Justin Gignac Explains How He’ll Raise Millions For UNICEF By Selling T-Shirts

Justin Gignac Explains How He’ll Raise Millions For UNICEF By Selling T-Shirts

Designer is selling tees with a water pump image for $500 - and an airlift for $300,000.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 26 october 2011

UNICEF have announced a collaboration with artist-designers Justin and Christine Gignac to create a special series of t-shirts. Each tee has a different graphic that represents one of the items that the money goes to when you buy it through the Threadless online store. The peanut image print represents money that will go toward supplying ready to eat therapeutic food to children in the Horn of Africa. Other options include a water pump for $500 and an airlift for $300,000. Online t-shirt retailer Threadless will handle the sales of the shirts.

We caught up with one half of the design duo, Justin, to find out more about the work Justin Gignac produced.

Justin. Amazing tees – can you tell us a little more about the campaign?

The Horn of Africa is experiencing the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world, with Somalia being the epicenter of the crisis. More than 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 4 million children. Famine has been declared in parts of southern Somalia, and it is likely to spread to other areas of Somalia if help does not arrive quickly enough. Hundreds of thousands of children are at imminent risk of death.
Obviously, we need to do something to help and are fortunate to have been included in this effort to raise money for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support lifesaving relief efforts.

So when I buy a $300,000 t-shirt, all I get is a nice looking tee??

Of course not. If you buy “A Cargo Flight” for $300,000 you get a great looking tee with an image that lets people know you’re one of the most generous people in the world. And you also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping UNICEF deliver vital aid to the children and families most affected by severe drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

Who are you working with on this project? How much do you guys think you’re going to raise?

A lot of great people have come together and donated their time and talents to make GOOD SHIRTS happen. Christine and I worked with the team at BBH New York and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to determine the best items to feature on the shirts. Then they brought the idea to Threadless who were the perfect fit. Threadless was built on a community of people passionate about art and artists and we hope this is a cause they rally behind. Personally, we don’t have any specific goals for sales. If we can get people to donate to the cause who wouldn’t have otherwise, it’s a win for us.

There’s a connection with your previous project ‘Wants For Sale‘ where you sold paintings for things you wanted at the price they cost. Why did you opt for that style here?

With such serious subject matter like measles vaccines, deworming tablets and ready-to-eat therapeutic food packets it was important to keep the images light-hearted so people would want to wear them. And the images should be positive to remind people of the good they’re doing by buying one.



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