On September 1st, I'm happy to say we made our first donations to charity based on the printed T-shirts sold in late May, June, July, and August. I make these quarterly announcements on social media, so follow me on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.
As you may know, a portion of every T-shirt sold on this store goes to charity. Giving back to the planet and helping those working to stop oppression is something I care about deeply.
Before opening this store, I struggled with how to reconcile selling my art in a highly visible and expressive way (printed on graphic tees) with the environmental issues and hyperconsumerism we face. One idea was to offer one T-shirt whose proceeds went completely to charity. But given that this store has an ever-changing lineup of designs for sale, it didn't seem like the right idea, nor an effective one.
I also like to highlight humanitarian and human rights issues with my artwork, but selling those designs purely for profit was problematic
That's why I made the decision to put 500 yen, or about USD 4.00, of every sale to charity. This is a more effective choice in the long run. As an independent, freelance artist, I am limited in the amount I can donate. But if every purchase helps a little, I think we're moving in positive direction. And if I can convince someone to buy a comfortable, well-crafted T-shirt with unique artwork not available anywhere else instead of a generic printed tee from a fast fashion corporation, I think we're helping (more info on the T-shirts we use here).
As I am based in Sapporo, Japan, the charities to which this store donates are also based in Japan. If you'd like to learn more about these non-profit organizations, check out the Donations page.