ENSPIRE Contributor: Alexandra Rivera
Green’s apparel brand Tribe Worldwide was founded in 2015. Inspired by his activism in Philadelphia, he built his company for people to express themselves unapologetically. The brand has spread worldwide, through the popularity of its unique slogans and designs. The company has shipped over 30,000 orders to 12 countries.
Green’s vision is to become a household name amongst black-owned fashion brands. Tribe Worldwide wants to highlight the positive aspects of black culture with powerful Pro-Black fashion statements. Green also launched a line of organically grown hemp products derived from what Green calls “the essence of our ancestors”. His company is called Hella Black Hella Proud Hemp Co.
ENSPIRE spoke with Green about his business in a recent interview.
What made you want to create your brand in an industry that isn’t dominated by people of color? Did you find it harder to get your business started because of this?
The fact that Black people have less than 2% ownership in the $25 Billion legal cannabis industry was all the inspiration I needed to get started. I thrive on disruptive energy and I’m passionate about creating equitable opportunities for Black people in every area of business. Thanks to my ingenuity and the insight of my mentor, Sheena Roberson, I found it fairly easy to access the business side.
You live by the motto “Master yourself and you’ll never be a slave to another man,” what does that mean to you?
I never liked the idea of having a “boss”. I despise the idea of someone telling me when I can take a lunch break or that I’ve been denied time off for a vacation. I am a huge proponent of “self-mastery”. With so many people lacking discipline and direction in key areas of their lives, honing your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses are essential to your long-term success in any capacity.
Many of us are subject to life conditions that are less than favorable because we have not chosen to do the work necessary to get our highest aspirations. I seek to eliminate the mindset that fuels this mode of living by being an example of a man under his own control.
Part of your success can be attributed to your unique and original slogans. How did you come up with “Hella Black. Hella Proud.”?
I was inspired by my efforts as an activist in the city of Philadelphia to create a fashion collection that would inspire a sense of cultural pride amongst the black community. I intended to shift the narrative in our favor, purposely highlighting the positive aspects of our culture instead of the negative nonsense that we’re constantly fed thru biased media outlets. We have plenty to be proud of, and I intend to highlight all of it through the interpretive lens of my brand.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022? Have you been working on any new projects?
I’m always working on something fresh for the Tribe, and the 4th quarter of ‘22 is no exception. The “Cultural Catalyst” Collection we just launched pays homage to bold, powerful, disruptive agents of change who helped to shape our idea of what “Black Excellence” looks like.
We honor the leaders and innovators who dedicated their lives to our legacy with a creative fashion capsule meant to bring their message of inspiration and determination to the forefront of our conversations. We’re also gearing up to release our “Hella Black Hella Proud” Signature Sweatsuit collection which will feature season-appropriate colors and high-end quality construction.
As an entrepreneur and CEO, what advice do you have for those who want to create their own company and don’t know where to start?
Niches make riches! One of the most important business tips is to always start with a narrow focus and expand into relevant verticals as you scale. By having a narrow focus, you can build a loyal audience who knows what to expect from you. It also gives you a well-defined audience to make your marketing easier.
Green’s mission is to create clothing that promotes the positive aspects of Black Culture and a movement through his clothing. The brand is gearing up to launch its signature sweatsuit that will be perfect for the upcoming season.