Serengetee Brings the World to Montclair

Global fabric company Serengetee believes in supporting various artisans and causes around the world to increase universal solidarity.

Serengetee: Wear the World.

Serengetee
Photo courtesy of Rachel Belsky.

You may have noticed the unique, quirky pocket tees that have made their way into the Montclair State University community lately. The tees are more than cute and trendy: they are a symbol of good will. Serengetee produces t-shirts, backpacks and accessories using fabrics they source from around the world. A percentage of sales go back to a cause within the region where the fabric was purchased.

Serengetee’s founders, Jeff Steitz and Ryan Westberg, met on Semester at Sea in 2011. The pair saw beauty in the African, Asian and Central American countries they visited, but they also saw problems and poverty. They wanted to do something to help. They collected fabrics in local markets from over 25 countries. Once the duo got back to school, they scraped together money to create, sell and ship the infamous pocket tees out of their dorm room.

Serengetee took off. People loved the diverse fabric, supporting artisans in remote areas of the globe and honoring the ancient tradition of fabric making. Serengetee gives 10 percent of profits to a range of grassroots causes, like Whole Planet Foundation, Simply Smiles and Reef Check. Each organization Serengetee works with does something special around the globe. The causes range from supporting women weavers on remote Indonesian islands to stopping human trafficking in Russia, from protecting endangered animals to bringing clean water to at-risk communities in India. In addition to supporting these organizations, by simply purchasing the fabric from around the world Serengetee is helping artisans, their families and communities.

Although Steitz and Westberg travel to source fabrics, Serengetee operates out of Los Angeles. All products are handcrafted within the United States by a team of “Sew Pros” that cut and sew the fabric onto a product. Serengetee has built a strong customer base, especially in colleges and universities across the country, by bringing in brand representatives and establishing incentive programs.

“I started with Serengetee my freshman year of college,” said Lauren Wade, the College East Rep Leader for Serengetee. Wade is currently in her senior year at the University of Rhode Island studying theater and psychology. “I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. I’ve made some of the greatest friends and have so many opportunities to grow and cultivate a better world. It feels amazing to help spread the message and give back to so many amazing causes and people.”

Serengetee’s founders were inspired by the artisans they met and the causes they encountered, and they want you to be, too. You can travel the world without even leaving your home and help make a positive change by purchasing their products.

“Watching the brand grow from essentially the beginning to what it is today has been inspiring,” said Wade.

Visit Serengtee’s website and browse dozens of pockets. Click on the kids page for a mini version of the same Serengetee you love, or check out the headwear, bags and pillows.

Right now, the website offers free shipping on orders over $49. Get your ‘getee on!

Bonus: Email rbelsky@montclairdispatch.com and you will receive the brand representative code for 15 percent off your entire order!