Q&A With Meraki Complex: A Streetwear Brand With A Cause

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Meraki Complex is a streetwear-inspired clothing brand by Canyon High Schools’ own, Ernesto Aguirre. Over the course of quarantine, he has made use of his free time to create a small-business dedicated to societal and systematic issues within our world. My interview with Aguirre consisted of the most vital aspects that continue to make up his vastly growing brand.

What is the meaning behind the name Meraki Complex and what does it mean, more specifically, to you?
“‘Meraki’ is a Greek word that is used when you do something with soul, creativity, and love. Or when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing. And the word “complex” is something consisting of many different and connected parts. The meaning of our name is exactly what we’re about. We just want to create art while expressing our thoughts and collaborating with other artists, spreading positive messages.”

What inspired your interest in starting your clothing business?
“My sister is a graphic designer and I really enjoy streetwear culture. Another reason was because I got inspired by all the people speaking up against police brutality, for black lives and I wanted to spread the message through our shirts, I thought it was a great way to introduce our brand.”

How would you describe the style of your clothing and your brand overall?
“We don’t have a specific style. We change it up every time. Every drop we release is a complete different style of design. We just have so many ideas to just stick to one. Well, I could say we are a streetwear brand.”

So what was launch day like? Are you looking forward to releasing more collections like the Unity Collection?
“Yes, the “Unity,” as explained in the name, was just a collection we released trying to bring people together. We had five shirts, each one had a different message uniting and bringing positivity to an environment that was filled with hate and division. I plan on doing more collections like “unity”, for the next collection I was thinking of an environmental-friendly collection. In which I would thrift pieces of clothing and customize and print on them. This would be super helpful for the environment, knowing the fact that it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one shirt. That’s enough water for one person to drink for 900 days!”

What kind of setup are you working with as of right now, considering all products are handmade? Are you hoping to expand production materials in the future?
“As of right now, I have a heat press, vinyl cutter, and a single color screen printing press. Eventually, I want to upgrade my screen printing press with more colors and get a sewing machine.”

What charities or causes have you been able to contribute to thus far?
“I’ve only been doing this for a month so the list is not the longest, but fortunately I’ve been able to donate $100 to “The Okra-Project” to help feed people in the black transgender community. For Thanksgiving Day, my family and I were able to buy 36 pizzas and go to the streets of LA and help feed people. And this week I dropped a t-shirt and a hoodie in which I plan to spend 50% of the profits to help buy toys for kids who maybe aren’t as lucky to get toys for Christmas this year.”

What kind of impact are you hoping Meraki Complex will have on the community or on a larger scale audience, especially since we are living in such unprecedented times?
“Honestly I just want to bring people together and just have people relate to our art. I want to bring people together and hosting events, such as cleaning beaches, feeding people in need in our communities, or even just to get to meet people. Well obviously after Covid-19 cases go down.”

Is there anything customers can look forward to for the future of Meraki Complex?
“We really want to collaborate with other artists. We want every drop to have its own creative design and for it to not just be the same old design. We just want to show other artist’s art as well. So if you’re reading this and you’re an artist. Please reach out to us on any social media..”

While this school year has brought a whirlwind of challenges and unification, it’s comforting to know that some students are finding ways to get by. Pushing ourselves to complete online assignments every day or trying to continue to be social while still staying inside, has not always been easy. Though it’s not only admirable, it’s important to see so many young adults using this time to better their futures, and creating an outlet where, at the end of the day, they can be themselves and feel liberated.

– Contact Meraki Complex:
Instagram @merakicomplex
Email @[email protected]
– Visit the Meraki Complex Website To Shop: