Celebrating Spartans: York Project


EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – We all enjoy a good deal, right?

50 percent off or “buy one, get one free.”

We’re celebrating the success of two Spartans, one current, one graduate, who created a clothing company where you buy something and someone else gets something free.

It’s called “York Project.”

Two words.

11 letters.

Sewn, printed or embroidered onto a variety of fabrics and all carefully crafted together.

But it’s not so much the finished project that makes Josh York and Will Taylor smile.

Their common thread is making clothes that can make a difference; “trend setting” in a totally different way.

In all started in 2013 when Josh’s screen printing businesses started to take-off.

He realized he had a really cool opportunity to do something special with the proceeds.

That something special?

Handing out winter hats to help homeless men and women in the Detroit area.

A business concept that Will couldn’t pass up and he stitched himself to the clothing company as co-founder last year.

The co-owners have their favorite products.

“Long sleeve shirts that are super comfortable,” said Will Taylor. “As well as a nice soft washed henley which is great for some special occasions.”

“One of my favorites is the crew necks that we have. They’re made with really soft fleece but they’re also super light weight so um, way warmer than what you’d expect when you’re layering up in the winter,” adds Josh York. “And then, hands down, my favorite is our hand cut and sewn flannel. This is made 100 percent here in Lansing.”

That’s what you take home.

But for those without a home your purchase pays for a donation kit.

A durable canvas bag complete with a bottle of water, a roll of toilet paper and socks.

“The first donation drive I participated in, I noticed the men and women had a lot of different items they were carrying and they all only had plastic grocery bags, and a lot of them were ripping and tearing,” recalls York. “That’s when I came up with the idea of the donation kit.”

Josh and Will travel to Detroit about once a month and hand-out hundreds of donation kits at a time.

At the end of 2016 they’d given away more than 18,000 items.

“A lot of our effort is focused on the Detroit area,” says Taylor. “But we’ve also made donations in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, so we’ve had a reach across the entire country.”

“They’re so appreciative and it’s cool to see their faces light-up when we have a certain item that they’re needing,” adds York. “And just anything we can do to make their day a little bit easier.”

“York Project.”

Two words.

11 letters.

But helping mend so much more than just merchandise.

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