If you’ve seen bright, tropical t-shirts around campus, chances are they’re made by the student-run company Zeyba.

The eco-friendly company was founded on Earth Day of this year by seniors Stefano Daza and Tim Marty. The two originally wanted to create an app, but decided a clothing company would appeal to a larger crowd. With Daza’s business savvy and Marty’s creativity, the company was born. Daza serves as the company’s CEO, Marty as creative director, and junior Kamilah Robison as the team’s social media director.

The name for the company is a take on the name of a tree Daza saw while studying abroad in Ecuador: the Ceiba tree. Other parts of the Amazon Rainforest inspired Zeyba’s first collection, Amazonia. Collections are inspired by the nature and culture of a chosen region, and when you buy a shirt from that collection, the money will go toward a non-governmental organization that works in that region.

For their opening collection, Zeyba decided to work with Nature and Culture International, a California-based nonprofit that works to protect endangered ecosystems in Latin America. Zeyba is unique in that it donates a significant portion of their profits to environmental causes.

“We wanted to donate the most we could,” Marty said of the business model.

“There are lots of companies like us who usually donate 10 percent [of their profits],” Robison said. “Zeyba’s different: First things first, our company wants to help the planet.” to which Robison added, “ All three students stressed that the company isn’t so much interested in profits as they are interested in helping the planet and finding like-minded individuals who share the same passion.

Running a company and being a student is a decidedly difficult task, but thanks to some outside help, the company has been able to run smoothly. The company received what Daza called a “lucky break” when Daza’s cousin, a successful businessman in Colombia, agreed to handle the printing of the t-shirts. The t-shirts are organized and distributed by Packaging and Logistics Director Tiven Buggy, who Marty and Daza met while on a trip to the Dominican Republic. When the team received its first shipment of t-shirts, there was a sense of relief and excitement.

“With every little milestone that we achieve […] it motivates me to work on it,” Daza explained. “I feel like that drives us, especially when we’ve come so far.”

The most recent milestone for the company was the launch of its ambassador program this past Monday. Working with the EcoRep program on campus, Zeyba hopes to spread their message through other environmentally conscious groups on campus, and eventually to campuses across the U.S.

When asked about the future of the company, Daza and Marty expressed similar ideas. Both agreed that they will continue to devote their time to Zeyba after they graduate, and should the company become successful, the two will commit full-time to it. The team already has ideas for its next collection, and plans to introduce a new collection every six months after that. They encourage to check out their website at www.zeybaapparel.com and use the code “URCampusTimes” at checkout for 15 percent off.



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