Sporting white long-sleeved dry-fit T-shirts, students around campus have been supporting Pacific Peak Apparel, a non-profit company founded by Sean Dongwoo Kim ’18 along with David Tsai ’18, Ben Ringer ’18, Eric Wu ’18, and Kevin Kastholm ’17 to promote environmental issues.
“The idea came up this fall when my friend was starting his own business, and I was inspired [to start] my own, too,” said Kim in an interview with The Phillipian. The entirety of the company’s profits will be donated to The Climate Group, a charity that works to save the environment, in the hopes of promoting further research into the production of clean and renewable energy.
“I got involved because I was mainly concerned about bringing awareness to the environment at [Andover]. It’s a topic that no one seems to care about. I believe that through our company we can not only educate kids, but also show them how they can make an impact and truly save, not only their area around them, but the entire world,” said Tsai. “[Tsai], I, and everyone else in Pacific Peak is most concerned about global warming and climate change. Global warming is a huge issue that everyone on this planet must collectively work to solve. And this is something that must be solved now. What people don’t seem to realize is that we will not be given a second chance. Global warming may not seem to have a huge effect on us right now but our actions today will determine our lives and our children’s lives in the next 50 or so years,” wrote Kim in an email to The Phillipian.
To promote the cause and the company, Kim and Tsai created an Instagram account to advertise their shirts to high school students. So far, the company has sold about four hundred shirts.
“We created an Instagram to target the massive amount of high school students who are constantly checking their phones. As we continue to spread our company, we believe that the best way of spreading our message is by supporting our brand and what we stand for,” Tsai continued.
Over Thanksgiving Break, Kim picked out the material in the street markets in Seoul, South Korea, and went to a factory to manufacture the shirts. “We think of ideas, brainstorm, draw out designs, and then start working with these companies. We decided to make athletic/outdoor apparel because we also want to encourage well being in everyone’s lives by encouraging them to spend more time outside,” wrote Kim.
Kim decided upon the name “Pacific Peak” in the hopes of reflecting the environmental values of the company.
“Sean decided that this name would be perfect for two reasons. Our company is centered around the environment, and even though our entire planet is being affected, one of the most commonly known bodies of water is the Pacific Ocean. Sean is from South Korea, so it also ties back to his roots. He wanted to incorporate a motivational element into our company, hence the word ‘Peak.’ We want those who care about the planet to reach the peak, or summit, of their potential,” wrote Tsai in an email to The Phillipian. The company hopes to expand and target more students at other prep schools such as Deerfield, St. Paul’s, Tabor, St. George’s and Loomis Chaffee. They will be working with various manufacturers and custom apparel companies in the United States to print more shirts.
“We hope to grow as much as possible. My main goal at Andover is to not just sell stuff, but also to organize events and projects just to raise more awareness on campus. Also, [my goal is] to expand from just selling shirts,” said Kim.