Milwaukee-area business, Kohl's team up to promote racial equality

A Milwaukee-area small business is partnering with a major retailer to promote racial equality. Cream City Print Lounge is keeping busy, filling the biggest order it's ever received at once -- 26,000 shirts for Kohl's. 

"It was overwhelming at first, but I got a team of good people that helped push this through," said Rachaad Howard, Cream City Print Lounge owner. 

"Black culture is not a trend" is just one of 12 designs for the clothing line. Each shirt, a message about racial equality. 

"T-shirts are the biggest form of expression. You can’t silence it. People can wear it anywhere to speak their mind," said Howard.

Rachaad Howard, Cream City Print Lounge owner

Rachaad Howard, Cream City Print Lounge owner

Owner Rachaad Howard ramped up his businesses' efforts towards social change after the death of George Floyd. 

"I think that triggered a lot of things, and I think that triggered me to help people voice themselves even more, so I was like I need to do more. This is how I can do more, by helping people put their message on their shirt and show it to the world," said Howard. 

Cream City Print Lounge

Now backed by Kohl's, he's excited for his message to reach a whole new audience. 

"Them seeing a shirt in Kohl’s that they shop at frequently, they then can be like 'oh ok, we want to help support or we want to be an ally,'" said Howard. 

Cream City Print Lounge

The shirts will go on sale online and at select Kohl's stores on Sept. 21. 

A Kohl's spokesperson says this partnership is part of their new diversity and inclusion framework. The company says it is working to celebrate its customers' differences. 

Jen Johnson, Kohl’s Senior Vice President of Communication, issued the following statement on this partnership:

"The company recently created a new Diversity and Inclusion framework, which addresses three pillars: Our People, Our Customers, and Our Community. With regard to the pillar around Our Customers, we strive to celebrate our differences and help more customers see themselves reflected in our brands. Along this journey, we're working to offer culturally-relevant products, designs and storytelling that is meaningful to diverse customers. 

"We partnered with locally-owned Cream City Print Lounge to bring a limited-time assortment of t-shirts to select Kohl’s stores and at the end of September. This is one example of t-shirt assortments Kohl’s has introduced to support the many customers and communities we serve, including an assortment of Pride graphic tees for customers to show their support of the LGBTQ+ community, and a collection celebrating Hispanic Heritage."