.
Students are able to enter their designs into the contest by visiting verdestyles.com, and the ten best designs will be chosen and entered into an online poll, which the general public can vote on. The top three contestants will not only have their design printed on a limited edition T-shirt but will each be awarded $200 for the preliminary print. Any designers whose T-shirt is so popular it requires to be reprinted will receive an additional $150.
To adhere to contest guidelines, designs must relate to an environmental issue, but there are no restrictions as to what issue can be designed and submitted.
Future fundraisers and events from Breathe Green have been planned through collaboration with sororities and fraternities.
“Even the smallest donation can make a big difference,” said Patel, “and spread the word of ‘change’ throughout our society.”
Monica Sellecchia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.