Arkaid is a non-profit clothing brand and social media presence that raises profits and awareness for communites in need. Originally founded as a way for the Executive Director, Zachary Lipsett, to reconnect with his community with a positive outcome, ARKAID also serves as an outlet and platform to share art and design from LGBTQ+ Identifying Students. Around 90% of Arkaid's team identify as LGBTQ+. Arkaid was first partnered with a San Francisco local nonprofit organization called LYRIC. LYRIC provides necessities and offers services to LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth in San Francisco. We have since shifted our focus after donating the check of the profits we raised. Arkaid strives to promote sustainability through eco-friendly packaging and local small-business manufacturing while also promoting self-love and confidence of personal style.
- Eco Friendly 100% Compostable Packaging
- Blanks Manufactured in the USA
- Screen-printed by Local SF Screenprinter small business The Lords of Print
Why Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth in San Francisco?
San Francisco is viewed as a safe haven for struggling LGBTQ+ across America, as it showcases an image of acceptance to those who aren’t welcomed in their current communities. LGBTQ+ identifying youth are disproportionately affected by homelessness.
- At least 46% of young people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco identify as LGBTQ+
- On any given night in San Francisco, there are more than 1,100 young people without a safe place to sleep
- 550,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week in the U.S.
“Over quarantine, I found myself playing a lot of video games to escape the harsh reality of lockdown. However, the communities I was interacting with were toxic and I was bullied profusely for being Gay. I was called the F-Slur, mimicked, joked about and the list continues. I was at the lowest point of my life and felt really insecure about my sexuality. Eventually, I matured and quit gaming for good. I worked on myself– focusing on building self-confidence and self-love. After repairing my self-image and mental health, I wanted to re-connect with the community I was conditioned to be ashamed of. Not only did I want to reconnect, I wanted to use my resources to support. I discovered LYRIC through some research and reached out to them. I founded the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at my school and partnered with LYRIC, raising money at school fairs which would later be donated to them. I even bought an embroidery machine and iPad to start designing and manufacturing shirts at my home. I called my brand Arkaid- a unique spelling of arcade- because video games served as a catalyst in my connecting with my community. This endeavor proved successful as we raised $850 from selling my shirts alone. When the Capstone Project was introduced in my Senior Year at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA), I wanted to expand”