Fight the Fights That Matter | Liberty Street
“Fight the fights that matter” is seen imprinted on a seemingly ordinary, everyday shirt. But this message strikes up a powerful conversation that represents a movement that “Liberty Street” founders Joe Lacanilao and Lawrence Aritao are hoping to create.
A budding social enterprise that takes a stand against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, Liberty Street and each of their tees are uniquely designed to tell a story: one that starts with darkness but leads to hope and empowerment for those from challenging backgrounds. Those who buy from Liberty Street directly become a part of that story by positively impacting local communities and supporting the movement against modern day slavery in the Philippines.
We speak with Joe on his views of the label and what it means to own a Liberty Street tee.
How did the name “Liberty Street” come about?
The name Liberty Street actually came from my days in a punk/funk fusion band when I was 17. At the time, I thought I would ride the rock n’ roll wave all the way to superstardom. We didn’t get far, but we did end up recording a demo at this little upstart studio in Bloomfield, New Jersey, called Liberty Street Studios. The studio on Liberty Street has long since closed its doors, but I’ve always liked the name. A decade later, when it came time to name this social enterprise that strives to do the things we do, I thought Liberty Street would be an appropriate name.
What made you start the label?
Lawrence and I started the label because we saw that there was a gap between the time in which a survivor is rescued from trafficking and the person’s reintegration into society. During this time, there is a need for these people to financially support themselves and their families. It is also a critical period for survivors to develop necessary work skills in order to build a successful future. Our goal for the label is to address both these needs by providing employment and work skills that they can use while working for us and in future careers.
What does it mean to own a Liberty Street product?
Owning a Liberty Street product means that you are joining a community that is making the world a better place. One of the reasons we strictly control the way we distribute our products is because we want our customers to be knowledgeable about our company and what we do. In this way, we don’t get random people walking into a store and buying our products simply because they think the design is cool. What we want are customers who make instant connections when they see others wearing a Liberty Street shirt, because they know they’re part of a community fighting together to affect the world for the better. Fortunately, I’ve heard of multiple stories in which this scenario has played out, which is incredible!
What impact do you hope the brand will provide?
As a company, we really want to change things by setting right those things which are terribly wrong in our world. And the way that we choose to do that is by inviting people to join us in our quest: by bringing light into the dark, one Liberty Street product at a time.
Check them out at:
Or better yet, pick one up at http://libertystreetclothing.bigcartel.com and be a part of the movement!
Text by: Deborah Foo
*Images courtesy of Liberty Street
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