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Power to the People The Impact of Custom Print Tees

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Often times, the most impactful statements are spoken at all. In fact, they’re seen.

Following a string of deaths of unarmed black men, and one boy, protesters across the country gave gathered in solidarity to protest excessive police force and police brutality. Social media platforms have been integral in coordinating their efforts, raising awareness, as well as garnering global attention. However, one of the most powerful tools used by protestors is custom print tees.

Custom designed tee shirts have long been used to raise awareness for causes such as breast cancer, Lyme disease, veteran charities, and a slew of other causes. Often times, quality printed t shirts are worn as a fashion statement. However, the custom print tees emblazoned with Eric Garner’s chilling last words, “I can’t breathe” have made a silent, yet powerful statement.

A number of celebrities, public figures, and professional athletes such as Lebron James have proudly donned the custom print tees as a way of showing their support for law enforcement reform. This has breathed new life into the movement, as others are inspired by the public figures’ support. Rapper and business Jay-Z recently purchased 1,000 of the custom designed tee shirts as a show of support and appreciation.

T shirt printing services across the country, some far from Staten Island where Garner died, are having trouble keeping up with stead demand of the shirts. The promotional tshirts can also be purchased online, with many retailers creating their own version.

The design of the t shirts is simple; white words contrasting against a black backdrop. This simple design has been highly effective in giving voice to a movement that many people feel strongly about. The custom print tees have also provided a platform for discussion regarding a highly sensitive and charged subject, which is instrumental in sparking change and reform.

On the other side of the police brutality debate, promo t shirts in support of Darren Wilson, the young police officer who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have also been created by Wilson’s supporters. While many have found these shirts distasteful if not offensive, it’s important to remember they are means of self expression.

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