Latino teens are giving us major goals these days. They speak up for marginalized people in front of masses, shut down homophobia, and have a thirst for higher education. Oh yeah, and is it just me, or do they also dress way better than we did when we were in high school? If today’s teens are tomorrow’s leaders, then sign me up for a future that’s bright and woke af.
Kayla Robinson is another example of how teens are making us optimistic about the future. Her organic T-shirt line is driving social change as well as pressing for the rights of marginalized women. And oh yeah, catching the attention of some major celeb shoppers.
Kayla Robinson is just 18 years old, but the Afro-Latina has a clientele designers would die for.
The Afro Dominicana is the founder of Green Box Shop a politically driven clothing line with an agenda to fight climate change, racism, homophobia, sexism and transphobia. Robinson got the idea to start her business and sell shirts to pay for her yoga instructor certification. “I didn’t have the money for proper training so I sold my shirts in exchange for donations for quite some time and then decided to open a more organized online store for my shirts. Now, my ultimate goal is to get involved in urban farming to make healthy and home-grown food more accessible in the many food deserts in our country,” Robinson told Teen Vogue.
Her shirts which have a strong political slant, have gained a ton of attention since being worn on stage by R&B artist, Frank Ocean.
On a stage before thousands of people at Panorama Festival, Ocean wore Kayla’s politically bent T-shirt. The words “Why Be Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, or Transphobic When You Can Just Be Quiet” were emblazoned across his chest. Within hours, GreenBox’s site was getting lit up for orders.
So far, her Ts have caught the attention of big names like Kehlani, Laura Jauregui and Zendaya.
Robinson says that her celebrity buyers make her optimistic about the future of black and brown businesses. “I feel like celebrities using their platform to support businesses like mine is something that is really helpful for the success of small, black-owned businesses and our community overall.” If Robinson’s sales are a reflection of that potential, that the future for of-color businesses holds promise. Her business has skyrocketed from 20 to 200 sales daily.
“I understand certain stigmas firsthand so I create those designs from that perspective.”
When it comes to intersectional feminism, Robinson says it absolutely has stake in her brand.“‘[Being] a bisexual, feminine Afro-Latina, I understand certain stigmas firsthand so I create those designs from that perspective. For subjects that are outside of my identity — including issues related to being disabled, other cultures, or transgender communities — I check in with my followers,” Robinson told People about finding inspiration.
Her celebrity clients might be buying up her shirts with messages of social justice written across them, but her work doesn’t stop there. Robinson is still pushing for her original mission, her desire to educate others about sustainability.
“Unfortunately, in America,” she says, “there are 23.5 million people who live in low-income areas that are more than one mile from a supermarket.” For Robinson, this remains an issue that is just as equally as important as fighting for equality and women’s rights. “I would like to teach and empower these communities to be able to sustain themselves through personal gardens.”
It’s so exciting to see another Latina teen, showing the world how to make the world a better place.
CREDIT: Teen Choice Awards / FOX