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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were driven to find a way of giving back to the front-line workers in the NHS. We had loads of ideas but ultimately it came down to not making any financial gain ourselves from the project and using our resources and time to create a platform for you - our friendly customers. This is a people powered project, without you none of this would be happening.
"We need to do something with zero gain to us" commented Ian last week whilst talking about ideas, one of which was giving back a significant chunk from sales of a watch.
A t-shirt is something we've talked about doing for a while, with the original idea being a super technical, highly ethical garment, possibly as a collaboration (something to definitely look out for in the future). However with the timescale on the design challenge being so tight, we partnered with local ethical t-shirt company on the Isle of Wight TeeMill. All of TeeMill's garments are GOTS certified organic, with water for the crops sourced from the monsoon reservoirs in north India. Their products are printed on demand using lower impact inks and screen printed by hand. To top all of this off, you can send your worn out, holey t-shirts back to TeeMill and they will recycle and rework the organic cotton into a new garment they call ReMill - cool huh.
Why T-shirts you ask? Well, you might recognise the man on the right in this pic below from the 1980's? That's Ian (EB co-founder) with his then business partner Perry Lamb. The pair set up a clothing business after accidentally spilling paint on a t-shirt which led to the pair launching Suck Shirtz - one off, hand-sprayed t-shirts which fellow students and surf shops loved.
So... Thursday we hatched a plan, we launched it Friday, closed design entries on Wednesday and you delivered, man did you deliver. Overwhelming doesn't begin to cover it - all of us welled up looking over the designs trying to choose a winner. You lot are just brilliant... seriously.
Entries landed thick and fast, over 100 in total. We're still taking it in. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
"I thought the overall quality was absolutely superb. I'm blown away by it. It’s genuinely hard to choose favourites; at one point I had 16 shortlisted and I didn't want to have to discard any." Alex said in a note back to the group. "I'm refusing to choose less than 4" commented Gemma as she dug her heels in.
So here we are on Friday with everything live and ready, we chose a winner on Wednesday night, (well two actually - unplanned - one for the front and one for the main back print), and sorted all the back end stuff Thurs and Friday am.. and breathe.
Both Nicky and Arturo receive a £250 voucher towards any watch and of course a T-shirt with their final design which we have to say looks bang on point.
Nicky Ruggier is local to Poole, grew up here, left and came back 15 years ago. Way back she worked in TV as a producer and some time presenter. More recently she started a small dog products company with her sister, called PupRepublic. She has no design training but plays with images and designs for her business, which is how she came to decide to have a crack at the competition. Nicky's adventure inspired design had us all, and her statement "The Time is Now" couldn't be more apt. This will be the design on the back.
Arturo Bencosme, is far from local and entered the competition from across the pond, in the Rockies, Colorado USA to be exact. He comes from an engineering background and comments that any design concept can be subject to multiple interpretations. "For what is worth, my design intended to express a proud message of compassion, solidarity, and valour, a message that I believe is in line with the underlying spirit of the contest." Arturo's clever use of joined hands in a heart shape on the front breast print is the icing on this t-shirt's cake - especially as it'll be worn next to the heart.
The winning design is only available to order until midnight Sunday 3rd May. This is our first ever T-shirt and we won't make this design ever again so please do your bit now.
£12 from every tee sold goes to the NHS Charities Together and we'll be totally transparent about the numbers ordered and the donation made. We don't care if it's £100 or £10,000 and hope we can make it count.
Production will take 2-3 weeks (depending on volume) then we'll need about a week to ship them to us, pick, pack and ship them to you but we'll work lates and shifts whilst distancing ourselves in the office and warehouse to get them to you as soon as humanly possible.
In the interests of transparency, the ex vat amount we receive is £20, we charge Royal Mail at £2.94 cost. The amount left after the cost of the t-shirt and delivery to us is roughly £12. The admin time to pick/pack and the costs of screens for the printing set-up, the packing etc, they're on our tab. If there's anything extra in the pot it'll go to the NHS... every penny.
Alex, Ian and everyone at EB
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