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Support American Made & Help Protect Our Lakes Throughout the Midwest

Spencer Barrett


The Great Lakes contain nearly 20 percent of the earth’s surface fresh water, providing drinking water to more than 40 million people. A 2007 report by the Brookings Institution determined that a healthy, restored Great Lakes could generate some $50 billion in long-term economic benefits for the region, and not just for the businesses and industry that use water for commerce. Other beneficiaries would include beachgoers, naturalists, boaters, anglers and homeowners.

Great Lakes is a Midwestern lifestyle clothing brand inspired by simple, Northern Living. Created by two young entrepreneurs on a mission to make American Made the new standard and help protect and conserve the beautiful lakes they grew up on through partnerships with Conservation Minnesota and the Alliance for the Great Lakes. We’ve decided to donate 1 percent of each product sold to these to amazing organizations to help do our part. Learn more through our Kickstarter.

Launch Slideshow

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  • Ben Goldhirsh

    I dig this. Are you one of the founders, Spencer? Once you guys raise the money, how are you planning on distributing the products? Totally agree with the importance of this issues you're engaging - both on the environmental front, and in relation to the transparency and relationship between the producers and consumers. On that latter point, how do you think you create that bridge? Anyhow, sorry for all the questions. Just dig what you're up to and curious.

    • Spencer Barrett

      Hey Ben, thanks for the note! Yes, I am one of the co-founders of Great Lakes and I'm happy to hear you have a similar appreciation for these issues.

      In terms of the Kickstarter distribution, once we reach our goal (and we're close!) we'll gather all of the information we need in terms of sizing, colors, and shipping address and then we will fulfill all of those orders ourselves, which will definitely keep us busy.

      I think the main way we try to create transparency with our products is by making personal connections with all of our suppliers and building a story behind each product. We don't want our products to be 'just another shirt'-- we want people to have a deeper connection with our brand and know every detail about the product they're purchasing.

      On top of creating relationships with our suppliers, we try to connect with our customers personally as much as possible. Hand written thank you notes with each purchase, following up after their order to ensure that their shirt is everything they hoped for, and random acts of kindness have been a critical component to our initial success.

      Hope that touches on some of your questions!

      Thanks Ben,