Credit: Getty Images

The humble t-shirt; the basic kit essential has seen many iterations over the decades. From the vintage band t-shirt you stole from your parents closet (though you had never listened to a single track from ACDC), the festival merch you were forced to buy because a downpour left your soaking wet (true story), to the branded volunteer t-shirts which inevitably ended up at the back of the wardrobe for pyjamas. Alas, the t-shirt has served many purposes, but perhaps no more than important that right now.

From fire to disease, the world has well and truly seen in it all this side of 2020 and somehow, I feel this may only be the beginning of a struggle to obtain some sort of normality – though I’m not even sure what that means anymore. But in true human spirit and the greatest we may have seen to date, people are coming together to assist the vulnerable and in turn, a revived trend has emerged: the t-shirt.

Whilst we understand the importance of buying a t-shirt from our favourite local artist to continue to support them, charities are now looking to the clothing item to encourage donations. And in economic downturn, receiving in response for giving is the most practical. During the Australian bushfires, womenswear label, C/MEO Collective released a t-shirt to raise fund for South Australian regions, and more recently, KITX  has launched its activism tees. $5 from every ‘Earth Defender Tee’ sold is donated to Carbon Neutral, $5 from every Endangered Tee sold will be donated to Climate Council and $5 from every Save The Bees Tee sold will be donated to Bee The Cure.

KITX Save The Bees T-Shirt / $155 AUD SHOP NOW
KITX Endangered Tiger T-Shirt / $155 AUD SHOP NOW
KITX Defender Of The Earth Hoodie / $195 AUD SHOP NOW

In response to the pandemic, a local Sydney legend has created an ethical clothing line, onedot3, that uses profits from t-shirts, hoodies and more to support global water projects. As we continue to face the pandemic, onedot3 will be helping the community both locally and nationally for Australians struggling to put food on the table.

In addition, they have launched the #SHOPWITHYOU initiative which aims to help struggling Australians by offering free grocery vouchers. Money kindly donated from the onedot3 community and beyond through the website, fund the purchase of $50 Coles or Woolworths vouchers, then made available for those facing hardship. Anyone in need will be able to request help by visiting www.onedot3.com/shopwithyou. A digital voucher is sent via email within 24 hours.

onedot3 Multipy. Don’t Divide T-Shirt / $50 AUD SHOP NOW

In Melbourne, leisurewear label Mendl is assisting men’s mental health. Founded by AFL footballer Mitch Hannan and Melbourne-based architect and friend Mark Losewitz, Mendl is a non-for-profit enterprise that uses apparel as a basis for encouraging men to prioritise their mental health.

Mendl Flinders T-Shirt in Sage / $60 AUD SHOP NOW

And on a more widespread, global level, this month Harry Styles released a t-shirt that not only preached “Treat people with kindness”, but 100 percent of the proceeds will support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Harry Styles Stay Home Stay Safe T-Shirt / $26 USD SHOP NOW

The great success with the ongoing t-shirt initiatives that appear in the market, is that with every wear, you and those around you are reminded of how one small gesture can help change the world.

thoughts?