18-year-old Kayla Robinson is the creator of Green Box Shop, an online store that sells T-shirts bearing clever activist slogans such as “My size does not define my beauty,” “It costs $0.00 to use the correct pronouns,” and “Roses are red. Doritos are savory. The US prison system is legalized slavery.”
Well, Robinson and Green Box Shop are having a moment because Frank Ocean wore one of her t-shirts — with the message “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you can be quiet?” — onstage at Panorama music festival this weekend.
He’s not the only smart, activist celeb who’s a fan, though — Jessica Williams posted a photo wearing a Green Box Shop tee with the words “You were brainwashed into thinking European features are the epitome of beauty” to the ‘gram earlier this year:
Zendaya also tweeted her praise for the brand a few months ago:
In fact, Williams is the one who told Robinson that Ocean was wearing her shirt: “Well, Jessica Williams, she DMed me. She texted me in all caps, all excited, like, ‘FRANK OCEAN IS WEARING ONE OF YOUR SHIRTS!’ I was like, ‘That’s not true! You’re lying!'” Robinson told MTV News. “I didn’t believe her at first, but then she sent me some pictures, and I was like, ‘That’s crazy.’ I just started freaking out. I just remember doing something in my kitchen, and I just immediately started running around.”
After Ocean wore the shirt, Green Box Shop’s sales soared from around 50 orders a day to 3,500 the day after Ocean wore the shirt. I bet the numbers are higher now — while browsing the site for info and to see photos, I kept getting notifications that people around the US (and UK, too) were buying the tees up.
Along with powerful words, the tees also help the world. Depending on the tee you choose, a portion of benefits will go to charities: the “Trans people are not a disruption” tee sends cash to the True Colors Fund, which works to end homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth; 50% of the “Climate change is real. Trump is a hoax” tees go to the Honeybee Conservancy.
Robinson started the shop just over a year ago. In her “About” section, she writes:
I started this business in May 2016 out of an old 800 square foot apartment (living with my mom). When I couldn’t find any social justice tee shirts online for myself, that really would grab someone’s attention, I decided to make my own and sell them to raise money to get my yoga teacher certification (Now the ultimate vision is urban farming). I am an 18 year old Afro-Latina bisexual woman who can’t really summarize herself with a cliche sentence.
Check out more of Green Box Shop’s brilliant tees below:
Top photo: “Climate change is real,” $18.99
UPDATE: Two people, Brandon Male and Mieko Gavia, have said that Green Box Shop used their words on t-shirts without permission.
This post was orginally published on July 31, 2017.
All photos via greenboxshop.us and Instagram/greenboxshop.
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