Jared Smith and Ben Gustafson in their office/studio. Photo: Adam Dorobiala
I’m fucking fed up with this doom and gloom. The sun came up this morning so I’m happy as a clam. Barring the next global calamity, I think we should all splash some cold water on our faces and take a chill pill. Like the late great master of the moonwalk used to say, “Take a look at yourself and make a change.” Yes sir, I’m talking about the man in the mirror. While all the gloomsters mope about talking the talk, I met a pair of seamsters who have been doing some walking—walking in handcrafted threads that they have created for the local market. It seems that the overwhelming majority loves the big box—just go people watching at Walmart sometime. I do not know what cave these freaks crawled out of, but the word “troglodyte” sure is fitting. I don’t mean to judge—I’m the first in line at the county fair every year—but why pay for a freak show when this shit show is churning out mutants by the dozen? If you can’t beat ‘em, don’t join ‘em. Salt Lake has a thriving local community of motivated shakers and movers creating real change on the local level, and I’m proud to introduce a new crew to the fold—Ben Gustafson and Jared Smith, creators of Evryday.
Evryday (ED for short) was spinning in the A.D.D.-riddled heads of Smith and Gustafson for years. Although Gustafson and Smith had been acquaintances for a number of years, they didn’t start hanging out until last summer, which is when they realized they had a lot in common. They both have half-pipes in their backyard, work at local bars, share common mental disorders and get really loud when drunk. This last commonality was probably the reason they hadn’t collaborated sooner, seeing as how they couldn’t hear each other talking “sewing machine shop” over their own drunken rants. On one fateful evening, however, I think a bell rang in one head as a light bulb went off in the other and it’s been a beautiful thing ever since. Both on their own little trips, slowly throwing together designs, patterns and styles. Smith was mastering custom hats while Gustafson was focusing more on the pant. This is where their O.C.D. came into play—they both just couldn’t find anything that fit in the Chinese product-based stores. So they took it upon themselves to make shit that fit.
“We’re not capitalizing, we’re just clamming,” says Smith. Not wanting to turn this into some stressful business venture, they aren’t going to get caught up in the money side of things. They aren’t trying to make it rich, by any means. “Do what you love and the money will follow,” he says. They’ve set up shop down at Kilby Court, in a studio next to Salt Lake’s perfect half-pipe. It seems this duo can’t spend too much time away from a ramp. That’s why I trust the intent of what they’re doing. It’s a simple love and passion for things that make sense. Working for the man and buying Chinese crap just doesn’t. They both scream in my ear, seemingly in practiced unison, “Bring the business home!”
Gustafson says, “The bottom line is we’re taking it back to the roots—before oil happened and we were shipping products across seas. That doesn’t work. A stable economy happens when everything is local.” It doesn’t stop there. In fact, that’s just the beginning. “Change the protocol of everything—starting with the way it goes from being a plant to being on your body,” says Smith. They have a business plan to be as green as possible, including finding organic local fabrics. I heard them talking about bamboo fibers and I started worrying about pandas, but they assured me the cuddly guys would have plenty of food. Forget cargo ships polluting and probably killing dolphins as they molest the oceans, Gustafson is going to be out delivering his goods via bike.
They’re doing their part to make this world a better place to breathe, but that’s only the first objective of ED, the second being custom fit. “There is a disconnect between China and what people want. They’ve told us how it fits, but it doesn’t fit. We’re going to make it fit—people aren’t squares,” says Gustafson as he demonstrates this idea with his hands. Hanes and Fruit of the Loom don’t know what progressive-minded people want. I guess it’s that we don’t want to look like we came out of a cookie cutter. There’s just something about being comfortable in a T-shirt and slacks that money can’t buy. They’ve painstakingly created all original patterns because they know what works. You can tell by their look of total disgust over things like the “cupcake” look that a poorly designed hoodie can create. When you’re wearing ED gear, you’re going to look like you just stepped out of the tailor’s.
“Come down, drink a beer, we’ll make you a pair of pants,” Gustafson tells me. That’s the beauty of it—they’re not trying to break into some high fashion shit, they are blue-collar dudes who get their seam on. ED specializes in four varieties of pants: a stretch denim that is good for street wear, a polyester Wrangler-style grandpa pant, a specialized sweatpant that doesn’t wear like your George Costanza pant and finally, the action slack, which makes for a great springtime snowboard pant. As if this wasn’t perfect enough, every pair of slacks is made by hand by Gustafson and Smith.
I’ve finally found my Zen. I’m going to have a custom sweat suit made. I’ve been dreaming about this outfit all my life—brown with gold thread and a custom fit—ready for the track, yoga mat or skatepark. You can find your inner Zen too, simply by supporting local business. Do what you love and the clams just jump in your bucket, no big deal, it’s just that simple.
You can find their pants at Brick & Mortar, Blindside and Fresh for now, but as summer approaches, expect reversible tank tops, hats and other accessories to start appearing. It will only be a matter of time ‘til the revolution catches on and their quality gear finds itself on shelves all across the valley.