Posts Tagged ‘t-shirts’

Welcoming SWAG Sally to the Fairware Team

April 25, 2011

This week we’re welcoming SWAG Sally, our new advice columnist, to the Fairware blog – S.W.A.G being the ‘stuff we all get’. She’s going to be taking on a regular “Dear SWAG Sally” series where she’ll be answering your inquiries related to the role of promotional products in marketing campaigns (and maybe providing some dating advice? …maybe)

So send us your questions, your quandaries, your “what does it all mean?” issues and we’ll pass them on.

This week we have a question about t-shirts

Dear SWAG Sally,

We have an exciting new campaign launching this spring. It seems like people have so many t-shirts these days, are they still an effective promo product?

Sincerely, Considering T-Shirts in Vancouver

Excellent question CTIV, and excellent timing since Fairware is clearing some quality organic cotton t-shirts at the moment (but more about that later).

It’s true, the issue of t-shirt as promo piece raises some concerns and I’d say when done incorrectly is as useful as writing a cheque to your local Value Village! But, when implemented well, nothing gets your message across as effectively as a t-shirt.

What you want is a conversation-starter. A “hey, that’s a cool shirt” piece that prompts people to talk about the issue or brand at hand. That’s a true win!

Awesome tees recently sourced by Fairware

To help you on your way to victory, here are a few t-shirt DOs:

  1. Spend some time coming up with a fun graphic or pithy statement that people will be interested in wearing. Consider new and different placement positions for your artwork (e.g. lower left front of the shirt) as well as fashionable colors for both the print and shirt.
  2. Consider the best size and fit options for your target audience and leave some time to order samples. When choosing a more fitted fashion-style tee ensure the fit is in line with your expectations. T-shirt cuts vary widely across brands and styles.
  3. Be sure the shirts are in line with your organization’s values. For example, if you’re promoting an eco-message, order shirts made from organic cotton and printed with water-based inks. If you’re a strong supporter of unions, source union made tees. This detail may seem obvious, but I’ve seen it missed before.
  4. Avoid brand risk by sourcing shirts that meet ethical sourcing and fair labour standards.

The t-shirts DON’Ts are essentially a reverse of the DOs, so we’ll leave it at that for now.

If you do decide to proceed with t-shirts for your promo campaign, consider the clearance Fairware currently has on organic cotton tees, it’s a nice deal. Stock is limited so I recommend contacting them sooner rather than later.

Until next time,

SWAG Sally – CPAWS online fundraising store

December 8, 2010

We recently helped the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) launch an online fundraising store – CPAWS is Canada’s pre-eminent national community-based voice for public wilderness protection. Since 1963 they have been a leader in establishing two-thirds of Canada’s protected wild spaces — an area over seven times the size of Nova Scotia!

The online store features some beautiful (and useful!) products including fashionable organic cotton t-shirts, infant onesies, recycled fleece toques, stainless steel thermoses and more. Perfect gift ideas for the wilderness lovers in your life and very reasonably priced. All products have been sourced from suppliers that meet Fairware’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

View the online store HERE and this year support Canadian wilderness conservation with your holiday gift buying.

Case Study: Online Store for Shoreline Cleanup T-Shirts

August 31, 2010

Flickr / Fiona of Zhadum


The world famous Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre –  a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research, and direct action.


The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – an annual event held across Canada (this year September 18-26th), the Shoreline Cleanup is a grassroots conservation program that aims to promote understanding and education about shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. Garbage on shorelines across the country is gathered during a week long event organized by volunteer Site Coordinators.

In 2009, over 1500 sites were registered for the Shoreline Cleanup and more than 160,000 kg  of waste was cleaned from our waterways.

Client Request:

In the past, individual cleanup sites coordinated the purchasing of team t-shirts on their own. This year, the Aquarium wanted to offer a t-shirt purchasing program for all the cleanup sites, allowing volunteer groups to take advantage of bulk purchasing rates and custom artwork options that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.

Fairware Approach:

1. Online Survey: To start, Fairware conducted an online survey to gauge the level of interest from Site Coordinators in purchasing team t-shirts. We wanted to eliminate the risk of building a site for a program that didn’t have buy-in.

2. Online Store: Once it was established that Site Coordinators were interested in placing orders, Fairware developed a custom online store that made purchasing easy. The site allowed for upfront order payment, automated order status updates, artwork upload options and reporting features that simplified delivery of the program.

3. Product Selection: The Aquarium designed some fantastic “I heart my shoreline” artwork for the front of the t-shirts (pictured below) and recognized major sponsors on the t-shirt backs. They selected 100% cotton unisex styles in both adult and youth sizes which Fairware  sourced from a supplier that meets our Supplier Code of Conduct for social and environmental responsibility.

4. Customization: The online store allowed individual cleanup sites the option of uploading a distinct team name for printing on the back of the shirts. Through automated messaging, Site Coordinators were kept up to date on the status of their orders.

5. Program Promotion: To help spread the word Fairware coordinated an e-reminder campaign, alerting Site Coordinators of pending deadlines. The Shoreline Clean-up team promoted the t-shirts on their main site and among their network.

6. Customer Service: While use of the website brought efficiencies to both the Aquarium and Site Coordinators, there was great value in having a knowledgeable contact person at Fairware to deal with questions and concerns from site visitors as they arose.

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