Local clothing brand helps send Detroit teens to college

20% of profits donated

DETROIT – "For the future, by the future" -- that’s the slogan of a Detroit clothing brand, with an inspiring business model.

Twenty percent of the profits Merit Goodness makes from selling their clothes helps send Detroit teens to college.

Some call it a room of dreams and aspirations. On each T-shirt and hoodie is the label "Merrit," named after owner David Merritt.

It’s a popular clothing brand based in Detroit, but it’s the message behind the ‘Merrit’ badge, that is really making the brand a top seller.

“We like to say we help them aspire. We help them believe. We help them contribute,” Merritt said.

It’s a slogan, a mentality Merritt said is more than words.

“We give 20 percent of our company products to fund our nonprofit organization,” Merritt said.

“There’s a predetermined fate that many people have put upon the youth of Detroit,” said Kuhu Saha, with Give Merritt.

Saha said that predetermined fate is often negative.

“They won’t be successful. That they don’t have anything to offer, that the next generation is lazy and isn’t going to do anything much,” Saha said.

That fate is changed in one room. It’s where teens meet and brainstorm ideas. It’s a program that for four years, they learn and build a brand. That hands on experience transforms to a college scholarship.

“You know it’s helpful, right $5,000. It’s also one less thing to worry about,” Saha said.

They said it’s more than just money or clothes. It’s believing in yourself.

“I’m an educated, world class citizen. I am a world changer. And we say that for four straight years and after a while, the students start to believe that,” Merritt said.

If you want to take a look at the clothing line, click here.

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