How the Shirt on Your Back Could Help Build a School in Peru

Wear the change you wish to see in the world.

Sep 14, 2015
Serengetee t-shirt patches

Serengetee has over 130 fabrics patches, each representing a different cause (Facebook

With a T-shirt, you can promote youth education in Liberia. With a T-shirt, you can raise awareness of plastic pollution in Australia. With a T-shirt, you can aid in the natural disaster relief in Nepal. All with just a Serengetee T-shirt.

Serengetee is a social enterprise that incorporates global fabric patterns into their products, while giving back to grassroots projects. Started by three American college friends in 2012 after spending a semester at sea, Serengetee uses fabric as a means of connecting people across the globe and giving back to local artisans and causes.

Each fabric corresponds with a foundation affiliated with the region it’s from and, for each T-shirt sold, 13 percent of the profit goes to one of 50 partner foundations around the world. The fabrics are neatly stitched on the pockets of classic white tees and sold online according to country. The company has since expanded its collection, now offering backpacks, tank tops, hats, sweaters, and even fanny packs, each with its own colorful patch of fabric.

Child with Serengetee sticker Mayan Families is just one of the 50 foundations supported by Serengetee (Facebook

Serengetee has taken advantage of its trendy look to sweep up younger generations in the movement. The clothing brand has successfully tapped into a demographic not often targeted in the philanthropic realm: high school and college students. Students apply to be Serengetee Campus Reps, spreading the mission and brand around their campus, and, most importantly, wearing the product. For example, Serengetee Rep Danya Li, a sophomore at Syracuse University, is responsible for promoting "Wear the World Wednesdays" on social media platforms and on her campus by sporting Serengetee apparel. 

Danya Li holding serengetee flagCampus reps like Danya Li find creative ways to promote Serengetee, like posting pictures on social media (Odyssey

In an age where originality and creativity are essential tools to promote “doing good,” Serengetee’s ingenious model allows for a three-way impact that benefits the local fabric maker, the fabric’s corresponding foundation, and, of course, its customers.

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