26 Shirts Blog

  • We're not a t-shirt company

    26 Shirts is not a t-shirt company... 26 Shirts is a movement.

    Sebastian Bradley, former beneficiary

    And you’re an important part of the movement. You, specifically, are a part of it. You've helped over 220 different worthy causes, ranging from children with inoperable brain tumors, to grandparents fighting cancer, and all the way to charitable foundations doing what they can to research and fight incurable diseases.

    Through the campaigns associated with these causes, you've helped raise nearly $350,000 to assist them. That's well over a THIRD OF A MILLION DOLLARS! One donation at a time, one shirt at a time, by one awesome person like you at a time.

    We hope you love your shirts! We have gone out of our way to use only the very best materials. We put time and effort into labeling each one and packaging every order up and sending it out to you.

    We trust that you love the feeling you get wearing them even more, though! As we often say on social media, not only will you look good on the outside... you should feel good on the inside because through something as simple as a t-shirt purchase, you're making a difference.

    Now, we ask that you help us spread the movement.

    Tell 1, tell 2 or 3, tell as many people as you can about the movement of 26 Shirts. Tell them how we’re “changing the game.” We’re taking the passion that we have for the sports teams we follow, the cities that we love to call home, and we’re channeling that into helping worthy charities with noble goals, and families who are in their darkest hour.

    This year, for what has now become our annual "March Forward" campaign, we're looking to "Double Up." Our goal is to double our reach through both our mailing list subscribers and our respective social media followers. Ideally, this will translate into doubling what we're able to donate as well!

    To help move this campaign along, we are once again doing a giveaway for a year's worth of shirts. No purchase is necessary! Just head over to 26shirts.com/doubleup and use the form (over and over again) to tell your friends about 26 Shirts. You'll get a chance to win a great prize, but more importantly increase 26 Shirts' potential to DO GOOD.

    Thanks for being a part of the 26 Shirts movement. We love changing the game with you.

    In this together,

    Del, Dan, and the rest of the crew at 26 Shirts

  • 26 Shirts: Fundraising

    We recently ran our first school/organization fundraising campaign for the whole month of November in Buffalo with 11 schools and organizations. We designed a custom shirt for each school (like the one shown here) and made it available along with 8 of our best selling shirts from over the years. We ran it just like we do our regular 2 week campaigns. $8 from every shirt sold went to the school, with sales being handled through the website. Each organization had its own portal page so that we could track the sales for each. It worked kind of like how a school fundraising campaign selling chocolate or popcorn does.

    So, we want to do it again in March and do it in all 4 of our cities. We’ll have 4-5 designs available (8 was a bit too much to coordinate) plus the unique one for each school. We’ll take orders for all of March and then print and ship out the orders... and then give the money raised to each school.

    We’re looking for anyone that either works at a school they think might be interested, or has a school contact that we can reach out to to provide them with information. So if that’s you, email us at fundraising@26shirts.com and let us know!

    This time around, we’re considering keeping track of sale referrals for each student and giving prizes to those that sell the most... and to the top-performing school.

    This is a great opportunity for your school (or little league team, or church, or whatever) to raise some money -- all while hopefully introducing new folks to 26 Shirts and the give back model we've put together to help people in need. Win/win!

  • You

    In case you missed it, 26 Shirts hit the $300,000 milestone earlier today.

    When I think about HOW MUCH $300,000 actually is, and to think that that's what you have managed to donate so far, I'm speechless.

    Well, not too speechless; hence, this quick blog post. :)

    YOU. That's what this is all about: YOU have donated this money.

    This isn't a blog post that I put together to toot Dan Gigante's and my own horn, just because we're the ones who cut a check at the end of a given shirt's run. Far from it!

    This is a post to thank every customer, every contributing artist, every presenting sponsor- heck, every person who has ever shared a Facebook post or retweeted a tweet- for being a part of what has brought us to this point. Every one of YOU.

    So... THANK YOU. Your generosity through your purchases, and whatever other donation you may ever happen to kick in at checkout, is making a difference in people's lives. "Changing the game," as we like to call it.

       YOU have helped worthy, but underfunded, charities provide whatever special service in people's lives that only they can.

       YOU have helped parents take time off of work (often unpaid) so they can spend time with their sick kid who's fighting a life-threatening illness.

       YOU have helped sick adults make payments towards medical bills for treatments that they absolutely have to have, but their insurance doesn't cover.

       YOU have done so much.

    When you wear 26 Shirts gear, I hope you feel proud. YOU should.

    YOU are a part of something that is literally affecting people's lives for the better.

    Thanks for letting us be a part of it. You could order from one of any number of different sites online (or in the real world), and you choose to order from 26 Shirts. Again, thank you.

    It's an honor to play a small role in what YOU are doing.

  • The Bat-Signal is Lit

    PLEASE NOTE: This call for action is specific to those in the Buffalo area. Also, please be aware that all sizing information provided by our models during the photoshoot process will be shared on our website next to the model's photos.

