Matthew Mitten ‘21 launches apparel line to take on climate change

Matthew Mitten ’21, a finance and applied mathematics double major and Honors Fellow from Cary, North Carolina, launched Climate Change Apparel to raise awareness of climate change and support environmental charities.

Matthew Mitten ’21 spends a lot of his time focused on concrete numbers as a finance and applied mathematics double major, but he admits he also has a more creative side.

“My majors are very analytical, so a lot of my classes focus on business and math,” Mitten said. “But I also like to design things.”

Mitten has found a way to combine his love of design with another one of his passions – the environment. During his sophomore year, Mitten began designing T-shirts that displayed a simple message: “Climate Change is Real.”

“I threw it on T-shirts for me and a few friends and from there everybody was like, ‘these are really cool,’” Mitten said. “So I got the idea that I could maybe sell them.”

One of the “Climate Change is Real” shirts available through Climate Change Apparel. (Courtesy of Matthew Mitten)

That led to the birth of Climate Change Apparel, a company focused on raising awareness and funds to combat climate change. From day one, Mitten has donated a portion of his company’s profits to environmental charities like the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club through the sale of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and other apparel.

Mitten sold 20 items in his first collection and has since sold hundreds of apparel items to members of the Elon community and people across the country. Climate Change Apparel touts high-quality products at affordable prices to encourage more people to support the cause and help raise awareness about climate change.

“I definitely realize that climate change is one of the biggest threats that humans are facing or maybe ever have faced,” Mitten said. “It’s a really big issue, and so I’m trying to unite people over this simple message that this is a real thing and we should devote some time, energy and money to this.”

Mitten discusses his Climate Change Apparel products with Elon President Emeritus Leo M. Lambert at a Marketplace Under the Oaks event at Elon. (Courtesy: Matthew Mitten ’21)

His longing to give back was instilled in him at an early age. Mitten’s parents always taught him to save his money, but also donate some of it to worthy causes. He carries those lessons with him as he uses his love of design and entrepreneurship to support well-research, transparent organizations that are doing the work to confront climate change.

Following graduation, Mitten will begin a career as a financial analyst at Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. While he turns his attention to life after college, he hopes to see the Climate Change Apparel brand live on – not for profit’s sake, but because he hopes to keep spreading the message that climate change is real.

“That’s the main message I’m going for, just raising awareness for protecting the environment,” Mitten said. “I want to get the word out there with some catchy designs and reinforce the message that climate change is a serious issue that we need to work on together.”

Follow Climate Change Apparel on Instagram.