TOMORROW X SUITCASE JOE FOUNDATION
We’ve collaborated with Travis Keller and Suitcase Joe to support The Suitcase Joe Foundation, a grassroots movement created in response to the rise of trust issues between homeless service providers and those in need of help on Skid Row, LA’s epicentre of homelessness.
Our first collection of products supporting the Foundation feature imagery from Skid Row, captured by founder of the Foundation; Suitcase Joe, as well as designs created by LA based artist, Travis Keller.
Suitcase Joe has been out photographing and documenting LA’s Skid Row for half a decade. Although being initially terrified to walk into the neighbourhood with just a camera, by spending more and more time in the community Joe became to know the residents on a personal level and understand what led many of them to a life on the streets. He was able to see these people for what they are; human beings who have fallen into a hard life because of less fortunate circumstances. By sharing these stories, people outside of Skid Row began to feel connected to these people and wanted to help, and so the Suitcase Joe Foundation was born as an inclusive, grassroots movement advocating to eliminate homelessness. You can learn more about the Foundation in the featured article in our Magazine.
Travis Keller is an LA based artist. His work includes; photography, directing, writing, curating, designing, owning and running a record label and skateboarding. Keller started one of the first music websites on the internet, Buddyhead.com in 1998 and is now currently the creative director of American Primitive, the creative house and recording studio. Keller’s biggest influence is his city, LA with its melting pot of people, food and cultures as well as music, which has played a huge role in his life. Read more about Keller, his work and his influences Here.
Skid Row is an area of downtown LA, for years thousands of homeless people have gathered on Skid Row. It’s a city within the City. Many homelessness services adopted a targeted approach, focusing on the Skid Row area, but this has had the effect of permanently disconnecting the people that inhabit Skid Row from the rest of LA. In itself this has created a concentrated crisis with an iron grip of homelessness, addiction and mental illness that so many struggle to break.
After years of failed promises by the State and society, the residents of Skid Row have a deep rooted lack of trust towards homelessness services. Instead the Suitcase Joe Foundation aims to address the authentic needs of the community by understanding the people that live there.
Each of our tees are made from 100% organic ring-spun combed cotton, making them super soft as well as enhancing their durability, they are designed to last as well as preserving their quality. Our products use only natural, organic cotton fibres from sustainable plantations. They are made in Bangladesh, in factories that have been selected for their stringent safety criteria and compliance with working condition requirements. The designs are printed Direct-To-Garment with water-based inks, which are better for the environment and allow us to print to order, meaning there is never any waste. The people in our supply chain, as well as the Planet, have been thought about at every step of our manufacturing process.
BEHIND THE DESIGNS
Suitcase Joe’s images reflect the people of the Skid Row community in their daily lives. They act as a reminder that, although we all have a learned mental barrier that people on the street are different from those of us living in a home, we are in fact much of the same. By providing these insights, people outside of Skid Row can understand what led the residents of Skid Row to a life on the street and that ultimately, we all want the same basic things: to have community, family, friendship and to be loved.
As well as his city of LA and his experiences in the music industry, Keller’s work is inspired by gratitude. That life is beautiful and crazy and somehow we all able to be alive and to wake up everyday.