Since 2017, over 20,000 SolidariTees have been sold. That's 600 in our first year, 3000 between 2017 and '18, and a whopping 12000 between 2018 and '19. Our t-shirts are a visual demonstration of our solidarity with refugees. Read below for more information on SolidariTee's impact and its designs.
Where's your money going?
More than £7.50 from each £10 shirt (or £8.10 from your £12 shirt) goes directly towards funding NGOs working to provide legal aid and other vital services.
As students, we're experts at cost-cutting. We all work remotely and so avoid renting office space; this means that our administrative costs are staggeringly low. Thanks to our national network of student volunteers, we're able to courier shirts by hand to cut down on delivery costs, and to negotiate event spaces for free.
All of our t-shirts are ethically manufactured, with our 2020 collection being 100% organic. At SolidariTee, we believe that we can't fight for a better world without respecting the earth we live in, so we reduce waste as much as possible. We post shirts from our online shop in recycled wrapping paper and reduce single-use plastics at our events.
SolidariTee seeks out the most sustainable and long-term NGOs to support so that the change that you make lasts.
A volunteer translator on the ground in Thessaloniki sees 30 to 40 asylum seekers a day – just one t-shirt funds a day's food and accommodation for two volunteer translators.
This year’s design is inspired by a collaborative art initiative at Elpida Home, a community centre in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, who, through their values of humanity, dignity and inclusivity, work to provide and improve humanitarian support for refugees and asylum seekers.
The design was created during a workshop, in which a group of refugees and asylum seekers stood against a large piece of paper, and traced each other's outline. Some overlapping, others distinct by nature, each outline, shape, and figure reflects a constellation of diversity, individuality and community.
Wahid Taraky, teacher-turned-calligrapher, designed these Tees. As an Afghani asylum-seeker in the Moria camp, he based these designs on the values he wants to see emulated in the future - hope, peace and safety.
Wahid says, “All my hope, love and patience is directed towards forging a peaceful life for my family. I spent my whole life surrounded by war, and I don’t want my children to grow up in the same situation. I brought them here for a new start, a better education, a better life."
These designs were created by Dar Al Naim, a prolific and precocious young Sudanese artist.
The work she creates demonstrates a dynamic look into her nomadic, afropolitan and diasporic way of life.
Her portfolio includes colourful illustrations, paintings, textile work, prints and sketches. Her style is kaleidoscopic, saturated with symbols and images of cultural significance for the Sudanese.
Our original t-shirt and tote (see below) design is the fruit of a chance meeting between a certain Afghan refugee, an asylum lawyer, and our founder Tiara Sahar Ataii, who was volunteering as an interpreter. Tiara tells us that the red-box design is based on a piece of art sketched by this Afghan refugee, detailing his journey as an asylum seeker:
"We were trying to work out the basic geography of his life: where he was born; where he worked; where he trained as an army officer; where his wife was from; where his son was born. Crucially, we needed the details of where he was captured and tortured by the Taliban, the details of which we were hoping to include in his case as a key part in his claim for asylum.
We struggled to find some of the English transliterations of the villages that he named, and I promised the lawyer at the end of the meeting to take home the map that he had made so that I could do some work on it that evening. While researching the names of the villages that night, I realised that I was holding his life-story in my hands. That map is now on the central design for this year, which you can see on all the shirts."
This design came about during an encounter with the son of the aforementioned Afghan refugee during the same meeting. Tiara recalls,
"During that first meeting, I had noticed that his nine-year-old son had been painfully bored. At our next meeting, I made sure to bring some paper and a pen on me, as I knew that his father was trying to teach him to write in Persian. During the meeting, his son busied himself with a poem that his father had written himself and taught his son.’
‘On our last day in Chios, the father presented me with the poem written up by his son ‘neatly and properly’. This is now the design on the tote bags. It largely deals with maturity and coming of age. I like to think that you can trace the family’s story and hopes through what we’ve produced this year, even though they’re only snippets of what I imagine is going through their heads right now.’
THE FOUNDING TEE
In January 2017, SolidariTee launched its first campaign, ‘Love Trumps Hate’.
In just three years the idea of one student has become a movement. Now, in 6 countries with 42 teams and 700 students, thousands of people wear their SolidariTee, but the message remains the same.
Love Trumps Hate.
Your own custom-made tees?
Ethical t-shirt manufacturing can be hard to come by. Luckily, if your business, group, or society is looking to bulk-buy custom-made t-shirts, we can do manage this for you! All we ask for in return is a donation of your choosing to SolidariTee. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.