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What does Exist Ethically mean to you?

Written by Leslie Kim


Posted on August 19 2020

Introduction and mission

Life is always changing and evolving, and so are our beliefs. We released a small number of Exist Ethically tees about a year ago, and we hope it has sparked thought and conversation for those who joined our mission then. In our original release, we called Exist Ethically a “stepping stone” movement — a call for greater consciousness. For the second release of this design, we are taking our new learnings and applying them to our mission for a more comprehensive approach.

To Exist Ethically means to exist in a way that betters ourselves, our fellow humans, and our environment through conscious acts, big or small.

The balance of these three pillars is necessary for a balanced life and a brighter tomorrow. Each of these pillars gives and takes from each other, and if the balance becomes disrupted, the entire system will become weak.

For example, If we constantly take more food than we grow, we will not only have waste, but we will become unhealthy, and in the future, we may have nothing to eat. In another situation, if you are very kind to the environment but very harsh on yourself, you are still out of balance and may end up treating others poorly as a result of too little self-care, or have a breakdown. Learning how to treat ourselves with respect and dignity is important because that informs how we will treat others and our planet, too.

All three pillars (Treatment of yourself, others, and your environment) are connected through the forces of giving and taking, and there is no final destination or one way to be. Being is a constant evolution that requires awareness at all times.

Exist Ethically is not just a call to action but a call to consciousness. If we continue down our current path and do not become more aware of our actions or make changes for a brighter tomorrow, it's likely our collective future will be very dim. We certainly don't want that for ourselves or for the generations to come.

Though we have written down a framework for our mission, the most important part of our Exist Ethically project is not about pushing our own ideas forward, it's about hearing the collective voice. And that’s why we want to hear what you believe. What does it mean to you? What do you think it means to Exist Ethically?

Please let us know what Exist Ethically means to you in the comments below, on Instagram, or via email at We'll be collecting responses and adding them to this post once we have enough contributions.

As always, we are so appreciative of you being here and following along the Dynamite Starfish journey. We hope this project is as meaningful to you as it is to us. Thank you!


Leslie Kim and Austin Smith, co-creators of the Exist Ethically project


Images of the first release of the Exist Ethically tees, taken during the quarantine. Courtesy of K Salazar and Matt Lutey. A true community effort!

About the collection

The second release of our Exist Ethically collection will be offered for a limited period of one month. The reason why we are only offering this for a limited time is to reduce waste. For the month, we will collect orders and only print them one time once all the orders are in. This way, we do not need to hold any inventory, and we can offer more styles and colors to you.

We are also printing this design exclusively on 100% recycled materials. The base fabrics we are using are from Recover Brand, a company that uses recycled plastic and upcycled cotton to create eco-friendly apparel. We are very happy to have found them and are excited to offer our designs on their materials.

We offer this design on men's and women's styles in two fabric options. The regular option is 50% recycled plastic and 50% upcycled cotton. This will feel similar to the poly-cotton blended tees you know and love. The sport option is made from 100% recycled plastic and is lightweight, breathable, and cooling.

Here is an image from Recover Brand that explains how 8 plastic bottles become your tee.


Our Exist Ethically design is available on four apparel items and two stickers. Each apparel page has multiple color and fabric options.

Men's Exist Ethically Short Sleeve Tee

Men's Exist Ethically Long Sleeve Tee

Women's Exist Ethically Short Sleeve Tee

Women's Exist Ethically Tank Top



  • For us, existing ethically is constantly striving to grow and improve and do better for ourselves, for others, and for the planet. It starts with increasing our awareness and making changes. In every decision we make, we want to choose the path that has a positive impact today, and towards the future. <3

    Posted by Girls who CCLiMb (Malorie, Carlie and Christina M) | August 29, 2020
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