Buy From BIPOC Interview
We’re so pleased to feature the team behind America Hates US (AHUS)! AHUS is a contemporary lifestyle brand that offers clothing and accessories to “communicate views we hold dear through the use of symbolic expression”. Their offerings reflect the current socio-political-economic landscape, and we’d personally love to see more people rocking their wares. 20% of all proceeds from AHUS go directly to Period, Wear Your Voiceand We Have Stories. Read on to learn more about their work, inspiration, heritage and sizing information.
What is your favorite piece in your collection and why?
Our “Believe Women” piece is our favorite. Aside from it being our most popular, allowing us to enter the homes of thousands of folx around the world, it has greater significance. While the brand’s founder was a law student (Rutgers Law School-Newark) they worked at a trafficking and DV clinic in New York. While there, they had the opportunity to meet with, attend court with and interview survivors.
It was communicated that the principle reason why survivors did not report assaults and other forms of harm was because they feared no one would believe them. Others, however, recounted that when they did report or share, they weren’t believed. Not believed by the authorities, by friends, by family. Hence, the “Believe Women” design was created because we wanted to be an advocate for survivors and broadcast, through the use of symbolic speech, that we believed them. Moreover, we wanted to believe them and not have them face being re-victimized over. It’s hard enough to speak out when you are ready, therefore one shouldn’t be tasked with trying to convince others their story is truthful.
A last note regarding the design and why it has so much significance to us is we’ve been able to raise the most money from it. That money has assisted us to donate thousands of dollars each to Planned Parenthood, The ACLU and NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault as well as enable ourselves to be monthly donors to the following: Wear Your Voice (@wearyourvoice), We Have Stories (@whsorg), and Period Movement (@periodmovement).
What inspires your work?
we have always been passionate about advocacy and have thought socially consciously about everything. It is difficult not to when you are Black and/or Brown in this country (or if you’ve plain been paying attention). We felt we could create designs that were already apart of conversations that existed before us. What most inspired us to create designs was we wanted something tangible that went further than just the rally, or the classroom, or the social media post. We wanted these imperative issues to be analyzed, questioned and discussed everyday. We feel like we’ve accomplished that.
What is something about your heritage that makes you proud?
Our group is assembled of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Trinidadian heritages. We all love and are extremely proud of them. Our heritages demonstrate resilience and represents our focus on family and community. Moreover, some of us being first generation, recognize the sacrifices our families made for not only us but countless others. The Toni Morrison moniker of “the function of freedom is to free someone else” was instilled in us early as our parents served as exemplary models.
What is the size range of your pieces?
Our shirts run from S to 4XL. However, shoppers have the option to order larger sizes by simply DM’ing us on social media or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the America Hates US website purchase and support this amazing group!
Buy From BIPOC is an online community space for centering and celebrating Black, Indigenous, and other people of color makers and creatives with a focus on slow, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Buy From BIPOC was founded by Emi Ito of @little_kotos_closet and is co-moderated by Emi, Bea, and Brooke.