This holiday season, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), custom apparel start-up CustomThread, and artist Pau Tiu have teamed up to produce “Tees for UNICEF” – a line of limited-edition unisex t-shirts that aim to start conversations about the rights of Filipino children.
“I’m not vocal on social media about political issues, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t care,” says Tiu. “As an artist, I was looking for a medium where I could engage society without being too ‘in your face’. I hope the shirts serve as a talking point and start conversations from there.”
A rectangle for a book; a triangle for a roof. In the “For Every Child” shirt, Tiu uses basic shapes to convey the basic needs and rights every child needs to reach their full potential. The UNICEF tagline on the front appears in different colors to show diversity and inclusion – two values that drive UNICEF’s work to help all children, in all situations.
For this collaboration, Tiu drew upon influences from streetwear, childhood nostalgia, and vintage items such as old children’s textbooks. Each shirt is made of 100% cotton and is printed locally by CustomThread. Proceeds will go to UNICEF Philippines, which relies entirely on donations to fund its work for children.
UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. It is present in over 190 countries worldwide and has been working in the Philippines for nearly 70 years. UNICEF works every day with governments and partners to change children’s lives through innovative programmes for lasting change as well as advocates for laws and policies that protect and realize children’s rights.
The “Childhood” shirt features the phrase “For every child, a childhood”, referring to UNICEF’s efforts to ensure every child can learn, play, and grow in an environment without violence, abuse, or exploitation. The image on the back draws upon Tiu’s fondest childhood memories. “Play is a really important part of childhood, so I wanted to draw upon our feelings childhood nostalgia,” she says.
It is this commitment and optimism that drove CustomThread to select UNICEF as one of its non-profit partners. “With their unchanging passion, UNICEF has always been a champion to improve the lives of children and their families, making an invaluable impact on the world around us. This kind of devotion is what we look for in a non-profit. We want to support advocacies that create progressive change.”
Minimalist images of time and distance evoke reach in the “No Child Too Far” shirt. For nearly 70 years, UNICEF has worked relentlessly, across some of the most remote and challenging areas, to reach the most vulnerable children. “UNICEF always believes that we can achieve a better world for children, so I wanted to show that sense of reaching out and encouragement,” says Tiu.
The Tees for UNICEF are available at PHP 599 each for a limited time only at fundr.ph/forunicef.
Payment is accepted via credit card, bank deposit, online transfer, and more. Worldwide shipping is available. The size chart can be viewed at fundr.customthread.com/size-chart. #uniceftees