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Skateboarding Philanthropists

Meet Jordan Lovelis and Chris Weigele, two skateboarders from Costa Mesa, California that met while riding together for Siren Skateboards. After experiencing some harsh realities while on a trip to India, they decided to use their talent and love for skateboarding not to become rich or famous, but to help better the world. So they created a clothing line called The Sound Movement and decided to use all the profits they made to expose the evils of human trafficking, a cause that affects more than 27 million people worldwide, by using music, art, and skateboarding. Here’s how this amazing cause began:

When Lovelis was just 19 years old, he went on his first skate trip to India. As he walked through the slummy trenches of New Delhi’s Garstin Bastion Road, a boy no older than 10 approached him, asking graphic questions about his preference in young girls and saying really obscene things about specific options and ethnicities.

“[He] came up to me and started pointing at girls and asking ‘Which one do you want?'” Lovelis, recalls. “He was so young, and looking back, he was probably working for his dad.” The boy was offering to charge $3 for anything Lovelis wanted. “I just was kind of broke at that point,” he says. “That was the moment I realized I had to do something. I witnessed it with my own eyes and couldn’t walk away like I hadn’t.”

Thus the clothing line The Sound Movement was created. Lovelis explains that their message is about living life as a “sound” individual -which their merch and tag lines define as being free from moral defect; upright. His philosophy behind fighting human trafficking is also simple: Eliminate the demand, and eliminate the supply. The first step is to target young men in India who are at risk of participating in the prostitution of young girls. By educating and informing them about the consequences of sexual slavery, Lovelis and Weigele hope to positively impact their choices and respect for women.

The idea of creating a clothing line instead of forming a nonprofit organization stemmed from wanting to provide goods in exchange for funds raised to travel to back to India. All profits go directly to the cause. Lovelis explains that while they’re not the first company to try to promote a cause through branding, they believe Sound offers relevancy in the clothing industry. Creating a cause-based clothing line that’s fashion-forward will allow them to reach young people, furthering awareness by staying current.

Lovelis’ last trip to India, consisted of a team of three ramp builders, two interns, a photographer and a filmmaker, all of whom raised funding for their voyages independently. Their plan included distribution of hygiene products, outreach to locals, and renovations to India’s only indoor skate park, owned by Steve Weightman, founder of the rehabilitation house known as Courage Homes.

“Most of these kids were orphans, and they just needed to be loved on and have someone spend time with them,” says Lovelis. “I’d tell them why human trafficking is a shock to me and why what’s happening to women in their country isn’t the way it has to be. We tried to give them the power to influence their friends and inspire them to understand they can change the future.”

 

In the time since they’ve started The Sound Movement, Lovelis and Weigele have organized 6 successful art/music events that have showcased some of SoCal’s best talent from bands like FMLY BAND, Kiev, and Dustin Lovelis Band and Reverend Baron (pro skaters Danny Garcia and Matt Costa) as well as musical performances from pro skaters Josh Harmony and Austyn Gillete. They plan to launch their next big event this coming October. It will be a benefit show to help get them back to India. Everyone involved still work full time jobs, so its getting increasingly harder to go out there, but they are definitely dedicated to making it work. If you’d like to keep up to date with their amazing cause, go check out their websites and follow/share their social medias:

Website: www.thesoundmvmnt.com

Facebook: /thesoundmvmnt

Instagram: @thesoundmvmnt

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