By Jessica Robinson
The latest development in Laurentian University school spirit is here, and it’s student-led.
Established in August of 2014, Tychon Carter-Newman has created North 705, the up-and-coming clothing line of the Northern district.
What exactly is North 705?
“I have a definition,” says Carter-Newman, a fifth year student at Laurentian University and captain of the Laurentian Voyageurs men’s basketball team.
“(The brand) is more than just a change in apparel, it is a change in attitude. This is newfound pride and school spirit. We are unique and we are the true north. The 705 territory is ours.”
The brand is meant to bring more spirit to Laurentian.
“The 705 is us,” he emphasizes, “even though it encompasses Barrie, North Barrie, Sault St Marie. I’m saying that we run it, it’s ours.”
North 705 was conceived to build upon the existing clothing and spirit wear that already exists at Laurentian. Carter-Newman is looking to expand the brand, and introduce more creativity into the apparel.
And the target demographic isn’t just students. “It’s community members, it’s staff, and it’s everybody. It’s trying to signify that we’re a unified community, together.”
The product line is expanding slowly.
“I started with the hoodies initially, because, well, it’s cold here,” Carter-Newman said. “So what I did was I came out with the hoodies first, and people would say, ‘Oh, that’s a little bit more expensive, do you have t-shirts?’ And then I started producing t-shirts and dry fits, which are a little bit cheaper. So now we have options.”
Of course, as a varsity athlete and full-time student, Carter-Newman acknowledges that it can be difficult balancing everything.
“It’s tough. I can only allocate so much time to actually promoting the brand. But what I’m trying to do is to have the school catch on and eventually sell it themselves. I want the school to embrace (the brand) as theirs, not just something I’m doing. I want the school to have it for years to come.”
Because both the clothing lines sold at the university bookstore and the athletic apparel lines are externally owned, there are roadblocks when it comes to trying to access the market directly through the school.
But Carter-Newman insists that the positive feedback he’s been receiving in response to the line so far is making it worthwhile so far. And he is not limiting his plans for the future of the line.
“I want it sold in the bookstore, and I want it used for potential recruitment, to recruit potential students and to just raise for awareness for our school. We’re a unique school. We’re special, and I think everybody should know that.”
And as for where people can get the product, “right now, you can get it through me, or anyone on the basketball team; it’s a word of mouth thing,” Tychon says. “We want to expand on that, and make it bigger, but right now its just word of mouth.”