Fashion brands have certainly not been shying away from social and political issues lately.
Social justice slogan tees dominated the runways at last month’s New York Fashion Week. Dior actually started the trend in September when they showed a simple T-shirt with the phrase “We Should All Be Feminists” as part of their spring collection, creating major buzz on social media. This latest fashion week, it seemed everyone else decided to slap their opinions on tees too.
Christian Siriano’s T-shirts read “People are People,” Creatures of Comfort’s stated “We Are All Human Beings” and Jonathan Simkhai’s simply said “Feminist AF.” Prabal Gurung made the biggest statement, sending T-shirts down the runway with phrases like “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like,” “Revolution Has No Borders,” “I Am an Immigrant” and the ultra-popular “The Future is Female,” which was actually first sold on tees in the 1970s by New York City’s first women’s bookstore.
Missoni ended their recent Milan Fashion Week show by sending the models down in pussyhats, the bright pink knitted hats feminists wore at the Women’s March in D.C. this January to symbolize their solidarity. Missoni is donating some of the proceeds from their collection to the American Civil Liberties Union and the UN Refugee Agency.
Many other designers are taking their visual statements further too. Christian Siriano’s T-shirt profits will also help the ACLU. Jonathan Simkhai’s are going to Planned Parenthood.
Even with a lot of the proceeds going to charities, some critics bashed the high-priced designer tees (Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists”
tee sold out with a $710 price tag), but a large part of the intention is to spark productive conversation.
Plus, there are also a ton of cool, affordable options to choose from to show support for whatever cause is close to your heart. Here are just a few examples:
- Feminism – With their hand-doodled graphics and phrases like “Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights,” Feminist Apparel makes the greatest feminist tees out there. Fun yet unapologetic feminism-themed pins are also trending.
- Racial equality – GLOSSRAGS produces a line of “And Counting” shirts that list the names of men and women killed in police shootings and hate crimes. The iconic Black Lives Matter T-shirts are another way to show your support.
- Animal welfare – Arm the Animals’ urban inspired tees, sweatshirts and accessories feature cheeky sayings like “Dog Walking Shirt” and “Dog Daddy AF” and, of course, some cute and quirky animal images. They not only donate a portion of proceeds to various animal welfare organizations but also provide them with needed graphic design, printing, marketing and other services needed to help man’s best friends.
- Porn Kills Love movement – Fight the New Drug sells super cool screen tees that show your support of the movement to raise awareness about the harmful effects of pornography.
- Homelessness – The Giving Keys makes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and keychains in the shape of keys with inspirational words stamped on them. You choose a piece of jewelry with a word that inspires you, then give it away when you meet someone who needs the message more than you do. On top of the pay-it-forward concept, The Giving Keys’ products are all made by people transitioning out of homelessness, providing them with a living wage and good benefits.
- Immigrants and Refugees – Transparent retailer Everlane sells relaxed men’s and women’s tees, tanks and sweatshirts that read “100% Human” to remind everyone that we are more alike than different. They donate $5 from every item sold to the ACLU or Equality Now.