Jeremy Pingul created Connect One Threads with his business partner, Andrew Kiproff, with the idea of connection in mind. Working with the Global Organic Textile Standard, a fair trade and organic standard, their goal is to sell t-shirts and progress the sustainable fashion movement.
Alex Belden: Describe the motive behind your brand.
Jeremy Pingul: The message behind the brand is that we are all connected, and we are all one. We’ve created a brand that respects the people who created our clothes, as well as nature, which provides us the resources to make our apparel. Moreover our brand is based on a collective impact through collaboration with a variety of international artists.
AB: What prompted you to share this idea through your business?
JP: When I was an undergraduate at Indiana University, I was studying international development and my class on American Consumerism led me to dig deeper into how something as basic as clothing could cause so many different global issues in the world. That experience allowed me to find my place in the industry. Connect One Threads is the connector to bring artists, designers and consumers.
AB: What are some of the main challenges you face as an entrepreneur?
JP: The main challenge I’ve had to deal with, as an entrepreneur is that I don’t have a traditional team to get things done. I have a business partner, Andrew Kiproff, who is the mastermind behind our awesome website and design. We don’t have a traditional team that gets things done on a daily basis, and I’ve realized that it would make a huge impact if I could settle somewhere and build a team of motivated individuals.
AB: What is the biggest reward you experience as an entrepreneur?
JP: Having the ability to create your own path is one of the things I’m most grateful of as an entrepreneur. [This] lifestyle has allowed me to travel the world, work with incredible people and serve causes that I care about.
AB: What do you think Indianapolis can do to support more local brands?
JP: Indianapolis is going through a really exciting time right now. I feel like this city is really starting to flourish culturally which is exactly the perfect type of environment for local brands who want to make a name for them. The more First Fridays, Cultural Trails, Fountain Squares and Mass Ave’s we can develop I think the more exciting this city becomes.
AB: Describe the kind of person who would wear your product.
JP: A world citizen. Connect One Threads is all about our interconnection and making an impact on the global fashion industry, and it takes a citizen of the world kind of mindset to understand that.
AB: Who is one person you’d love to see in your brand?
JP: This may sound crazy, but I’d love to find a way to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar. I really think he’s a generational icon who’s sharing a powerful message. He talks about giving back to the community, ignoring racial and ethnic differences and empowering people.
AB: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
JP: Figure out how you’re benefiting others before something benefits you. Connect One Threads’ model is all about benefiting the stakeholders who are affected by the actions we take.
AB: How do you hope your brand will evolve in future years?
JP: Connect One Threads is already starting to get a lot of interest from the artist community who want to contribute their designs for the cause, and we’ll continue to do that moving forward. The most important evolution of our brand that I hope for in the next few years is the evolution of our international community.
AB: How do you think celebrity endorsed streetwear is influencing modern street style?
JP: I think one of the most interesting things about our society today is that “celebrity” is no longer only what we think of it as. Now with social media you have YouTube and Instagram stars who influence millions of followers. Our generation is tired of going to malls and buying the same brands that can be found in all other cities across the country. Now if we like something endorsed by a celeb, it’s easier to get ahold of it even if its from the other side of the world.