From wearable campaign billboards to oversized conference freebies, we can’t help but go through life collecting T-shirts we no longer want or need. A new campaign from Green Thing, however, is taking unloved T-shirts and refashioning them into objects of newfound desire. The U.K. not-for-profit, which made it cool to wear mismatched gloves last year, has even recruited a few local celebrities, including singer Imogen Heap and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. Because their shirts are mixed in with the regular inventory of “Saved” shirts, they’ll be sold at random—and you won’t know if you bought one until you open the package.
Saved works both ways: You can either send in your castoff T-shirts or buy a refurbished one for £20. When Green Thing receives a shirt in the mail, it’s washed and hand-stitched with repurposed-fabric letters to form the word “saved.” The tee is then assigned its own “saved” story: saved from bad taste, saved from disrepair, or saved from neglect. Now hipper and more fashion-forward that it ever was at the back of your wardrobe, the T-shirt is made available for purchase, preferably to a forever home.
When Green Thing receives a shirt in the mail, it’s washed and hand-stitched with repurposed-fabric letters to form the word “saved.”
Adding more intrigue to the process is the “golden ticket” scenario. Preloved shirts from popular personalities such as Tinchy Stryder, Darius Campbell, Marina and the Diamonds, Professor Green, V.V. Brown, Chipmunk, Mr. Hudson, and the aforementioned Heap and Rhodes are dispersed among the thousands of not-so-famous Saved T-shirts. In the same way a Willy Wonka chocolate bar could be so much more than a chocolate bar, a T-shirt can be so much more than just a T-shirt.
“Saved things are just as beautiful as new things, if not more so,” says Andy Hobsbawm, co founder of Green Thing, tells Ecouterre. “They come with character, romance, mystery and history.” Watch this little video about the Saved campaign to learn more.