When you find your passion, pursue it.

That's what Himebaugh (High-mm-baa) did when he discovered the fashion industry is not as eco-friendly as he thought. Like others, he used to shop at stores like H&M, later finding out that they pay clothing makers minimum wage in countries like Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the minimum wage is only about one third of a livable wage. Himebaugh also uncovered that 80% of factories around the world dump toxic wastewater straight into rivers without treating it. The problem? This dumping creates literal dead zones, leaving rivers without fish and millions of people who live along these rivers in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and China poisoned from drinking or bathing in the water.

This is when Himebaugh's passion was ignited. He learned there are socially responsible clothing brands who make sustainable products, pay workers livable wages, and recycle their wastewater. These are brands Himebaugh wanted to support. That's when he decided to challenge himself to put together outfits that not only look great, but use ethical and sustainable brands to help other men care about what they are wearing and the impact their brands have on the world. And thus, Eco-Stylist was established. Founded in 2018, Eco-Stylist strives to create a world where all clothing shopping is sustainable. Through ethical menswear, they aim to promote human rights and environmental sustainability.

Eco-Stylist researches all the brands it endorses through its online presence, rating their ethical and eco-conscious practices. All brands they endorse are stylish, eco-friendly and fair for people, with many items also being vegan. Eco-Stylist is committed to raising the bar on what it means to be an ethical business in the world of menswear.

Do it, get involved

Before Himebaugh set foot on Iowa's campus, he knew he wanted to start a business and be a part of Founders Club. Moving from Pittsburgh to Iowa City, his number one criteria for a business school was the ability to also have access to entrepreneurial training and resources. After being on campus and joining the Founders Club, Eco-Stylist began to come to life.

The Iowa JPEC Founders Club program is available to all UI students. The business program connects students with the resources and training they need to launch their idea into a startup, and grow it into a sustainable business. Through Founders Club, Himebaugh has connected with other students who soon joined his team. He has also been sponsored by Iowa JPEC to compete in pitch competitions across the U.S.

"All of these opportunities have grown my network, helped me refine my message, and have many opportunities to raise money which is important for an early startup. I’ve also made friends along the way with other entrepreneurs, which is helpful both from a business and a personal perspective. Starting a business can be a very lonely road and knowing people who can relate to your struggle makes all the difference," Himebaugh said. 

Position yourself for success

By teaming up with bloggers, networking with influencers, and guest appearances on successful podcasts, Eco-Stylist has been receiving some well-deserved recognition for their business. With this recognition, Eco-Stylist is trying to spread more awareness about sustainable clothing and offer a solution with their fashion-forward curated shop. Looking forward, Himebaugh looks to continue sharing the mission driving Eco-Stylist—and hopes to become the go-to marketplace for ethically-made menswear. 

"Looking into this year and the future, I plan to make the company a B Corporation, finalize a partnership we’ve been working on with a big ethical fashion organization, and launch a few surprise projects," Himebaugh said.

We are all looking forward to seeing what kind of impact this business is sure to have.

Bet on yourself

Himebaugh encourages other UI students to start their business, pursue an idea, or just get involved with Founders Club. "I’ve met some great founders in the club who weren’t originally interested in entrepreneurship or business because they didn’t believe it was for them. The messages we see sometimes tell us that entrepreneurship is for people who look a certain way or study a certain major. These founders almost didn’t join Founders Club at all, and yet today they are making big waves with their startups. My advice to anyone interested is that if you want to start something, to build a dream or a vision, join and see what happens. It’s a welcoming community where you can try it out to see if it’s a good fit,” he stated.

Eco-Stylist was recently awarded the Best Lifestyle Company Award and $2,000 by Iowa JPEC at the Founders Club Fair on April 5, 2019.

Himebaugh recently appeared on the Conscious Chatter podcast, speaking about Eco-Stylist and sustainable clothing. Click below to listen!

Listen to podcast interview here  Visit Eco-Stylist