CLTivating Change 8

How local entrepreneur, Zack Gudzan, is using his clothing line to promote positivity in Charlotte

Passion lingers in Zack Gudzan’s eyes as he explains the plans he has for CLTivate.

CLTivate is a local non-profit apparel company, which uses its earnings to donate to several causes including addiction and homeless outreach and human trafficking. Through their sales of Charlotte-themed t-shirts and tank tops, the non-profit lets consumers have a direct hand in providing resources to people in need.

For every item sold, CLTivate donates an identical item and profits to a certain cause.

CLTivate was conceptualized at the end of July this year when Gudzan wanted to start a for-profit clothing company. After a week of launching, Gudzan had a change of heart.

“At first, I just wanted to start clothing brand but my heart wasn’t in it. My faith is big part of who I am and encourages me to give back,” says Gudzan.

Gudzan launched CLTivate so he could raise money and awareness for a variety of charities that had on-the-ground resources to put donations to use in a meaningful and “cool” way.

Once a charity is identified, Gudzan creates a design to go onto t-shirts, tank tops, hats and socks. For example, clothing designed for a recent sale is supported addiction outreach. Through donation and assistance, the organization provided entertainment, education, food, faith and friends for those in recovery.

Regarding addiction, Gudzan has been there. He has been sober for two years and wants to help others get on the right path.

“Addiction is a big part of my story. Now that I am on the other side, I think I can use my experiences to help other people. Hopefully through CLTivate, we can offer some hope to people who just need a chance to start over,” says Gudzan.

CLTivate has already partnered with two local non-profits— Running Works and Purple Stride Charlotte. Partnering with these two organizations has played a big part in spreading the word about the newly launched brand.

“Like most nonprofit organizations, we are always looking for new ways to get promote our brand,” explains Gudzan.

The organization’s efforts are promoted via CLTivate’s social media outlets especially Instagram. CLTivate’s “social street team” uses social media including Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to promote the brand and cultivate Charlotte through outreach.

“Social media is going to be my biggest driving force because I want the brand to appeal to millennials,” Gudzan says.

Gudzan has big plans for the organization over the next year including pop-up shops and community events. If you are interested in getting involved with CLTivate, visit their website at CLTivate.com for more information.