In the time since OG slogan tees first implored We Should All Be Feminists, a new crop of T-shirts has emerged (although ironically, most tees of this particular genre are not, in fact, cropped).
What makes them different from your standard plain tee is that they’ve taken the rallying cry of their predecessors and truly run with it. No longer are slogan tees mere puffery with announcements of charitable goodwill made after a public backlash. Rather, this new generation put its money where its metaphorical mouth is.
With a tidal wave of philanthropic and charitable causes being supported by fashion labels, there’s never been a better time to wear your heart on your sleeve – or chest, as it may be. So, given we’re just weeks away from quintessential summer tee season, we’re getting into the spirit of giving way before December 25. They benefit from your buy, you look good: everyone wins!
Here are our picks of the coolest charity-linked tees available now. Which do you love most? We say buy them all.
TOP TEE #1: BY STEVEN KHALIL AND CITIZEN WOLF
SUPPORTING: PROJECT FUTURES
Although you won’t see a slogan on this shirt, Australian red carpet dress designer-to-the-stars Steven Khalil has collaborated with Melbourne-based ethical clothing-maker and small run producer of T-shirts Citizen Wolf. Together, they’ve produced a charity tee in support of Project Futures, which works to stop human trafficking.
Human trafficking (aka modern slavery) affects both sexes, but the sad reality is it impacts women far more. So this shirt collab firmly follows doesn’t just look great, but it ticks the feminist agenda box too.
For the Sydney-based designer, the collaboration was a no-brainer. “I decided to get involved in designing a T-shirt for Project Futures as it’s creating awareness on a greater platform and empowering women,” he says.
“The collaboration is to support the women out there who don’t have a voice, the women that are stuck in these situations of slavery and human trafficking.”
Every dollar raised from sales of the shirts, which feature ornate floral detailing printed on organic cotton with a transparent supply chain, will be donated to Project Futures to support its work to prevent sexual slavery and exploitation, then support, rehabilitate and empower those affected. You’ll need to be quick though. Pre-orders close on November 12.
TOP TEE #2: BY TOM ORGANIC
SUPPORTING: THE TOM FEMALE EMPOWERMENT GRANT
For Aimee Marks, founder of Melbourne-based feminine hygiene company TOM Organic, providing women with the option to use socially and ethically-responsible sanitary products in an oft-overlooked category was not enough.
The brand recently announced the launch of the TOM Female Empowerment Grant, which aims to financially assist people, groups or even companies already doing philanthropic work to empower women.
There were are multiple versions in the collection stamped with phrases like Feminist A.F, Solidarity of the Sisterhood and Female & Fearless, but these designed by Lindy Klim (of Milk & Co) and Heidi Middleton (of former sass & bide fame) respectively were hot favourites, thanks to their punchy pastel colours.
While the limited run of sweatshirts and the Klim/Middleton pieces have already sold out, there are still plenty of the summer-friendly all-white cotton versions available on the TOM website.
TOP TEE #3: BY THE UPSIDE
SUPPORTING: RU OK?
Credit: The Upside
Founder of luxe sports brand The Upside and RU OK? ambassador Jodhi Meares created a limited edition muscle tank tee which saw 100 percent its sales go toward the not-for-profit mental health awareness charity.
Given the rising number of people with mental health conditions – both diagnosed and undiagnosed – the work the charity does in suicide prevention literally has the capacity to be life-changing.
As a bonus, exercise is proven to aid the symptoms of depression. Might as well feel good in something that looks good, right? You can buy yours here for $44.
TOP TEE #4: BY SASS & BIDE
SUPPORTING: BARNARDOS AUSTRALIA
Given its sequinned cuteness, teamed with the fact all profits went to Australian children’s charity Barnardos, which works to prevent child above, it’s little surprise this limited edition ‘love and protect’ sass & bide tee sold out within an hour of its launch several months ago.
But here’s even better news: it’s just been re-stocked. Shop yourself one of the relaxed, over-sized fit, soft cotton-linen blend tees, which retail for $160, at the sass & bide online store here.
TOP TEE #5: BY BELLA FREUD FOR VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE
SUPPORTING: TONI GARRN FOUNDATION
As part of her worldwide supermodel flea market initiative, model Toni Garrn has collaborated with luxury reseller Vestiaire Collective and London-based designer Bella Freud to produce a T-shirt stamped with the slogan GIRL EMPOWER.
One hundred percent of the limited edition shirt’s proceeds go towards Garrn’s charity, the Toni Garrn Foundation, which supports female education in Zimbabwe by building accommodation for remotely-located students otherwise unable to carry on their schooling. Shop the tee, along with other designer items donated by Garrn’s supermodel friends, on sale now at Vestiaire.
Credit: Instagram @tonigarrn