By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Interested in philanthropic giving this holiday season? You may want to stop by the Goshen Farmer’s Market.
Regular attendees of the Goshen Farmer’s Market will have a new option in philanthropic giving beginning this month with the addition of the One4One clothing company.
Created by Goshen entrepreneur Garner Wireman in 2010, One4One began as a web-based company, www.liveone4one.com, with the goal of helping to provide the basic needs of those that live in poverty. Now, Wireman is giving his company a local face through a booth at the Goshen Farmer’s Market.
“Basic needs are essentially defined as food, clothing, water and shelter, so One4One tries to meet at least three of those — food, clothing and water,” Wireman said of the company. “The concept is pretty simple. For every item purchased, we donate a similar item or a monetary donation to someone in need.”
In describing how he came up with the idea for One4One, Garner points to the example shown by fellow philanthropist and entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes and Eyewear. Through his company, Mycoskie has vowed to provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. And more recently, Mycoskie expanded his company to include eyewear, where each pair of sunglasses purchased through his company goes to help save and restore sight for those in need.
“I was really inspired by what Blake Mycoskie was doing,” Wireman said. “He was taking care of the shoe and eyeglass area, so I decided I wanted to help in the clothing area because I think as citizens it’s important to give back. It’s more than just donating money, which is easy to do. It’s someone purchasing a product and knowing what it’s going for. I think that has been helpful for people to feel like they’re actually making a difference.”
Through One4One, Wireman currently offers various eco-friendly shirts, hats and bags constructed from organic cotton and polyester derived from pre-recycled bottles. The company also utilizes a water-based screen printing process for all of its items which virtually eliminates the use of harmful chemicals.
“So you’re getting a good quality organic cotton, and you’re also helping to save resources and keep plastic out of the landfill,” Wireman said. “We’re always trying to keep that eco-friendly mindset with our products, because we don’t want to help people and then also destroy the environment. That just wouldn’t make any sense.”
For every bag sold through his company, Wireman has vowed to donate 30 pounds of food to a United Way network. With the hats, for every one purchased, One4One will donate a hat and scarf to someone in need.
“Those usually go through United Way or the Salvation Army or directly to a mission or shelter,” Wireman said. “Then we also have three styles of shirts. We have the original One4One shirt, where we donate a shirt to a mission or shelter here in Elkhart County with every purchase. Then we have a H(2)OPE shirt, where we work with Mercy Corps to help build irrigation systems and clean water wells in impoverished countries.”
Most recently, the company has also created what it’s calling the Clothe Peru campaign, where each Clothe Peru T-shirt purchased will help to provide clothing to some of the poorest areas of the country.
“My brother-in-law is from Peru, and we’ve been talking about how great the need is out there right now,” Wireman said. “So we want to be able to help locally, but then also throughout the world. So my idea is that every couple of years we’ll go to a different county to donate items.”
As for his new presence at the Farmer’s Market, Wireman said his booth will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from now through the Christmas holiday to take advantage of the holiday gift-buying crowd.
“And then of course the website is available 24 hours a day,” Wireman said, “so come check us out.”
For more information on the One4One company, visit www.liveone4one.com.