More than just water, Jaden Smith shares his efforts to improve the world

Nuried Hurtado, TV2 Reporter

Matthew Brown, Photo Editor

With resounding applause, Jaden Smith took the stage at Kent State’s Cartwright Hall Friday night. Fielding questions from Bryton Ellis, a junior music major and the event’s moderator, Smith talked at length about his charity, JUSTWater, and several of his other sustainability initiatives at the event organized by Undergraduate Student Government.

Inspired at an early age by his teachers, Smith started JUSTWater to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the water through renewable water bottles. While the initial rendition of the bottle was made with 80 percent renewable materials, innovations and improvements have brought the number of renewable materials to 92 percent. This initiative would later spawn 501CTHREE, a nonprofit company focused on providing sustainable water filters to those without access to clean water.

Within the same vein of renewability, Smith discussed his clothing brand MSFTS, which prioritizes thrifting clothes. The brand also does pop-up shops with screen printers that allow people to bring their own clothes and have MSFTS designs printed on them rather than purchasing a whole new piece of clothing.

“We try to recycle as much clothes as we can,” Smith said.

MSFTS pushes those who purchase their clothes to wear them as much as they can to help reduce the number of carbon emissions the clothing creates. Smith himself said that he “wears his clothes into the ground.”

Smith said the reason he cares so deeply about these sustainability initiatives is because this is a problem caused by people, and humans would be the ones who’d have to contend with the consequences if they continued to do nothing.

“Earth is like a cruise ship, and none of us are passengers,” Smith said. “We’re all crew.”

Smith’s words seemed to strike a chord with many of the students who came to the Q&A that evening.

“I think it’s really important to have someone who has a lot of fame talk about this stuff,” Kent State student Aimee Floris said. “Because it means that there’s people out there who really care about how their money is being dispersed and where all these initiatives are going towards.”

Fellow Kent State student Matthew Miller shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s beautiful to see that these aren’t just things that he cares about,” he said, “but that he cares about them so deeply it seems like it kinda hurts, to me.”

Matthew Brown is photo editor. Contact him at [email protected].