ST. LOUIS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The American Mustache Institute, formed by three St. Louis men, says it wants to make mustaches a popular fashion statement once again.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday the institute states on its Web site its overall goal is to create "a climate of acceptance, understanding, flavor saving and upper lip warmth for all mustached Americans alike."
St. Louis resident Aaron Perlut helped found the institute with Dan Callahan and Brian Cross after a conversation three years ago focused on resurrecting the popularity of the facial hair.
As part of the institute's efforts, the group released a study whose results indicate men with mustaches earn 4.3 percent more than their clean-shaven counterparts.
The institute also holds an annual 'Stache Bash at which it officially crowns the year's winner of the Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year award.
Perlut told the Post-Dispatch the institute's efforts are having an effect, citing the 80,000 mentions of mustaches by media outlets nationwide in the last three months alone.
"There has always been a large degree of method behind the madness," he said.