"I understand the privilege I have with my voice and my platform," Josh Richards tells PEOPLE

By Jodi Guglielmi
June 03, 2020 02:02 PM
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Josh Richards is using his influence to push for positive change.

The TikTok star, 18, is launching a new clothing line called Buddy’s Hard on Wednesday, featuring a special item to help protest the killing of George Floyd, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

Richards is offering an exclusive “Buddies Stronger Together” hoodie, with 100 percent of proceeds from the sales to be donated to the NAACP.

“I wanted to do something to help. When I see people going through a tough time, it hurts," he tells PEOPLE. "I understand the seriousness of these times. I understand the privilege I have with my voice and my platform."

The hoodie will be available for the first 72 hours after the brand's launch.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation and education.

Buddy's Hard

The clothing and accessories brand, which was created in partnership with Moby Dick Unlimited, launches Wednesday, June 2 at 3 p.m. EST. To purchase a "Buddies Stonger Together hoodie, click here.

Richards’ girlfriend Nessa Barrett faced controversy earlier this year after she posted a TikTok video dancing to a Quran prayer.

"After she became aware of what it was, she realized the mistake and she quickly deleted the video, issuing an apology," says Richards, who maintains that himself and his peer group are committed to remaining more vigilant about how they can use the platform in a positive way.

"Myself and those around me are still learning how to navigate things but the intention is always to be better and do good," adds the TalentX Entertainment co-founder.

Over the weekend, protests against police brutality and systemic racism unfolded across the country. The demonstrations began last week in Minneapolis when footage of Floyd — an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck — began circulating online.

The Minneapolis police officer in the video — identified as Derek Chauvin — has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.