Eco-Friendly T-Shirts Turn Aid Into Sustainable Charity

Eco-Friendly T-Shirts Turn Aid Into Sustainable Charity

Project Repat is working with artisans from Kenya to turn used clothing into profits for NGOs and sustainable business for locals.

Liz Walsh
  • 14 december 2011

In the United States, 95% of shirts that are donated to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are not actually sold for resale, but sold for incredibly cheap prices and then shipped to developing countries where they are put back on the markets. Inspired by the latest fashion trends in Nairobi, the founders of Project Repat saw this system as an opportunity support local artisans and NGOs.

How does it work? The t-shirts are purchased on the local markets in countries like Kenya, where Project Repat commissions local artisans to take the recycled shirts and make them into new t-shirts, scarves, skirts, and bags. The resized, refashioned apparel is then shipped back to the United States and sold, with all profits going to the people in Africa who make them and to local NGOs.

Each t-shirt has a stamp on it indicating where it was purchased and when it was brought back to the United States. They also come with a card that explains the specific NGO projects that the money used to buy them supports. Each t-shirt is made from 3 original ones., and each is unique and authentic.

The organization is completely run by volunteers and their website provides answers to questions like which NGOs are being supported, how green the project is, and the effect of the project on the local markets.

Watch their documentary below that explains the project in detail and find out why the United Nations calls Project Repat ‘smart aid.’

Project Repat


The Story Behind How LYNK & CO Created A Car Brand From Scratch

Technology Today

Google’s Gyroscopic Camera Lets You Shoot VR Content On Android

The experimental device called Sprayscape takes photos inside a sphere to create 360-degree virtual images

Syndicated Today

Why Fashion Labels Are Moving Away From Overt Branding

New research suggests brand are shying away from logos and flashy displays


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Fashion Today

Scientists Have Developed A Furry Wetsuit Material Inspired By Beavers

MIT researchers created the lighter and warmer fabric to maximize speed in the water and to keep swimmers dry

Related Expert

Aaron Dignan

Electronics & Gadgets, Future of Work, Work & Business

Advertising Today

Coca-Cola Has Created A Custom Gaming PC

Maingear developed a computer featuring a fully functional coke bottle water-cooling reservoir

Social Media Today

Chipotle’s New Weekly Show Broadcasts Over Snapchat

The Mexican fast food brand is trying to build goodwill with high school and college students through the social media platform

Media & Publishing Today

The NBA Is Filming Live Games With A Special Camera Just For Your Phone

Subscribers to League Pass can now access a feature called Mobile View, which is shot to be optimized for phones and tablets


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

AI Today

Film Touchingly Portrays The Challenge Of Relying On AI To Combat Loneliness

Director David Wilson takes viewers on a journey of the benefits and ultimate deficiencies of replacing human interaction with robots

Travel Today

Delta Lets Flyers Track Their Luggage From The Airplane To The Airport

The airline's new app allows customers to see exactly where their baggage is throughout their journey

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Gaming & Play Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals

Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

No search results found.