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In USA Today - Meet 15 Top Fashion & Apparel Brands

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From drop-seat jumpsuits to golf joggers, these companies are innovating with style. – 

Badi Tolo USA TODAY Headshot

Hi 6th Fam, Badi M. Tolo, Founder/Creative Director of The 6th. I've been quietly working on a number of projects and partnerships lately to close out an eventful 2021, as well as gear up for 2022. 

For a little background if you're new to this brand, I launched this online store in 2019. It's been a lot of early mornings and late nights, struggle, patience, and determination, to keep it going as a side hustle first, and now a small but meaningful brand trying to gain traction in a crowded marketplace. To say that navigating building a brand from the ground up in this new world has been difficult is an understatement.

But none of the difficulty and (outside doubt) that I knew would come with this idea, has ever mattered to me. When this whole thing started, I simply wanted to create merch with a message. And with whatever sales that came from it, I wanted to give a little back to "The 6th Man" of the business world, Nonprofits. Since it's inception, The 6th has not only donated to or partnered directly with nearly 20 different nonprofits in under 3 years, but we've most recently partnered with innovative, globally recognized technology companies like Shopping Gives, to give YOU, our customers, the transparency and trust I sought to demonstrate from day 1 through my social media engagement and collaboration with our Nonprofit Spotlights. Today, when you add to cart to shop The 6th Apparel or any items from our New Collections, you see exactly how much and to whom, 6% of your sales price will be automatically donated. Not only that, but you can also choose your own nonprofit from one of our Featured Nonprofits when you hit the UPDATE button on the Shopping Gives Widget.

Separately, when you shop the Cause Collection, The 6th will donate between 30-40% of sales proceeds on those specialty items directly back to those partners on a quarterly or annual basis providing a report of any sales made on behalf of their nonprofit or cause directly to them as a show of continued support for the good work they do.

So, what does it mean to be "The 6th Man/6th Woman"? In the game of basketball, it's the first player off the bench often recognized as the best player not in the starting 5, but to those who know it and live it, and to me especially, it's so much more. The 6th is both an underdog story and a mentality. That's why we say "I AM The 6th" with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder. You know what you bring, but you also know you have to be a team player and make sacrifices to get your opportunity. But you're always ready when it's your time. That feeling can translate across moments throughout our entire lives not just limited to sports.

Sometimes it doesn't work out the way that you want, but the key is to always believe. To know that while you might have to carve your path alone sometimes, you are part of a greater team, a tribe if you will, of people just like you. They just want to contribute and see us all win. That underdog story is my story, but it's also the story of anyone who has ever struggled in life. Building this brand was just the next chapter of mine, and I've been determined to write it my way. But I couldn't do it without my tribe.

Your support and the growth of this brand are what lead to an opportunity to get recognized as one of 15 top fashion and apparel brands. In an industry so deep and decades old, this was a humbling and welcome moment to share our message. The 6th is honored to land in the #6 spot recognizing our launch, our message, and the mission to make a difference.

We've all felt overlooked and under-appreciated at times. Rather than let those moments define us, choose to embrace them as part of your journey to prove you belong, because you do. The 6th brand is meant to demonstrate and encourage all to KNOW and believe that they can Do More, Be More, and Give More. That's what it means to be "The 6th".

The rallying cry of The 6th is a simple one, "I AM The 6th. WE ARE One Tribe." I hope everyone who supports or discovers this brand grows to believe not only in themselves, but also in each other. 

Every day brings a new challenge and opportunity to prove yourself and accomplish something big or small. Sometimes you have to lose to win. My journey hasn't been an easy or perfect one, but one thing I know, is I will Never Stop Working. Join me and Rep the 6th!

Badi Marcel Tolo
Founder/Creative Director
The 6th Clothing Co


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