Trinidad3 Answers Call to Serve With New Collection, COVID-19 Contributions
As a United States Marine Corps veteran, Trinidad Garcia III still begins his day contributing to the armed services as a contractor who provides marksmanship training for the United States Navy, but his calling to serve his country doesn’t end there. The founder of Trinidad3, the Los Angeles–made denim company, is putting his manufacturing into his mission with the brand’s Relief Release Collection, which launched April 7.
“The fashion side of it is my outlet and form of expression and what draws people to the brand, but the underlying thing—the service—is the heartbeat,” Garcia explained. “During the worst possible time to launch a collection, it reminds me of what Marines historically have done. They go into situations where the odds are against them.”
A collection comprising four jeans and Pima-cotton T-shirts, which are available in white, tan, charcoal and two hues of green, the Relief Release Collection is focused on comfort—a timely theme for fashion during the era of COVID-19. Jeans in the collection are offered in a slim taper, constructed from stretch denim—available in black or gray—and a skinny cut in medium or tonal indigo. Both the stretch denim and skinny cut are new to the brand and are available in sizes 30–40. T-shirts are priced at $49.99 with sizes ranging between M-XXL. Each T-shirt sale will generate a $5 donation to Merging Vets and Players, the organization that matches veterans and former professional athletes to ease transition into civilian life. For each pair of $169 jeans sold online, $20 will aid the Ventura County Rapid Relief Fund.
“I train the Navy in Ventura County, and I was born in Port Hueneme, Calif. Joe [Lafko, managing partner at Trinidad3] felt it would be good to do something that is rooted close to home,” Garcia said. “My family is here. A lot of the work we do, even when I was in the service, is rooted in Los Angeles.”
In addition to the new collection, Trinidad3 has reopened its Huntington Park, Calif., factory to contribute to the urgent need for face masks used to protect against the coronavirus while adhering to best safety practices for worker protection and is paying employees full salaries. It initially started as a project that provided masks to the Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living, an organization through which United States Army veteran Robert Perez arranges food deliveries for people living with disabilities in Los Angeles with help from civilian volunteers and veterans. Though the organization has organized a donation drive through its Downey and Pasadena, Calif., offices, during which it is collecting nonperishable food and personal-hygiene items until April 10, volunteers needed protective equipment.
“Through this, we continue to find purpose and reach out. Quarantine and isolation are arguably the worst things that a veteran with post-traumatic-stress disorder can encounter. Through this, there is a veteran who got a team together, and they have been delivering food to people with disabilities throughout Los Angeles,” Garcia said. “I just delivered 250 masks for the veterans and volunteers who are going out to deliver this food.”
While Trinidad3 has roots in Los Angeles and is expanding its service efforts to Ventura County, it is not stopping with these efforts. Relying on advice he heard from a master gunnery sergeant who advised, “Always take care of the Marine to your left and your right and everything will fall into place,” Garcia is expanding his company’s mask manufacturing to provide these valuable products to those in need on the East Coast.
“We retrofitted our equipment. We get our fabric on Wednesday, and we make masks that will be donated in New York. It’s pretty amazing to have opportunities. As Marines, it’s rooted in us to answer the nation’s call,” Garcia said. “We’re going to be producing well over 100,000 masks.”
Focused on providing service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Garcia is also looking toward the future once life returns to a new normal. With a team that is always prepared to answer a call for help, Trinidad3 is going to be ready and able to produce its apparel through a quick turnaround to support their retailers once stores are ready to open. For now, Garcia’s goal is to help his customers find ways to start helping others during the coronavirus crisis.
“We found purpose to launch this collection that was inspired by the zeitgeist of the time. It’s American made and it’s an essential,” he said. “Right now, by launching this collection, we can continue to build relationships and offer our customers the opportunity to make a difference with us. At the end of the day, it’s fashion—but it makes you feel good.”