After checking out the new collaborative edit from Think Culture X Word Repeats to promote their new product which aims to raise money for the Long Live Southbank campaign, I thought I’d catch up with Mush from Think Culture to get a bit more info on there recent endeavors.
So let’s get into this with you telling us a little about Think Culture and how it began?
It’s a long story kinda… a lot of ‘thinking’, determination and of course blood, sweat and tears, like any start up story but I’ll try to keep it brief. It all started really in early 2013, basically I wanted to be myself and do the things I love. I had recently lost my 9-5 at Poundworld (thank god!) and ended up on the dole, from there I decided to become self employed with TJ, who also quit his day job.
We began helping out other local businesses / independents with branding and t-shirt printing etc. as you know, I still do to this day. This was cool ya know, we were getting to slowly build a name for ourselves in the local area by doing things we love, but Think Culture was yet to be born… We decided to make TC public in May-time 2014 after some time planning it to fill the void in our self employed lifestyle, but also to reflect who we really are.
I’ve personally always been into art from a young age and its influences through skateboarding and the culture… thinking about the culture is what we were doing all along. As we hand printed in-house for others anyways, we had the ability to print for ourselves, we wanted to express ourselves… we worked on some designs and got to work! TC was born… Sound easy? No, we made a lot of mistakes but as any creative, passionate person knows, these mistakes help us learn and we still are, right now. So, its basically all about reminding people to express yourself and contribute to our much loved culture.
Think Culture is skater-owned, how important an aspect do you think this is?
I think it is important to keep skateboarding in general skater owned… we skate… we’re maybe not amazing skaters but its all fun and we love it, but there’s some companies out there that want to just make money from skateboarding… You don’t take from skateboarding, you give to it, and its grows. That’s why we are here I guess, just to help and put it out there that all skater owned/ small independents should collaborate more on certain projects to achieve more in the bigger picture. I mean more people, more impact… harder for just anyone to come along and take it away from us!
I spoke with TJ a while back about the cliquey nature of British skateboarding. How are you guys combating that side of things?
Haha yeah man! I think he probably spoke for me as I do for him there… but as I say, we’re here to be ourselves and show that by helping others along the way we can all get there a lot faster, but we also make more of an impact together. As we’re new some people are gonna hate or at least question us, as they don’t like new. They can only respect the more established brands which is cool, they deserve it more as they have worked hard and been here longer… we are working hard just not for as long. We don’t care what others think and don’t let it affect us, as you have to do what you love, right? I think Think Culture will be here a little longer than some may have expected!
I’ve seen you collaborating recently with all sorts, from specific events like our Go Skate Day street jam, to working with skateparks, and more recently involved with DIY fundraising like The Moon. What’s your inspiration behind getting involved with all these different projects?
Yeah bro, the Go Skate Day back in June was so sick, can’t wait for the next one! As I said earlier, its all about coming together… we have the ability to do what we do, printing etc, so we do it but not just for ourselves, its to get others involved and show that its awesome to unite.
We get inspired by others not just our own imagination and when we get an idea we want to make it happen…Right now we are just working with what we have which isn’t much, but we want to do some rad stuff in the future and contribute even more… So this is still just the start.
So you’ve got a new collaborative project at the moment. What’s the idea behind this project and what made you decide to collaborate with Word Repeats’ Tom Wareing?
Yes, so hyped! Tom Wareing (aka Word Repeats) to put it simply his work is rad! Such a talented sound lad. I started following him earlier this year on Instagram as his work was right up my street and stood out to me, basically I wanted to put some of it on a tee or two as a collab project. The idea quickly bloomed into a whole project based around Southbank and the recent success of preserving the Undercroft, as our tribute. Both me and TJ had never even visited Southbank, so not only was this a great opportunity to hit it up but we realised that we may have never been able to go if it weren’t for the guys at Long Live Southbank.
The collab consists of an edit that we filmed earlier this month with Alex DeCunha from a 2 day trip to London hitting up BaySixty6 Skatepark, some local spots such as St. Paul’s ledge and of course Southbank. Alex killed it and you can see that for yourself as the edit is now live on YouTube. To accompany the edit there are some bits such as some sick Southbank tees and illustrations that Tom has done and that we have hand printed. They will be available for pre order soon with 100% of the profit going to www.llsb.com
Would you like to see other businesses give a bit more back to the community?
Of course man, when we move forward with each other, we can do great things! Raise funds for future projects, inspire the younger skaters to keep going and follow their individual dreams and to never give up… sometimes we need a push too. It gets us hyped to see people helping out where they can!
Got any advice for skateboarders on how they can best support their local scene?
Always support your local scene but don’t just support yours’, support all skater owned and independent businesses by buying something from your local skateshop, by meeting other skaters, even if they aren’t as good as you, don’t hate! If you stop buying non-skater-owned corporate products then they will eventually loose their target audience and help the sicker, more deserving and humble skater owned guys to grow… After all skateboarding is not a sport nor a business, its a lifestyle, our culture, take care of it and stay hyped!
Any shout outs?
Big thanks to everyone who has been there for and helped out Think Culture, you know who you are you’re the best!