New ASI Report Says T-Shirts Now The Go-To Charity Fundraiser

The digital revolution and philanthropic efforts are making T-shirts a saving grace

TREVOSE, PA – October 28, 2013 – A new report from Wearables magazine says the digital revolution and philanthropic efforts have turned the perennial T-shirt into today’s go-to charity fundraiser.

According to Wearables editor C.J. Mittica, the golden age of charity shirts has arrived, fueled in large part by digital word of mouth and lightning-quick turnaround times on printing and shipping that give donors an instant reward for their good deeds.

Wearables® magazine is published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), the largest media, marketing and education organization in the $19.4 billion promotional products industry.

“The rise of e-commerce, crowdfunding and social media have allowed both charities and the disadvantaged themselves to cut through societal layers to directly reach others who can donate with the click of a mouse,” said Mittica, whose magazine covered the trend in “Wear and Care.”

Recent examples of the trend uncovered by Wearables include:

  • “Boston Strong” T-shirt creators and Emerson College students Nick Reynolds and Chris Dobens sold 60,000 shirts, enabling them to donate nearly $900,000 to the Boston One Fund benefitting victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. “It’s always been about strength, obviously, resilience and that sense of community,” says Reynolds.
  • The “Eff Cancer” shirt created by Rachel Morell of Ramalama Enterprises to help fund treatment for Haley Bellows, a 21-year-old George Fox University student and cancer patient whose insurance was dropped. So far, the shirts have raised nearly $7,000. Click here for a video of Bellows shaving her head and click here to read her story in Wearables.
  • The Montreal-based Yellow Bird Project (YBP) features T-shirts designed by indie bands along with charities chosen by the band. One $30 T-shirt designed by The National benefits Safe Space, a New York-based charity that works with disadvantaged children to keep them from entering the foster-care system.

According to ASI, T-shirts represented $2.7 billion of the promotional products market in 2012, or 13.8% of the total sold. All told, 44% of U.S. consumers surveyed for ASI’s 2013 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study own a promotional shirt.

About ASI The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.