Continuing our monthly celebration of innovators, we got a chance to catch up with the twin sisters behind Fruitstrology. Recent Temple University graduates Sarah and Rachel Stanton started screen-printing t-shirts and tank tops in 2013, but they do it with a twist! For every shirt sold, a serving of fresh fruit is donated through Philabundance to Philadelphia-area children. Without further adieu, here’s our conversation with Sarah and Rachel!
What is Fruitstrology?
Fruitstrology is a social clothing line that donates a serving of fresh fruit to a child in Philadelphia for every “fruit-tee” sold. What’s the strology behind Fruitstrology? Well, it’s your choice, pick which fruit describes you- whether you’re the Talkative Grape, Easygoing Banana or both, your purchase not only says you’re committed to supporting local childrens’ nutrition, it’s also a fun and creative way to say something about yourself.
When did you start Fruitstrology and where did you find the inspiration?
We officially launched Fruitstrology in September 2013, but had spent 2 years thinking it up. The idea came to us our freshman year of college at Temple University. We were volunteering at an Urban Garden on Uber Street, a few blocks off campus. All the local children who lived in the surrounding area would come to the garden after school and we’d teach them how to grow various fruits and vegetables, some things they’ve never heard of before. It was so much fun to really connect with these kids and become their friends. And everything we grew, they got to take home with them. Rachel and I really liked this concept and began brainstorming ways we could get more fruit to more children in Philadelphia. We work with Philabundance, supporting their KidsBites Program to do the donating.
After doing some research, we found that most of Philadelphia is an Urban Food Desert, which is an area with a big population and limited access to grocery stores. In other words, it’s not easy for people to get fresh produce, something that should be a staple in everyone’s diet, especially growing children. Also, fresh fruit and produce are some of the most expensive grocery items. Combine this with the fact that Philly is overrun with corner stores, which typically do not sell fresh food, and we have a serious problem. There are alarmingly high rates of food insecure residents throughout the city. We chose to donate fruit to children because it’s an essential part of a diet and every growing child should have easy access to fruit.
What are you hoping to accomplish?
We hope to create a fun and positive way to give all American children equal access to a balanced, nutritional diet while raising awareness about food deserts. We believe in the power of the one for one model and of our generation’s passion for people and the planet. We want to connect these like-minded dreamers who strive to change the world with us. The most interesting thing about these shirts are their potential to bring people together, each fruit has a unique hashtag which can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Your shirt is “alive” and it’s always up to something- so follow it and follow us as we collectively make an impact in our communities.
Where can people get your products?
All our products are on our website – www.fruitstrologyco.com or catch us at random Philadelphia events. We do a lot of tabling events at Honeygrow, and we try to be at every First Friday in Old City. We’re mobile, so if you know of any vending events, email us!
Any plans to expand outside of Philadelphia?
Yes! We plan to expand all across America and we’d like to keep our donating as local as possible so when we branch out to other cities, we’ll donate in that city as well.
What’s up next for Fruitstrology? Long term goals?
We’re looking into kid’s tees because we love the idea of kids helping kids, and other fun products like car stickers and phone cases. Long-term goals are to show people the power of good, responsible business.
Plans for the summer?
Work hard, screen print harder. Both Rachel and I are juggling full time jobs while dyeing and screen-printing each shirt in our parent’s basement. Gets a tad bit crazy but our passion for Fruitstrology wins out, and we’re excitedly up til 2AM thinking of ways to grow the business (and not thinking about waking up at 6AM for actual work). For the rest of the summer we’ll be getting involved in a lot of different events with Philabundance, Honeygrow, First Fridays and more so stay posted!
Sarah left us with a final little tidbit, each fruit’s personality…
1. Ambitious Coconut- Motivated and goal oriented, coconuts are go-getters who are determined to succeed
2. Charismatic Peach- Confident and optimistic, peaches are good listeners and can easily connect with others
3. Independent Pineapple- Self-reliant and decisive, pineapples stand out in the crowd and are natural leaders
4. Funny Pear- Spontaneous and sarcastic, pears enjoy making others laugh and almost everything they say is hilarious
5. Smart Apple- Intellectual and witty, apples are logical and are passionate about learning new things
6. Easygoing Banana- Levelheaded and patient, bananas are down to earth and easy to get along with
7. Active Orange- Adventurous and athletic, oranges love the outdoors and taking on new challenges
8. Talkative Grape- Outgoing and friendly, grapes love meeting new people and are the life of any party.
Connect with them to learn how to get involved or visit the website to buy a shirt and support a great cause!
Sarah and Rachel Stanton – email@example.com