Threadless Causes: Making a Difference with Your Artist Shop

Willpower, collaboration, perseverance. It’s going to take that and a whole lot more to reshape the world to be as inclusive and socially aware as we all envision. However, it isn’t always obvious how we as individuals can leverage our unique skills to enact tangible change in our own communities and beyond. That’s why we are excited to present Threadless Causes, an incredibly easy way for you—the artist—to raise funds for the initiatives you support, from Suicide Prevention to Humanitarian Aid.

Using Causes is simple. In your Artist Shop Dashboard, select one of your designs from which you’ll donate a percentage of earnings. Then, choose from a list of approved causes and charities to direct those funds.

But that’s only the bare-bones approach! To really magnify your impact, create new designs in the spirit of the causes you wish to support. Also think about how you can market those designs to your audience to effectively spread awareness.

Find Inspiration in the Message

Picking a random design in your shop to fundraise may not resonate as much as a design specifically tailored to the causes you’ve chosen to support. Why are those specific causes important to you? What are they trying to accomplish? What does the world look like once they’ve accomplished those goals?

These are just a few thoughts to get the creative juices flowing. No matter which direction you choose, don’t abandon your unique style! Your art is why the Threadless community loves you! Here are a few examples of shops nailing the message while staying true to their artistry.

I’m Fine” by von Kowen

"I'm Fine" Men's T-Shirt and Women's T-Shirt by von Kowen
“I’m Fine” Men’s T-Shirt and Women’s T-Shirt by von Kowen

von Kowen’s shop is filled to the brim with skulls, tongue-in-cheek humor, and lots of black. All of those elements are present in “I’m Fine” benefiting Hope For The Day, a nonprofit focusing on suicide prevention. The design itself takes direct inspiration from the organization’s motto, “It’s OK Not to Be OK.”

Rainbow Burger” by Alchemy Mellow

"Rainbow Burger" Sticker and Face Mask by Alchemy Mellow
“Rainbow Burger” Sticker and Face Mask by Alchemy Mellow

Alchemy Mellow, meanwhile, gives eyes a sugar rush of bubbly, cartoonish illustrations drenched in highly saturated pastels. The shop supports the National Center for Transgender Equality with its “Rainbow Burger” design boasting the colors of a rainbow, a symbol widely used by the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Defund the Police” by Teenage Stepdad

"Defund the Police" Ringer and French Terry Sweatshirt by Teenage Stepdad
“Defund the Police” Ringer and French Terry Sweatshirt by Teenage Stepdad

No stranger to political statements, Teenage Stepdad makes heads turn with clever, boldly lettered phrases paired with graphics that similarly push the envelope, as seen on “Defund the Police.” The design frankly addresses police brutality while fundraising for Black Lives Matter, which stands against systemic racism, racial inequality, and oppression.

Shout It from the Rooftops

You’ve chosen causes to support. You’ve created relevant designs. That’s awesome! But the next step might be the most important of all: spreading the word. The loudest, most far-reaching megaphone these days is social media, where a few strategic posts can motivate friends, fans, and customers to shop with purpose.

Glitch Goods by Rob Sheridan, for example, has used Instagram’s myriad of features to create buzz around themed face masks benefiting MedShare, a nonprofit that provides critical medical equipment to communities in need around the world. A quick scroll through the shop’s profile reveals several posts advertising face masks, along with captions clearly stating the charity’s mission and fundraising progress.

That’s not where Glitch Goods stops. As seen in the post above, the shop regularly fills its profile, stories, and highlights with pictures and videos of followers actually wearing the face masks, which only intensifies their allure.

Using a multifaceted strategy similar to Glitch Goods can help expose your designs to a worldwide audience. Just be sure to tag and hashtag the charities you’re fundraising for so followers can find and see the important work for themselves.

Art throughout history has always been a powerful tool that drives cultural change and gives a voice to the underserved and underrepresented. Threadless Causes empowers you to continue that tradition. Use it as a tool to bolster the charities you believe in, but also go the extra mile to maximize your impact with new designs and a marketing game plan.

If there are any organizations you’d like to fundraise for that aren’t on the list of approved charities, visit the Causes help page for more information.

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