How I Started My Own Ethical T-Shirt Business

Hermione tells us the story of ChatTee, the business that she and her brothers started recently which raises money for charity.

3 December 2018

We were spending too much time on our phones

So, how did it start? I have two brothers, Will, who is 15 and Archie, who is 11 and We set up ChatTee together with help from our mum. ​

The idea came to us last Easter holidays which were really wet, and we didn’t go away and spent a bit too much time on our phones, so our mum suggested that we should do something with our technology to help others.

We decided to design slogan t-shirts for charity

It was really hard to come up with an idea that we all agreed on! I didn’t want to run a marathon and Will likes long distances and Archie hates heights so abseiling Big Ben was out of the question. It was only when Will and I went to watch Archie play polo, that the idea for ChatTee came about. One of his friends was wearing a t-shirt with a slogan and we decided that this would be a good thing to do: design slogan t-shirts for charity that raised awareness of important issues and spread the word via our friends.

Our parents have always encouraged us as children to watch the news and we have always grown up with the news on in the kitchen and so we became quite familiar with what is affecting our world today. We each chose a charity that we wanted to support and wrote to them to see if we could fundraise for them.

We each chose a charity

​Will chose The Plastic Ocean Foundation UK as he has always had an interest in natural history and after we watched a film about the oceans and how they were affected by our use of plastic, he immediately wanted to raise awareness of the harm that plastic is causing, not only to the planet, but also to our human health. And he believes that our generation can help stop plastic getting into our oceans. ​

​​I chose Young Minds which helps support ‘the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges.’ I chose this charity because I think that the stigma surrounding mental health in schools should be stopped because it is so important for everyone with a mental health situation should be supported and cared for no matter how big or small the situation is.

Archie’s charity is Sentebale and the reason he chose Sentebale was because he is always googling famous polo players! One day he began to start following Nacho Figueras on Instagram, as he is one of the most famous polo players today! Archie was reading something about him and his charity work and came across Sentebale. And from then on Archie did not stop talking about Nacho and his work with Sentebale. Sentebale is an amazing cause, the charity supports people in Botswana and Lesotho who are either infected or affected with HIV or Aids. They also help to educate families as well help cure the people infected by the disease.

Setting up the business

We are so happy that the charities all said YES to us helping them, but while we were in the process of choosing slogans to use, I was starting my term out in Veyrines in the Summer Term.  My mum and I can both agree that the nightly phone call between us while I was out there always consisted of us talking about ChatTee!

I found a designer and emailed her to see if she could help us with the designs. Mum would then email me designs to show my friends and they have helped me so much in deciding which ones to choose. My brothers didn’t always agree but we have all learnt how to compromise!​

​So now we are open for business! We launched with 6 designs and have more coming out soon! We donate £5 per t-shirt sale to charity and have been blown away with the support we have received so far.​

The t-shirts

T-shirts are £22 which does sound a lot compared to Primark or Zara but our Tees are made from 100% organic Fairtrade cotton, using recycled water for the inks and there is no plastic in our packaging! Plus they are not made in sweat shops and the workers are paid a legal wage which is a really important thing to think about – look up ethical fashion! We need to do our bit and know where our clothes are coming from.​

​You’ll be pleased to hear we haven’t left Mum at home with a mountain of parcels to post! We use a company to drop ship each order direct to your door so we don’t have to buy stock and it’s working really well.

Recently we have had our first interview, with School Notices and we are so grateful for them helping us get the word out about ChatTee to all the schools near us.

Follow us on social

Instagram: wearechattee

Twitter: wearechattee

Facebook: WeAreChatTee

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