Young designer bats for entrepreneurship
Fashion designer Andrew Aldridge turned to fashion design to escape poverty following the loss of his mother in 2014.
The former Mico University student, who owns Time Zone Clothing, is also a strong advocate for entrepreneurship and believes youth should identify their passions and follow them.
"Jamaica is faced with an unemployment problem, and so, the youth need to start digging deep to find their passion. Fashion was my passion, and, unfortunately, it took the tragic loss of my mother to push me to the level at which I felt I needed to use my talent to survive. However, everybody has something special about them, and I would advise them to act on it," he said.
The designer believes the creation of more local brands will help to spread Brand Jamaica and create new job opportunities.
He is also using his clothing brand to promote peace, especially with the recent rise in crime and violence.
"I have confidence that creating something will motivate others, and, with the recent spark of violence, I came up with the idea to put quotes on my caps advocating for peace. Sometimes, all it takes to motivate an individual is one positive word of encouragement. As a youth, I have to play my part in nation-building because this is my country and I represent Jamaica.
He noted that there are Jamaican influences in his clothing line, which takes motivation from aspects of the cultures that make up Jamaica's society. We are a unique country, and there are so many elements of that uniqueness to draw from," he said.
The Time Zone fashion line has T-shirts, muscle tops, female crew-necks shirts, and a cap collection. Aldridge is working on an Asian-inspired clothing line, and he is banking on Jamaica's 'Out Of Many One People' motto to work in his favour.
"I will build this brand into a household name in the Jamaican society and then internationally. I believe that technology now affords us the opportunity to impact the rest of the world in a very short space of time. However, what we create must be authentic and Jamaican," he said.