Fashion for Good: The World’s Most Expensive T-Shirt
7 November 2011 at 11:10 am
A unique fundraising initiative where people purchase t-shirts which depict an item of aid that their purchase has paid for, hopes to deliver much needed relief to children caught in the worsening humanitarian disaster in Africa.
UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund – has teamed up with t-shirt company Threadless, advertising agency BBH New York and artist collective Christine and Justin Gignac to launch ‘Good Shirts’ – a clothing line that blends philanthropy and fashion.
Good Shirts are t-shirts printed with an item of aid that is needed to fight famine in Africa – with each shirt sold at the exact cost of the aid item depicted. 100% of the proceeds go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, to supports its work with children.
|Above: The UNICEF shirts range in price from $18.57 to $300,000.|
New York based artist Justin Gignac – who along with wife Christine designed the t-shirts – says “There’s a huge humanitarian crisis going on there right now – there are 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance including 4 million children”.
UNICEF says the situation in the Horn of Africa is more than just a food crisis – it is a crisis for child survival. “Unlike earthquakes and tsunamis, droughts are humanitarian dramas that unfold slowly – and children are the most at risk.”
Gignac says they chose a basic, iconic style that really put the focus on the concept, rather than the execution – “we could do these beautifully realistic – but then people would be buying ones based on how well they are painted. But we wanted people to buy them strictly based on the idea.”
The t-shirts range from $18.57 for a t-shirt which features a mosquito – which funds three insecticide treated mosquito nets – up to a $300,000 t-shirt which features a cargo plane – which funds a provide a charter flight to transport aid from the UNICEF supply warehouse in Copenhagen to Nairobi, Kenya
Other designs include a syringe (measles vaccine – $24.24), a bucket of water (family water kit – $125.55) and a truck pulling a giant cob of corn (100 tonnes of emergency food corn soy blend – $75,000).
Gignac says the he believes the cargo plane t-shirt could be a record breaker, “We are going to check with Guinness (book of records), but I think we have the world’s most expensive t-shirt”.
Ari Weiss, Executive Creative Director at BBH NY, said the project lets people wear their donation as a source of pride and as a means to spread the word – if friends get a little competitive over who’s being more altruistic, all the better.
For more information, or to purchase a t-shirt, visit www.threadless.com/UNICEF