Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Tazia Cira doesn’t want you to be perfect.
In fact, she knows you’re not. The real beauty of humanity comes from our flaws, the fact that we exist in our imperfection; we “exist ugly.” With her upcycled clothing line XYST UGLI (pronounced “exist ugly”), Tazia makes sure of that.
At 19, armed with a fiery passion, unwavering persistence, and plenty to say, Tazia created XYST UGLI: an environmentally friendly clothing line that takes the extra step to support its cause. In an attempt to make the clothing line as eco-friendly as possible, Tazia thrifts each t-shirt by hand, scouting the color and size needed by each customer, and then washes and hand paints each outspoken phrase. 20-30% of the proceeds are donated to charity, and Tazia is able to make a living wage off of the remaining profits.
The moniker XYST UGLI is symbolic of the brand’s core values, the idea that to ‘exist ugly’ is to be truly revolutionary. The unique name came from a combination of the Roman word “xyst” (meaning ‘a garden walk lined with trees’), the song “Stay Ugly” by Crim3s, and some of Tazia's own poetry. As the now 20-year-old put it, the epithet “metaphorically emphasizes the path of life and growth that is figuring out what ‘Xyst-ing’ in our own form of UGLI.”
In this case, the Y in ‘ugly’ is replaced with an I, “a defiant statement to when people question your autonomous, and intentional choices.”
Tazia is all about creating a legacy of environmentally friendly, political wearable art— the more accessible the better. Plans for a YouTube channel and information sheets where others can learn how to create the shirts for themselves are currently in the works. “I don’t want to be one of the few people doing this, so I hope to welcome more through accessibility!”
And if anyone dares to question Tazi’s purpose to help others embrace their “UGLI,” he’s got a quick answer. “To their ‘Y?,’ all you need to say is ‘I.’”
Read more about Tazia and read their full story by grabbing your copy of Legacy today—use the TAZIACIRA5 discount code for 5% off of a digital copy.
Words by Martina Taylor
Editors: Danielle Irene, Hilary Kwan, Isabella Vega, Chloe Wen
Design by Ry X