Brampton-based 4ye was founded over a decade ago by Jae and Trey Richards. After years spent growing a digital community in the entertainment space, Summer Ruddock-Ellis and Kevin Dang joined the brand and expanded 4ye into new creative projects, collaborations, and apparel collections. In 2019, they launched their reWork concept and started upcycling secondhand clothing with custom visual imagery.
Pushing innovation at the intersection of clothing and community, 4ye explores design and storytelling in a thoughtful way. Summer and Kevin are constantly bringing new elements into the reWork collection from different areas that inspired them—like film, music, and cannabis.
“We focus on upcycling vintage and secondhand garments to give them new life,” they say. “Using screen print, embroidery, and sometimes dying, we create graphics and imagery that are printed on top of preexisting graphics as a way of reclaiming old symbols and giving them new meaning.” In collaboration with Superette, the reWork collection is a thoughtful, authentic, and playful interpretation of cannabis culture.
Cannabis has always played a role in how 4ye approaches creativity and new concepts. They see their role in the cannabis space as being a platform to highlight the long-standing culture around weed and give credit where it’s due—adding that they make a point of supporting growers and individuals in the legacy market.
It’s too often taboo to discuss weed—and the culture connected to the plant—as something that’s been colonized by legalization. 4ye sees importance in reclaiming cannabis where necessary. They do this by progressing their reWork designs with familiar colloquialisms, like “ganja,” that are true to the cannabis legacy within Caribbean culture.
“The new model for weed legalization is still discriminatory and excludes black, brown, and indigenous voices.”
With the reWork collection focused on sustainability, inclusion, and weed, 4ye has made a conscious decision to not produce new t-shirts, noting how there are already enough t-shirts in the world. “reWork gives us the opportunity to still make t-shirts, but in a more personal and meaningful way,” they say. With a passion for sourcing second-hand and vintage clothes, they create distinctly unique one-of-one upcycled pieces.
The partnership between 4ye and Superette is an alignment of shared values. “Collaboration and partnership is important for us as we expand reWork because we want to bring new perspectives into 4ye that align with our brand ethos,” says 4ye. “As cannabis brands become more polished and streamlined, like futuristic Apple Stores, it takes away the distinct nuances and relations to other cultures. Superette stays true to itself.”
Collaborating has been an opportunity for 4ye and Superette to highlight and pay homage to the history of cannabis culture in Canada. 4ye recognizes the partnership as a way to expand on their Collective Farming ideology and create connection to the current state of the cannabis industry. And for Superette, working with 4ye extends beyond cannabis to peripheral areas and individuals who uphold the culture and community.
Community is core to what 4ye represents. They’re constantly paying attention to how people interact with their brand, wear their clothing, and uphold the brand’s message. The designs and approach they use for the reWork collection is their own interpretation of weed culture.
“We never try to force anything. We believe in collectivism and finding meaningful ways to contribute to our community.”
Through researching the history of cannabis and how it’s evolved through generations, 4ye has tapped into marijuana artifacts and historical practices, and brought those aspects into their designs. “We don’t want to polish cannabis so much,” they say. “We want to bring it back to its origins, and reclaim it.”
4ye is a small and authentic brand, and the reWork collection is just one of their many creative executions. The goal is not about scale and profit. It’s about authenticity, expression, and community. Summer and Kevin know the value in keeping things simple. They take their time and enjoy the creative process, which allows them to establish a meaningful narrative they can put out in the world. “It can't be understated how important storytelling is in building our brand,” they say. “It’s crucial for longevity and getting people to actually care and engage.”
The reWork collection with Superette is available now (while it lasts).