2021 Newsmaker: Chad Howell

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Chad Howell

Chad Howell

Co-founder

Forever Great

A clothing company created by college students is aiming to raise awareness about pollution in the Great Lakes.

Chad Howell, who started Forever Great in 2021 with another Grand Valley State University student but now runs the company on his own, deals only in recycled and sustainable apparel.

The goal is to raise awareness about plastic pollution, make clothing that benefits conservation efforts for the Great Lakes and promote the use of a circular economy in the clothing industry.

Forever Great uses a supplier that produces clothing with 100% recycled materials. The items are made from plastic that is removed from the environment, melted down and made into polyester yarn that is woven into fabric.

The company sells active T-shirts that are made from eight types of post-consumer plastic bottles, gift cards, tote bags and stickers that feature the Forever Great logo.

Forever Great donates 8% of its profits to Alliance for the Great Lakes, an environmental organization that works to protect the Great Lakes.

Howell said he is concerned about the lack of awareness surrounding the pollution of the Great Lakes by the general public.

“We noticed the imbalance between the severity of the problem and the lack of discussion surrounding it,” Howell said.

Forever Great is in the process of arranging beach cleanups for locals to get involved in a hands-on manner. The company also plans to extend this measure to an on-lake plastic clean-up initiative and hopes to one day implement recycled Great Lakes plastic directly into its clothing.

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