We've seen it popping up everywhere the past few months – on stickers along the Beltline, on t-shirts and in our social media feeds: #IBelieveInAtlanta – a simple, declarative statement that articulates exactly what we've been feeling for our city for oh-so long. But who's at the helm of the belief? Enter Thomas Pearson, lifelong Atlantan and long-time touring musician with a deep love of city. So deep that he took it upon himself to found apparel company, I Believe In Atlanta, with no larger agenda than to give back to the fair city herself. "The whole idea of this was born from my time being in a touring band for the last eight years. I've been to a lot of big cities – they're all amazing – but I never felt the need to live anywhere else because, well, Atlanta is my home. I wanted to develop a way to express my deep love of Atlanta to everyone."
So in 2010 Pearson got to work making t-shirts for himself and his friends to don both inside and outside of the city's limits, "One of the reasons I love it here so much is that you take the city with you when you move away. That's something that you necessarily get with other cities." Bit by bit, Pearson's tees started gaining notoriety around town, "People liked to wear them and I wanted to do something bigger for them. So I started to make hats and other stuff and donating the proceeds from sales to Atlanta charities."
I Believe in Atlanta's wares vary from season to season, with each apparel item benefitting a different charity. Currently up at the site the flagship t-shirt that started it all, along with winter beanies, hoodies and customized blue and gold pencils – all of which benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Pearson has big plans in store for the seasons ahead, too. For the spring he's planning for a wider variety of shirts, pull-over windbreakers, snapbacks and dog bandanas (the last of which will benefit Lifeline Animal Shelter). And for the summer months expect tank tops, tote bags, and the item we're most excited for: river towels. "We're planning on releasing a towel that's standard beach towel size with the logo and artwork designed by a local artists on it." Yup, we can just imagine ourselves now, on the side of our beloved 'Hooch, sipping on canned beers upon our philanthropic towels. A scene like that leaves us to wonder: what's not to believe in?
Keep up with I Believe In Atlanta's campaigns and wares on their website or follow them on Instagram.