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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

6 T-Shirt Designers for Social Good

Selling what you support is easier than selling who you are. Asking for support for causes that you feel passionate about is usually easier when you’re able to involve the donor emotionally. People like to feel good about themselves as it involves their identity. Even if they sympathize with the cause, getting people to part from their money is often easier done when it’s more of an exchange. We’ve found a list of 6 t-shirt designers for social good that are doing just that and very well. Here’s some information about their causes and how they are successfully elevating worthy causes in conjunction with marketing their talents, ideologies and brands.

The artist only identified as Olivia is probably the most grass roots style supporter in this post. She heard about the story of Malala and used her artistic abilities to design and hand print t-shirts to help the Malala Fund. Learning how to print with the labor intensive method called linocut printing, she was able to raise over $700 to help spread the inspirational movement Malala ignited. Malala’s story is an amazing one. The young Pakistani girl was targeted for death by the Taliban after it was revealed she was the author of a blog defending the rights of Pakistani girls to receive an education. She was shot in the head but survived and went on to be an global advocate for girls that are denied access to education because of political, religious, or social factors. Olivia, the artist and designer of the t-shirt was featured on the Malala Fund Blog for her efforts. #YesAllGirls

Arm the Animals was established following the death of the founder’s sister, a lifetime pet rescuer and advocate for animals. When initially forming, the company developed relationships with organizations by attending all sorts of animal advocacy events. With the intention of making the most significant impact possible, the company focusses on donating part of their revenue to smaller animal rescue organizations.

The t-shirt designs that Arm the Animals develop are intended to be thought provoking without being politically motivated since the people that care about animals are highly diverse.

Through the magic of social media and the power of word of mouth, they attracted star followers like Jessica Alba and Taylor Kinney. Their designs may appear provocative to many but the intention is raise awareness. A cat with a grenade or wolf behind the site of a rifle makes a powerful and memorable statement. #armtheanimals

The Parative Project was started so it could provide dignified work as an alternative for people trapped, tricked, and sold by their family into the sex trade. Human trafficking and poverty devastates the lives of millions. The project tells a story backwards as their designs are meant to fortify and empower the makers of the tees while helping them to develop work skills and grow their business through the freedom of employment. #theparativeproject

#enditmovement photo: @abigaildriscoll

A photo posted by Drew Oxley (@parative) on

The Word Changes is based out of Boston and uses single printed words on their t-shirts to convey positive action, thought, and motivation. Words have different meanings to people so the impact can be vary on the person who wears the design and the person who reads it. The line features power words like success, courage, and fearless. Two-thirds of the profits go towards supporting children and young adults with issues like hunger and the pursuit of higher education. The founder of The Word Changes, Antoinette Rodney, is passionate about motivating change in her local community and also features uplifting stories from all over on the company’s blog. #thewordchanges #oneWord

You can do it! #VICTORY✌

A photo posted by oneWORD at a time! (@thewordchanges) on

Vivid Roots was started by four best friends from Idaho to address the lack of access to clean drinking water for nearly 1 billion people in the world. Children are the most vulnerable to sickness and death caused by dirty water they ingest. Currently Vivid Roots works to provide clean water through the development of wells and distribution systems in Guatemala and Ecuador. They’ve partnered with Rotary clubs that match every donation sourced from their t-shirt sales by x7! Beyond providing lifesaving access to clean water, they work with local contractors to implement these systems which boost the local economies. #WaterForLife #LiveVividly

Cotopaxi is all about sustainable poverty alleviation. They’ve identified issues that need to be addressed to make change happen but more importantly sustain the recovery including health, education and the ability to make a living. The groups, communities, and partners they work with must exhibit the ability to scale, report, and most importantly, make a positive impact with the support they receive. A minimum of 10% of their profit goes to its nonprofit partners. Their products are high quality and affordable which allows people with varying budgets to do something for others while purchasing a cool piece of gear. #GearForGood #Cotopaxi

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