T-shirts are a very basic but necessary wardrobe staple. They are also a common item to sell for charity. Although donating directly is still the best way to support relief efforts, T-shirts have the added advantage of raising awareness when the news coverage has stopped. Not to mention people just need an extra incentive to pitch in (the unfortunate truth of our materialistic world). In response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, several celebrities and fashion designers have come up with T-shirts to raise money.
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park immediately started coming up with T-shirt designs when he heard the news. Fans voted for the origami butterfly (which represents rebirth) and the “Not alone” text with a Japan flag. The butterfly shirt comes in men’s and women’s sizes. The band is selling the tees for $25 with proceeds going to Music for Relief.
Although it is already sold out, Italian brand tokidoki created a cute anime-inspired T-shirt for Josh Duhamel’s Youth Run 4 Japan. In the clip, you can see Fergie, Paris and Nicky Hilton, and Duhamel himself sporting the shirt (real men aren’t afraid of wearing kawaii tees, especially if they’re for a good cause).
Snoop Dogg teamed up with Neff Headwear created the Keep Ya Head Up Japan shirt. It costs $19.99, and proceeds go Operation USA.
Another collaboration involves Olympian Johnny Weir and Sendai designer Tadashi Shoji for the Japanese Red Cross Society. Their T-shirt has words like “prayers”, “love”, and “support” in a heart shape and is $25.
Iron Maiden, who had to cancel their Tokyo shows, is selling their tour T-shirt, which features a demonic samurai design, for £20.50. Proceeds also go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Gwen Stefani’s label, Harajuku lovers, has released their “We love you Japan” tee for Red Cross efforts. It has cartoon geisha versions of the singer and her dancers and goes for $40.
Anna Sui has men’s and women’s Japan relief shirt for just $20. The men’s is in black while the women’s is in light purple. Both have a heart design with the words, “We’re all in this together.”
h.NAOTO has gathered his fellow designers at S-inc for the Ganbare Tohoku project. He has created four shirts while Mint from Sixh, Gashicon of HANGRY&ANGRY, and T. Kunimoto of gouk have each made one. The site also show photos and messages from musicians, shopkeepers, and the designers themselves.
Gap is selling two gray shirts to raise money for Global Giving while Threadless had people submit, then vote on a design for their Japan relief shirt. PalmerCash has made some cool ones that have the official symbols of cities and prefectures affected by the quake.
There are lots more T-shirts by celebrities and fashion brands out there, and we haven’t even gotten to the local efforts. Otouto is pictured here with a shirt and wristband he picked up at the Houston Japanese Festival.
So if you’re looking to replace some old tees, why not get one for a good cause?
Listening to: “Song for Minamisanriku” by tantricdragon