We have run a number of t-shirt campaigns over the last year and a half. It was an experiment to build our merchandise in a cost effective way, with the hope people would embrace our slogan and show the world they had “Real Guts”! Here’s a little summary of what has happened and what is in the pipeline.
The project’s vision for launching a t-shirt campaign was to gain maximum ‘visibility’. The hope was for our loyal followers to feel comfortable enough wearing our shirt, and in doing so bring awareness to the people around them. In the back of our heads, the one thought we clung to was that even if one person purchased a shirt and wore it in their home town, it would be inevitable that the public would see the message “I’ve Got Real Guts” a design that has kindly been donated by our friend and fellow Crohnie Annica Lydenberg aka Dirty Bandits. This statement alone is a very open one, it could be perceived as a statement of bravery, or in the literal sense that the wearer despite the odds, and due to the situation they have found themselves in, have got very real but challenging guts.
As a self funded initiative we had to find a way to get our message out there, with a minimal amount of cost involved. It’s a blessing to find and work with a company like Everpress, who are handily based in London. This way of bringing a t-shirt to the table, with no outlay or risk of sitting on excessive stock made complete sense, and the fact this has never been about making money meant that we are under no pressure to sell a million t-shirts. Working and communicating with Leigh Robins and the team has made the whole experience a seamless one, always on hand to alter and work around the ideas we’ve had. It’s made the whole process stress free and limitless on what we can bring to you, our followers. Some people have voiced their opinion (which is very welcome) that the t-shirts are quite expensive, which we take on board and hope to explain how it works.
The t-shirts are costed to allow for the rising price of printing costs, the setting up of screens for the different print placements, packaging and the logistics of getting the t-shirts ready for the customers. These little details all cost money, on top of the basic shirt. We could choose the cheapest basic t-shirt, with one print position and one colour, but we want to bring the best version of the shirt to the project. Most importantly we are not looking to rip our supporters off, and feel the price is fair on reflection for the quality of product. The project receives a £ % per shirt, which we invest back into the projects outgoings. The need for a web provider, the cost of domain usage and keeping us going forward all cost us. The project is our out of work adventure and we put a lot in to keep it alive, so hope this kind of explains and answers peoples queries?
For 2019 we hope to continue bringing t-shirts of awareness. We are already in the process of working on some new designs like the recent Flare4Flare Hospital Radio shirt from Moose&Yeti and Colouryum. This time we will bring designs specific to those with an ostomy and those supporters who deal with Ulcerative Colitis (U.C) on a daily basis. The project is here to support the entire IBD family despite the name and hope to keep building on our reach around the world. Seeing people wearing our shirts in U.S.A (New York, Connecticut just two), Brazil, Indonesia and Australia as well as our loyal clan in the U.K is a humbling feeling. To think we’ve touched people enough to support from all for corners is amazing.
So from me and the team thanks for the continued support, we may do things a little differently in raising awareness, but remember we are fully committed to raising awareness of IBD in a unique and creative way!