Emporia State grad starts clothing company focused on sustainability, change

Someone You Should Know

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A former Emporia State University basketball player is finding out who he is outside of the sport, turning his need to see environmental change into a clothing line.

It’s a simple t-shirt you’re wearing right now, most likely cotton. But that one shirt can actually be quite harmful to the environment. Jevon Taylor wants to change that with his company, False Ego.

“It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt,” Taylor said.

Taylor is a Colorado native who graduated from Emporia State playing basketball all four years. He wanted to explore life outside of basketball in a way he could make a difference.

“The core of me wanted to be a resource of my community, and the core of me wanted to help people,” Taylor said. “But I don’t think I was really clear on what that meant to me at the time.”

His time in northeast Kansas was a crucial part of his journey, giving him a chance to self explore and find himself. Then after graduating, his vision became clear as his clothing line False Ego became a reality. It’s a line that combines fashion and sustainability, using organic materials that can also be recycled to help reduce textile waste.

“I think it’s everybody’s mission on earth to really care about something bigger than themselves,” Taylor said. “I chose to start a business for it because I can do it more on a bigger scale.”

It’s not just impacting customers. False Ego helps people in Tanzania, Africa for a better future, starting with a seed.

“It’s called the Usambara Biodiversity Conservation where the trees are planted,” Taylor said. “It’s in Tanzania, Africa. And another cool thing about the trees is that they are fruit trees. So one they grow to be mature, the fruit is actually being sold by the people in that village, that they get to use of their economic benefit.”

As for his impact outside of the business, he wants his story to be an example to kids like him, to show you can make a difference no matter what you do.

“You don’t really see too many faces of color in the sustainability realm,” Taylor said. “So I really just wanted to show face and know that we’re here too. If you change one person’s life, you can change the world.”

Taylor is also an urban agriculturist, growing food in local food deserts, mostly in Denver. Taylor said 2020 is a year for expansion for the brand. He plans to start an educational program and community programs through the business.

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