The Related Project
Two George Fox University (GFU) students started their own clothing company in order to highlight individuality and destroy the division they see in the world today.
The Related Project was started in October 2016 by Nolan Muckenthaler and Kraig Pruett in order to “create a voice that brings positivity” to the divisive nature of social issues.
Muckenthaler approached Pruett, an acquaintance through football, with an idea to fight the negativity they were seeing in the world with something that would bring positivity and equality: a clothing brand.
The original inspiration for the clothing line was, as Muckenthaler put it, the “civil war” they were seeing between police officers and the black community. They wanted to counter the civil war with a positive voice to inspire people to appreciate individuality, and spark a sense of unity because they believe all people deserve equality.
Since then, the Related Project has expanded to encompass all social issues that deal with individuality and inequity.
Muckenthaler and Pruett met twice a week after classes for anywhere between one to three hours in the Bruin Den to discuss design ideas, logo designs, taglines, and mission statements. They joked that the “brand was built at Kraig’s grandma’s house,” a place where they spent hours over the summer making the content and developing their ideas.
They worked to refine the designs and ideas. When the refining process was complete, they produced prototype items. Muckenthaler and Pruett contacted friends for photoshoots and video shoots to begin marketing their brand. The apparel line includes hats, sweatshirts, crop tops, and t-shirts in classic streetwear style.
The majority of the marketing for the brand happens online through platforms like Instagram, as well as through word of mouth.
The conception of the Related Project provided enough momentum to carry through the summer. But recent challenges have raised questions about how Muckenthaler and Pruett want to market their company, as well as what brand image they want.
Despite these challenges, the Related Project continues to grow and flourish.
Reported by Kelsey Viehmann
Photographed by Kraig Pruett