(WXYZ) - When a Michigan father and son started their own clothing company, they knew they wanted to accomplish two things… to succeed and to give back. In fact, one they believe, is dependent on the other.
"Our motto is give what you receive," Brian Martindale said as he showed me one of his Karma Inc. Apparel t-shirts. On the shirt, a continuous band of words… "Give what you received… receive what you give."
It's Karma, he explains… and he's based a whole company around it.
"But the cause and effect of karma is just if you do good, you'll receive good things back, and that's just how we run our business."
Their products tout their motto. And they put their money where their mouth is, donating 10% of every t-shirt, hoodie or thermal sale to a different charity each month. Through January, money is going to the Children's Organ Transplant Association.
"They give 100 percent of every dollar that they take in to families of children that had had or are in need of an organ transplant," Martindale says.
Brian and his son started the company in 2008, in part because his son liked funky t-shirts. They began designing their own shirts and giving back. Those two together caught the eye of the owner of another business owner.
"We produce and design the shirts for Guilty Custom Motorcycles in San Clemente, California," Martindale says. "We took the play on the word guilty. Our campaign right now is called ‘guilty of giving,' so whenever you see one of our items with "Guilty" on it, you'll know that that person is knowingly or not, giving back to charity.
In fact, for the rest of January, if you buy any of the "Guilty Apparel," $5 per item will be donated to charity.
The shirts are getting some attention. The Detroit band LetricKramer wears them in part of their video called "Detroit City." (click here to watch the video)
Like with any new business, succeeding is a challenge. But Brian believes you don't wait until you succeed to give back. You give back… and that helps your chances of succeeding. Call it Karma.
"Just in this economy, with what's going on, we've got people in need, people losing homes, it just seems like if we can give something back for everything we're given, it's just the right way to do business," Martindale says.
In February, 10% of each sale (and $5 of each Guilty apparel purchase) will go to Gleaner's Food Bank in Detroit.