COLLABORATING DURING CHALLENGING TIMES – THE NATURE TEE PROJECT

Owning a vintage shop and having a reputation for curating the best of the best gives me an avenue for collaborating with a wide variety of people. My expertise in sports history and memorabilia form the foundation, but it is imperative for me to collaborate with artists, brands, and media companies that have their own respective trajectories to best expand my reach to the highest number of people.

One of the great things about the uniqueness of vintage is how a specific piece can instantly start a conversation and build relationships. As a business owner and community member, I am always eager to give back in impactful ways. It was these forces that combined to allow a new and exciting idea to come forward.

Having our daily routines upended by this ongoing crisis puts new emphasis on how small business owners need to think outside of their traditional parameters. We all need to find success during this make or break point in history. I see significant value in engaging other members of the creative community, cross-promoting, and showing loyal supporters that our vision persists even in challenging times.

Billy Lyons has one of the most innovative artistic styles I’ve ever seen. His artwork is deeply personal and draws considerable inspiration from his upbringing in Rochester, New York. His interpretations of the human form and expression through his paintings are radical to say the least, and I am honored to have commissioned his work for a mural featuring the “Mt. Rushmore of Boston Sports.” His work is a proud centerpiece of my store today.

I initially approached Billy about a way to promote Earth Day a little differently. Many vintage vendors encourage upcycling by reselling thrifted clothes. Others remind people that the rainforest in peril by posting a picture of a jungle print shirt. I knew for sure that donating to a cause was important, but we also needed to give potential customers something truly unique. We came to three objectives. Our offering needed to raise funds for a cause, support our interests and stand out from the vast array of options currently available. The rest of the thought process was a logical conclusion.

I curated 10 vintage nature shirts from the shop, and Billy added the animals’ true feelings about the condition of their environment. Billy’s tremendous ability to add expression and depth to his artwork is what transforms these t-shirts into truly one of kind pieces.

The decimation that humans have brought on the Earth is finally hitting a point where there is no turning back. Extinction is imminent for thousands of species, and global warming stands to dramatically alter the lives of coming generations. We can take a final stand and there are several wonderful organizations leading the way. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of these tees will go towards the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute & the World Wildlife Federation.

This collaboration will be available on Earth Day 4/22 @ 3 PM EST on thefeltfanatic.com.