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Former UNI student starts ‘6 Mile Clothing’

ANNA FLANDERS, Staff Writer

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Former UNI student Alex Oleson started his own faith-based clothing line two months ago. 6 Mile Clothing benefits Christian missions around the world in countries such as China and Haiti.

“The idea behind 6 Mile Clothing was basically to show how God and where God is working in the world right now and do it through missions that are happening throughout the world and try to help raise awareness for those missions,” Oleson said.

Currently, Oleson resides in Cedar Falls and attends an online seminary through Youth with a Mission (YWAM).

According to Oleson, one of the best parts of owning 6 Mile has been seeing everything line up to make the company launch. Through the experience, Oleson said he has enjoyed seeing God work not just locally, but all around the world. He said it’s been a good reminder that even residents of other countries are his neighbors.

“I’d been thinking of ways to serve,” Oleson said of his inspiration. “I always see people selling T-shirts and I’m like, ‘Well, that’s a cool idea.’ It’s like an easy way to share the Gospel.”

Oleson is also an ambassador for BLDR Apparel, a Christian clothing company that was started by a student at Des Moines Christian School.

“It’s just a creative way to share the gospel with people,” Oleson said.

The name “6 Mile” is a reference to multiple passages in the Bible. According to Oleson, the distance between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, where Jesus was born and ended his ministry, respectively, was six miles.

The name also references the idea that the Christian life is a “walk of faith.” Oleson was heavily inspired by the the verse 2 Corinthians 5:7, which says: “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” The verse is printed on one of 6 Mile’s T-shirt designs.

“The story of the wise men has always really intrigued me,” Oleson continued. “They didn’t know what they were gonna find when they saw the […] star, and they just knew when they were visited by the angels that God would provide. He would show them what they needed to see.”

Oleson designs most of the T-shirts himself. His main goal for each of the designs is creating something that starts a conversation. He wants people to see the shirts and ask questions — questions that he hopes lead to a conversation about the Gospel.

The only 6 Mile T-shirt not designed by Oleson is the Clean Water T-shirt, which was created by a staff member of BASIC, a faith-based student organization at UNI. Oleson  is the leader of BASIC’s digital media team.

Because of the Clean Water T-shirt project, 6 Mile and BASIC were able to fund the construction of a well in Haiti.

“[The sales benefit] wherever we feel called to research and called to help,” Oleson said. “We just did a project with BASIC for the Clean Water Project in Haiti and we’ve been raising money for a missionary in China as well because my sister is adopted from China. So I have that connection as well.”

The T-shirts are available for purchase online at 6mileclothing.com. Oleson also accepts orders via email.

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Former UNI student starts ‘6 Mile Clothing’