The project, curated by sustainability-focused pre-sale garment platform Print Social, sees t-shirts bearing designs created by Dutch Uncle roster illustrators going on sale as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 10 – 16 May.
All t-shirts will be available to pre-order from 10-31 May, with 50% of the profits going towards Mental Health UK, and the other 50% will go to the illustrator behind the tee.
The illustrators involved in the project include Noma Bar, Ping Zhu, Tomi Um, Joel Holland, Satoshi Hashimoto, Simone Massoni, Lalalimola, Hsiao Ron-Cheng, Dermot Flynn, Luis Toledo, SHOUT, Tavis Coburn, Robert Nicol, Graham Roumieu, Marc Burckhardt, Christian Montenegro, GRAY318, Adam McCauley, Klaus Kremmerz, Dani Choi and Aesthetic Apparatus.
According to Dutch Uncle, each of them has designed t-shirts with “positive messages” to help raise money and awareness for Mental Health UK. “The Hope & Connection T-shirt collection aims to create a positive message during these ever-changing times we’re in whilst helping to raise money and awareness too.”
As you’d expect from such a varied range of illustrative styles, the t-shirts are deliciously diverse in message and aesthetic. Kremmerz’s plays on the clichéd tropes of rainbows and unicorns. “Positive thoughts will not stop rubbish things from happening,” says the illustrator. “But there’s a big difference between planning for the bad stuff happening… and living life every day being worried that the outcome of things will always be a bad one. Positive thinking is when you have this bad stuff in your life, but you try and shift the negatives into positives. But in the meantime, let’s just enjoy looking at lots of rainbow unicorns.”
Christian Montenegro’s message is similar, even though his design is very different: “My design, it’s about facing the hard situations in life and not giving up. Step by step. Rising from dark depths, emerging stronger into a fortress of light. These times have taught us to be patient, take care and have in our mind that this challenging moment won’t last forever.”
Hsiao Ron Cheng