Regular readers will know about Ramp For Good, our project to give away free (or very heavily discounted) charity t-shirts to organisations making the world a better place.
The recipients of June’s donation are Eat Or Heat, a brilliant food bank based in London. With the number of people in the UK needing to turn to food banks now at a record high, the work they do is increasingly important. Eat Or Heat is there to support them as they struggle to pay bills AND feed their families. In other words, you shouldn’t have to make a choice. “Life shouldn’t be eat or heat”.
They accept tinned and long-life foods, as well as sanitary products, and use them to create food parcels for the vulnerable in the community.
At Ramp we’re big fans of Hotjar. We use it to tell us where we’re “losing” people on our website, and where they’re clicking, so that we can make things clearer, simpler and more efficient.
Nick Heim, their Director Of Marketing described it to me as “the closest thing to telepathy for your website”, which I thought was a pretty cool description!
I’d caught up with Hotjar because we were intrigued by the way they used free t-shirts to incentivise referrals, and drive thousands of new sign-ups. We thought it was really smart…
“We launched a super-simple referral program a few years ago, and it’s remained unchanged since then”, said Nick. “It’s a gamified system that simply rewards people with swag for sending new users our way. If you refer 5 users to Hotjar, we’ll send you a free t-shirt. If you’re in the top 5 referrers of that month, we’ll send you a hoodie!”.
Introducing our Budget t-shirt: the Fruit of the Loom Original T. This t-shirt goes under a lot of different names, but it’s the basic one in FOTL’s range.
BEST FOR: We think this is a good basic choice for promotional giveaways to corporate uniforms to band merch. It’s not really a fashion t-shirt due to the weight and cut, but it’s still really good quality and will keep its shape and colour for many, many washes.
It’s a great value, simple shirt. Straight up and down, this is not a fitted t-shirt so if you’re not sure who will be wearing it and you need make sure they fit, this will work. Screenprinting looks good on it due to the ringpsun cotton – which has a finely knitted gauge for enhanced printability.
Keen IO are a San Francisco startup that makes it easy to create real-time data applications through the use of their API. What this means in non-tech terms is that 60,000 people use Keen IO APIs to capture, analyze, and embed data analytics into their products. It allows them to use all this data and present it in a usable way, through graphs, charts, tables etc.
Because they’re a technical product, their primary users tend to be developers. And to engage their audience they’ve hidden* a brilliant free t-shirt Easter egg in their API documentation – for our non-technical readers, this is the “manual” that their users must consult to know how to implement Keen IO’s code properly.
Introducing one of our favourite t-shirts, what we call our Standard t-shirt: the Gildan Softstyle.
BEST FOR: All uses, from promotional giveaways to corporate uniforms to band merch. It looks like a premium product but at a great price.
This is a a really versatile choice for your garment. Why? It’s great value, stylish, feels great to wear and screenprinting looks amazing on it.
It’s called Softstyle because it uses Gildan’s proprietary softstyle yarns. These yarns consume less energy to manufacture, producing less waste and result in a more stable print surface than traditional ring spun products (such as our budget t-shirts).
T-shirts are an incredible tool for spreading a message of good charity causes, creating team unity, and rewarding volunteers. They are hugely visible, cheap, and reusable many, many times. They’re ideal for both marketing AND team-building.
With this in mind, we want to make it clear that Ramp cares about more than just helping you order t-shirts. We love music, fairness, friends, democracy and equality. And that’s why we want to use our business to help people doing good.
So, starting in March, we’re launching a new project for good charity causes.
Every month we’ll give away a bunch of free high-quality, screenprinted t-shirts to a project, charity, or organisation that is making the world a better place.
And each month we’ll write about this organisation, and follow the story of those t-shirts – where they went, who wore them, and how they benefited the project that received them. And then we’ll ask that project to nominate the next month’s recipients so that the t-shirt love is spread wider and wider.
We’re just starting to get ready for the influx of orders for this year’s beer, music, movies and tech fest that is South By South West in Austin, Texas. SXSW t-shirts are an absolutely vital part of this amazing event, and we don’t recall seeing more than a handful of people wearing much else during our times there!
So, for inspiration, here’s some previous great SXSW t-shirts that have been spotted wandering around the conference centre by day, and 6th Street by night….
Startup Repp got some brilliant conversations started in 2013 with this provocative number!