An online clothing store, Yaz Apparel gives an item of clothes to the homeless for every item bought. It
was created by Josh Yazdian, a sophomore from Indiana University.
What made you start Yaz Apparel?
The reason why we started Yaz Apparel was to make clothing for unique individuals and it was another
way for me to incorporate my artistic abilities in another way.
You say, “Street clothing is a unique style and Yaz Apparel goes beyond the conventional expectations
of street clothing.” How?
What we love to do at Yaz Apparel is design products that are not yet seen on the market. We look for
the best fabrics and the best quality possible because we want our customers to feel special when they
are wearing Yaz Apparel. In the society that we live in today, it is hard to solidify yourself and be
different, but Yaz Apparel has found a way to give our customers the opportunity to be different and to
truly be themselves.
How does the donations to the homeless work?
At the end of every month we count up all the sales that we have made and we donate an article of
clothing for every item sold. These items include t-shirts, pants, jackets, etc. Donating to the homeless
has always been a passion of ours.
How many donations have been made so far?
We have made thousands of donations in the past 6 months since our online shop has been opened.
The donations are made in the communities that Dong and I have been present in. This summer we
were living in California pushing our brand and we saw homelessness everywhere in Downtown Los
Angeles. Because we started our #givingback campaign we were able to provide clothing to those who
are in need. What we do is fill up bags full of clothes and walk around downtown asking people if they
would like some clothes that we are carrying on us. Everyone who has received an article of clothing
from us has been so grateful and have truly blessed us.
What are the goals for Yaz Apparel?
There are many goals that we set for ourselves and once we reach our goals we always try to exceed our
expectations. Our main goal is to satisfy our customers and give them the best products possible. One of
our other goals is to #giveback to as many homeless people as possible but that wouldn’t be possible
without our loving customers.
What part of it has been the most rewarding?
The reward of seeing a customer wearing the products that you produced is an amazing feeling. But the
most rewarding feeling for me is seeing the smiles on those who are homeless just because they have
received a simple act of kindness. Their smiles brighten up my days and they keep pushing me to make
this company grow larger and larger.
Did you ever see yourself starting a business?
I honestly saw myself working in the art studio everyday producing ceramics because that is one of my
biggest passions. Then one day I was looking in my closet at school for something new to wear. I didn’t
see anything that I liked because I had already worn those clothes multiple times. I then laid on my bed
and it all suddenly clicked. I was looking at my pillowcase. This was no ordinary pillowcase. It was a
pillowcase that would suddenly change the course of my life. It was a beautiful paisley pattern that I
couldn’t take my eyes off of. I then proceeded to cut the pillowcase and make a t-shirt out of it. I went
to the art studio at Indiana University where they showed me how to needle and thread. I started
producing hoodies, T-shirts and hats out of my dorm room and people were buying these
unprofessionally made products. This got me thinking that if I found the right people to produce Yaz
Apparel products domestically, then I could start a business making clothing. I never thought I would
ever get into clothing but once I did I couldn’t stop.
Did you have a lot of family support?
My family is very supportive because they are all business owners as well. They have challenged me
along the way and pushed me to get better every day. Without the support of my family, Yaz Apparel
wouldn’t be the brand it is today.