10 Great Tees For Change
Although a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, the power of the T-shirt is often overlooked. Throughout history tees have been used to make political statements, drive messages for change/activist movements and have helped fund countless charities.
A lot has happened these past couple years and a lot of tees have been made in response. Whether they’re supporting causes, showing solidarity, or unifying communities we’ve selected the 10 most inspirational designs, in our opinion anyway.
1. Don't Keep Hush, 2021
Humbly kicking off with ourselves, Don’t Keep Hush is a mental health project created by Keep Hush founder, FredCC and Venessa Maria . The project aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and encourages people to talk to one another. DKH released this limited tee in collaboration with eott earlier this year with 100% of the profits going toward Help Musicians UK.
2. Denim Tears' Cotton Peace Tee, 2020
Founder of Denim Tears, Tremaine Emory designed the Cotton Peace Tee following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. Featuring an image of the 1992 L.A riots and a quote from the activist James Baldwin, all proceeds from the tee were donated to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp . This tee remains a Denim tears bestseller as it perfectly represents how little society has changed in nearly 30 years.
3. Sofie K's Support Each Other T-shirt, 2020
Sofie K designed this killer tee with Merch Service last year to raise money for the organisation Sistah Space, who work with African heritage women who have experienced or lost someone to domestic abuse. So popular she made a comeback this year for MS’s birthday.
4. Pangaia x Takashi Murakami, 2020-2021
Pangaia first released this collection in collaboration with Takashi Murakami on world bee day last year then again this year. The collection helped raise awareness for bee conservation while raising money for Pangaia’s fund, Bee the Change . Both known for their use of bright colours, the pairing makes for an iconic collaboration and maintains Pangaia’s ongoing commitment to sustainability by only using recycled cotton, seaweed fibre, environmentally friendly dyes and a recycled water system.
5. Talia's Our People T-shirt, 2020
This t-shirt designed by Talia with Merch Service features the faces of 17 rising creatives of colour: honouring their active voices for social change within the current underground scene. All faces featured creatively contribute to this movement in the form of event organisation to poetry and photography. Half of the profits from the tee went towards Sistah Space.
6. Carlings' The Last Statement T-shirt, 2020
What appears to be a minimal logo T-shirt is probably one of the first items of clothing to have both multiple and animated designs. When using an AR filter the tee reveals various artworks that promote environmental awareness and call for change. A lot of activist movements are starting to take place on social media and Carlings are helping start these online conversations and communities with this digital and easily adaptable T-shirt.
7. Stüssy's Llyod's Barbershop T-shirt, 2020
Stüssy helped save an iconic and black family-owned Toronto business, Llyod’s Barbershop through this T-shirt and limited zine release. A lot of small businesses suffered during Covid and Llyod’s barbershop was one of them, all proceeds from the tee and zine were donated to the shop.
8. Louise Chen's Living La Vida Logo T-shirt, 2020
Designed by Louise Chen and Marcus Eubanks with Merch Service, this tee is a shout out to all the signs/signifiers that have marked Louise’s life, a snapshot of her “collector’s mess.” All profits from the tee were donated to The Black Curriculum which aims to deliver black British history to young people, schools and corporations across the UK.
9. Brain Dead x Blood Orange, We Are One T-Shirt, 2020
In response to the BLM protests last year Brain Dead collaborated with Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) to deliver this limited edition, We Are One T-shirt. Although available for just 48 hours, Brain Dead sold enough tees to donate over $500k (all proceeds) to the Movement for Black Lives and LGBTQ Freedom Fund.
10. Foundation FM's I Am A T-Shirt, 2020
Created as part of the I AM A campaign in collaboration with Yuck , the Foundation FM T-shirt aims to drive discussion around the role gender plays in the descriptions of professions especially in the music industry.
– Xae & The KH Team