Two years ago, Sean McCarthy ('12) co-founded The Five07, a coffee bar in Thousand Oaks, California, which he describes as a community and creative space. They recently launched a new clothing line with the help of Leeban Farah, a senior economics major, who holds the position of creative director. Five07's clothing line is ethically sourced and embodies the laid-back SoCal vibe. I had the opportunity to ask McCarthy about Five07’s rapid rise and their first capsule — a collection of three casual pieces you can incorporate into your everyday looks.
Francesca Bermudez (F.B.): What does it mean to be a “community and creative space,” and what does that allow you to do as a team?
Sean McCarthy (S.M.): There is so much freedom within [that title] because all of our decisions don't have to be, "Oh, we have to make this type of coffee, or follow these specific recipes." [That title] allows us to be an organically moving organization that listens to the community for what is most needed. We see ourselves as a place for the community to come together first, and then whatever else we are flows from there. There's [no] way to force anyone who walks in our doors to create the best lives for themselves, but we hope [that] by fostering creativity within our own team and space, our community [will move] towards a more fulfilled and beautiful life.
F.B.: What was the inspiration behind your first capsule?
S.M.: Our inspiration for the design process was SoCal creatives. We've been lucky enough to witness how society can truly be shifted through the day-to-day actions of individuals who choose to create a better situation for themselves. This is why we chose [to use colors such as] a deep red/brown [and ombrés] from black to gray. From there, we used SoCal's love for fall/winter designs, combined with its rather warm weather [and] active lifestyles as the basis for our silhouettes.
F.B.: Can you tell me more about Five07's sustainable practices and why it was important for the items to be sourced sustainably?
S.M.: Our first priority was getting all fabrics from America. Not only does this allow for less travel … but also ensures that a certain base level of working conditions are realized due to federal law here. Modern life is so dynamic, with each decision having ramifications way beyond our original intentions. For example, let's say someone is trying to eat healthier so they buy an apple. That apple might have been produced using pesticides, which then ran off into a local stream, causing destruction of an ecosystem. It might also have been picked by exploited migrant laborers. These complexities aren't going away … but what we can—and should—choose to do is take as much care as possible in minimizing the potential negatives. As a company, we have the chance to help our community members live a more in-tune experience by putting so much emphasis on this.
F.B.: You must be proud of what Five07 has accomplished in a fairly short time. How has the community grown over the past two years?
S.M.: The community has grown from the seed of an idea in 2015 to a blossoming community of people who come from all different backgrounds and with different passions [and] talents. [However, they all share the same] Five07 mindset of wanting to create the best life possible while doing the most good for those around us. Seeing people continue to buy into this crazy idea has been the most magical part.
Shop their clothing line at https://www.thefive07.com/creativeshop.