A Cape Breton man has started a clothing line called Bios that gives back 20 per cent of its profits to assist charities around the world.
"The main goal was to create something that would give back and help others," said Andrew MacLeod, a 22-year-old Sydney resident and Cape Breton University student.
"Every time I go on the news it just seems to be bad so creating a brand that can help others in the long run and generate some good news for others is the main goal. I just feel like there are not a lot of brands that give back in a sense. That is not their main goal. I wanted to create something that is a little different and a little off topic from what most brands do today."
The company name Bios is loosely based on the Greek word for life.
After less than nine months in operation, the upstart clothing company has already given to four national charities with a fifth coming after its winter clothing sales are complete.
The Canadian Red Cross, the IWK Foundation, Parkinsons Canada and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation have been the benefactors. The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is next.
"There are a lot of different problems going on in the world and not a lot of people hear about them and learn about them, so just to get the word out and draw people's attention to what is going on around the world and how others can help, that is the main goal right now."
So far the Bios product line consists of hats, sweaters, pants and T-shirts. Five of 11 products are currently sold out.
MacLeod designed the logo himself that allows for print on clothing supplied by a third party. All the completed products are shipped to him for distribution to his customers.
"No one orders and then I have to send it to a company. I hold all inventory in stock," he said.
"I find it a lot easier to maintain when you have your own inventory."
MacLeod is the only Bios employee so far. Friends and family have been assisting with his marketing and promotion and other friends have loaned their photo and video expertise.
His best sales have been mostly around the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to date but items have moved to the United States and all across Nova Scotia, especially in Halifax where MacLeod's clothing line can be seen at East Coast KITS.
A nice surprise was shipping a box of items to China. A friend also called to inform him a Bios shirt was spotted on Prince Edward Island.
"I had no idea who he was talking about so it is getting to the point where people are wearing it and people see and let me know about and they just don't know who they are."
- Based in Sydney
- Donates 20 per cent of all profits generated through clothing sales to charities
- Owned by Andrew MacLeod
- 11 product clothing line
- Online at https://biosclothing.com/
Like every other business, the impact of COVID-19 has been felt at Bios, but MacLeod is offering no-contact deliveries around the CBRM to those interested.
"We are going to leave them in a mailbox and stuff. We are doing our due diligence. I package and make sure everything is clean and everything is good to go. I don't want anyone being in danger so I'm taking steps necessary to make sure all of the customers we have are safe and sound."
Currently, MacLeod is managing his company while finishing his bachelor of business administration degree online through CBU.
He also works part-time for the federal government. After graduation, the company will command most of his attention.