Clothing with a Conscience

If you like design, and particularly if you are into T-shirts, then you’ll probably know about ‘Threadless‘ – an awesome brand/outlet for all things ‘T-shirt’. While checking out the site the other day I stumbled upon something I haven’t seen before – the “Atrium”.

Something which is pretty obvious when you think about it, but I’ve only really just come to realise in recent months, is that the T-shirt is one of the most powerful mediums to communicate and distribute a message. I recently did some work with renown T-shirt connoisseur Eddie Zammitt (founder of T-world journal), and quickly came to realise the impact and importance of T-shirt culture. If you think about it, most, if not everyone, wears T-shirts. Generally people will only wear T-shirts if they like the style, and probably more importantly, if they support the message that the tee communicates. So by someone wearing a tee by a certain brand or with a certain message, then they are basically endorsing that brand or message.

Back to the Threadless Atrium – “a place to collaborate for one purpose: to turn great ideas into tangible products that matter and make a difference”. Threadless basically creates challenges where designers can enter their designs, anyone can vote for their favourite and then the winning design is sold on a T-shirt with proceeds going to a particular cause. Cool stuff!

I love some of the Disney challenges, but what particularly sparked my interest, was the Causes Collection – “A Line of Clothing with a Conscience”.

There are some great challenges here supporting some good causes like Care, Japan Relief, NZ Rebuild, “Freedom” from Child Sex Trade, Red Cross and more. If you love checking out some cool designs and tees then I recommend heading to the Atrium. If you reckon you’ve got some design skills then head over there and submit a design (there’s prizes!).

Even better still, if you want to support any of the causes then you can buy most of the T-shirts – it’s cool that the proceeds go to the cause, but perhaps the even more effective thing is that you can then wear the brand on your back and get the message out there wherever you wear it! Just make sure you get the design you fully support, otherwise you’ll end up having an awesome T-shirt that just sits in the draw because you don’t feel confident throwing it on your back – i’m sure everyone’s had a few of these tees… I know I do (these are the ones you often find at Vinnies!).

There’s stacks of entries to check out, but from my initial browse, here’s a few designs that I think fit the challenge and look sweet:

CARE BY ANNIECARTER
C IS FOR COOKIE BY BLUTENGEL666
ELMO AND LITTLE BUTTERFLY BY FATHI
RENEWED HOPE BY MATHIOLE
NIPPON DAWN BY EKYMSON

—— UPDATE! ——

Just after I published this post, Threadless added a new challenge to the Atrium… and a good one at that – in fact too relevant not to publish with this article. So here’s the latest Causes challenge – ‘WellDone’… looks like a great cause to get behind so make sure you check it out, submit a design (sweet prizes!) or vote for your favourite entry >> http://atrium.threadless.com/welldone/

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