There will be moments in which you may not raise your voice to speak, but that doesn’t mean you can’t always share the message of supporting life. Empower Life Co. is one example of a company that is taking it above and beyond with offering trendy pro-life apparel that can spread the pro-life message even when you’re not talking.
How many of our conversations center around what another person is wearing? “I like your shirt!” “Oh, your hair looks good today.” By wearing pro-life apparel at your school or on campus, you are initiating a sequence of events that contributes to a culture of life. When people see something, they think about it. When they think about it, they talk about it. How many pro-life conversations could be started if one person wore pro-life apparel on their campus? How many conversations could start if classrooms were full of students spreading the pro-life message with simply a t-shirt, hat, or pair of socks? I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had because someone has stopped to ask about a pro-life piece of clothing I was wearing.
I think about how maybe that was the moment that changed everything for them . . . maybe abortion looks different to them now that we had a conversation about what it is when maybe they’ve never heard the truth before. We can all do something to spread the pro-life message, and one simple and practical way is by clothing ourselves in the message we want others to hear.
Pro-life activist Mark Lee Dickson recently interviewed one of Empower Life Co.’s founders, Lauren Marlowe, to find out how this amazing line of threads became a part of his, mine, and thousands of others’ closet spaces.
Mark: When it comes to pro-life apparel, Empower Life Co. is the clothing line that I find myself recommending the most. You produce quality products with a direct message at a great price. For starters, I have to ask. When and how did all of this begin, and why is the pro-life message of your company so important to you personally?
Lauren: We launched Empower Life Co. in September of 2020! In March of that same year, I was leading the Students for Life group at Liberty University with my good friend, Isabel Craun. We had both become frustrated with the lack of pro-life apparel that actually followed trends and styles that were popular among college students like us. Many other organizations offered shirts that were good for rallies and protests, but we found no options for normal, everyday wear. There was a huge sphere of potential influence that was being overlooked by the pro-life movement: changing culture through casual fashion. After many frustrating conversations about this, we came to the same conclusion — someone has to do this, and it might as well be us. With Isabel’s graphic design skills and my experience with business and social media, we became the perfect little team to get this done.
Mark: What are some of your best-selling products? Are there any cool stories about how some of the clothing lines came into existence?
Lauren: One of our bestselling products is our Worthy of Life tee, which has a great story behind it! Isabel’s little sister Gracie has Down Syndrome, and it has been a huge blessing to their family. Unfortunately, people all across the world have bought into the lie that a life with Down Syndrome is not worth living. In the United States, the abortion rate for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome is 67%. In European countries, the abortion rate sits in the high 90s. Isabel and Gracie worked together to come up with the design, in Gracie’s own handwriting, to show that chromosomes don’t determine worth and that lives with Down Syndrome are Worthy of Life!
Some of our bestselling products are the Human Rights Begin in the Womb tee, Every Life Deserves a Lifetime tee, our Clump of Cells hoodies, and our bucket hats! We also do custom club apparel for different pro-life groups across the nation as well. Between our pro-life apparel and custom products, we have at minimum one new release a month!
Mark: I first met you outside of the Supreme Court of the United States in preparation for the Dobbs v. Jackson hearing – a case that could see the end of Roe v. Wade in this country. That case, and the potential outcome of that case, seemed to matter a whole lot to you. You do not just make trendy pro-life apparel, but you have really made it your mission to see abortion end in this country – giving your life wholeheartedly to the cause. For one to give one’s life to a cause bigger than oneself, such as the end of abortion, is an extremely admirable quality. Did you ever see yourself becoming a human rights activist?
Lauren: I always knew as a child that I was meant to do something “untraditional” with my life, but never would have guessed that I’d become a full-time human rights activist. There’s a certain unsettling feeling that comes with having passion, drive, the willingness to work hard, and the desire to do good in the world, but having nowhere to focus that on. Getting involved with Students for Life in college was like a breath of fresh air, and after years of struggling, I finally felt like I had a place to learn, become equipped to follow my dreams and make an impact, and thrive.
Lauren Marlowe is, without a doubt, making an impact on the world around her. We caught up with several students who shared their stories about how Lauren’s clothing line has made an impact on their lives and journeys.
Azalea Follis, from The University of Texas at San Antonio, is one of those students.
“When I first entered college, I immediately began searching for the pro-life group on campus. In high school, I was ridiculed for being pro-life, and I was too reluctant to start a group because of the backlash I had already received from friends I didn’t want to lose.
When I joined the Students for Life group on campus and made new friends, I never imagined I’d learn how to start talking to someone about abortion. Since then, I’ve come a long way. This organization is dedicated to donating thousands of dollars in resources to local pregnancy resource centers, educating members on how to start conversations, collaborating with other organizations to fight for the pro-life cause, and so on. As a voice for life on campus, I have had many eye-opening experiences.
As my confidence in fighting for the unborn has grown, so has my collection of pro-life gear. When I wear this gear, whether on my devices or on my clothing, I am able to strike up a conversation with many strangers as their interest in my stance grows. With my pro-life gear, I’m not only able to reach those who hold opposing views, but I’m also able to help normalize being anti-abortion, which many industries oppose.”
Megan Roos, from Abilene Christian University, is another student impacted by Marlowe.
“In southern circles especially, the culture prefers to ignore the topic of abortion so as to maintain a false peace. With so many lives at stake, we can’t afford this approach. That’s why I love wearing pro-life apparel. It brings the issue of abortion to the front of people’s minds in a non-threatening way, and it makes room for open conversation about the issue of abortion. This helps to build the culture of life that will be essential to a post-Roe America!”
Wearing a pro-life shirt to a class can go a long way in the fight to create or maintain a pro-life culture, especially in a place the abortion industry is targeting. Since we know the abortion industry wants to see abortion access on every college campus in America, the need to express the pro-life message may be more important now than it has ever been.
Recently, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas posted a job listing for a Community Outreach Specialist for Lubbock, Texas. The job description calls for an applicant willing to coordinate “outreach events on college campuses to educate and activate college students to advocate on behalf of PPGT and reproductive rights issues.”
While the city of Lubbock (pop. 264,000) passed an ordinance outlawing abortion in May 2021, the ordinance does not prohibit Planned Parenthood from attempting to change the minds of college students on campuses like Texas Tech University.
Thanks to the pro-life messaging of shirts and hoodies from Empower Life Co., students at Texas Tech University are feeling extra equipped in their fight to maintain a culture of life on their campus and in their city – inviting discussions and drawing together like-minded students as they walk to and from their classes in their pro-life apparel.
Shop Empower Life Co. by visiting https://empowerlifeco.shop.
All photos have been provided by Mark Lee Dickson and are used with permission.