    We're making some necessary updates over here at 26 Shirts HQ. We want to make sure that EVERY shirt that lands in your hands becomes your favorite shirt the minute you put it on. We've done everything we can to bring you the highest quality shirts that are the most comfortable to wear. The designs are interesting, fun, and unique. And to top it all off, there's always the good feeling you get knowing in the back of your head that you're helping someone in need with every purchase of our limited-edition shirts.

    But we've left something on the table...

    We want you to feel comfortable with the SIZE you choose!

    Now we realize that our business model makes this factor a little more difficult than most other places, because 99.9% of our products are only available online, and in order to find out if you've made the right choice, you have to have already purchased a shirt. But sometimes this means that the first shirt you purchased was the wrong choice for your body type, because you weren't quite sure exactly what you were getting. And that's no good. Because, if you've bought one of our shirts and it doesn't fit you exactly how it should, then you aren't going to wear it.

    WE WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY IN OUR SHIRTS!

    That's where all of this leading...we're lighting up the 26 Shirts signal (saving that idea for later...because how awesome would it be if we actually had a 26 Shirts Bat-signal!? I digress...) we're putting up the signal to all of you wonderful, beautiful people who just love to step in front of a camera to lend your best Derek Zoolander impression. We don't just mean the typical "model" type that you might think of. We want an awesome melting-pot of every type of person and the attributes that makes us all unique.26ShirtsBatSignalYa see, we offer so many different styles and sizes that we want every person who comes to our website to see someone who resembles their own body type in every type of shirt that we offer, so that they're able to find the size that they think will most closely fit them the way that it should, and then be able to make the most appropriate selection for their purchase. Get it? ...Good!

    Once again, we're looking for every type of person! Just one side-note, we need some very specific information from any potential models:

    • A photo of yourself
    • height
    • weight, and
    • bra size

    We totally understand that not everyone is comfortable giving up this type of information, and that is totally OK! But if you're the type of person that doesn't mind sharing, we NEED YOUR HELP!

    If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please email josh@26shirts.com with the information requested!

  • Shuffling off to Chicago

    As you probably know by now, "home" to 26 Shirts is Buffalo... But we believe that what we started here in New York State's Queen City is something that can be successful in making a difference in cities all over the country. As a result, over the past year and a half we've expanded our operation to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and (soon) Tampa.

    We do our best to visit our other branches a couple times a year, and since it's been about 11 months... we're overdue for a trip to the Windy City!

    We'll be in town Thursday the 16 through Sunday the 19th, manning a table at the weekend's Chicago Ale Fest and also sponsoring Saturday's Cold Brew Clash. Our overall goal is to help raise awareness for 26 Shirts and its mission to help local charities and people in need through sweet t-shirts that let people rep their fandom through new and creative fan-made apparel.

    If this trip is going to be successful though, we're going to need your help! People can't buy shirts and help their fellow humans if they don't know we exist!

    How can you help? Glad you asked.

    Some ways you, our Chicago friends, can help ensure our trip will be as productive as possible:

    We need help finding people to help

    1- First and foremost (and this has nothing really to do with the trip, but hey- since we have your attention), we need to know about people who need assistance! In Buffalo, we've got a long list of people waiting for a shirt to benefit their need... but in our other cities, not so much. So if you're aware of any person/family or worthy charity in Chicago that could use some donations, let us know and we'll follow up with them.

    We need boots on the ground

    2- We're looking to develop a "street team" in each city. We're not sure what that will all entail, to be honest, but we'd love to have you help us flesh it out! If you love 26 Shirts and what it's about, and would like to discuss how you might be able to help us do what we're doing in Chicago better, don't be shy. Let's meet up and we'll buy you a beverage of your choice while we talk about possibly teaming up!

    We need your media connections

    3- We're scheduled to be in studio with Chicagoland Sports Radio Thursday night, but we've still got some more free time we're looking to fill. If you've got any Chicago media contacts that you think would be interested in hearing our story, and you'd be willing to help us get in touch with them, we'd be forever grateful.

    We're excited for this trip and what it could mean in terms of deepening our reach into the great city of Chicago as we continue to "change the game" and help people in desperate need. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

    To get in touch, just send us an email.

  • Made in USA You and Who shirts now available

    youandwho-flagI'm really excited to announce that we're now offering select 26 Shirts designs on You and Who, custom, Made in USA shirts. We have a handful of blank shirts left from the initial order we made back in 2014 to fulfill the Indiegogo campaign - in Heavy Metal(Charcoal), Black, White and Light Blue colors. Any designs that we sell on those color shirts, moving forward, will be available on a Made in USA shirt.

    It's satisfying for me because it was such a gargantuan effort to make custom shirts in the US. (read more about how hard it was here) Ultimately, the fact it took almost 10 months to get them made after the campaign ended helped steer You and Who into focusing solely on 26 Shirts, and I'm glad it all worked out. I mean, as of the time I'm writing this we've donated over $230,000 to families in need and foundations in Buffalo, Chicago and Pittsburgh. That's amazing. And honestly the impact is greater with the cash donations we make directly to families than it was when You and Who donated matching shirts to homeless shelters.

    The Made in USA shirts cost $6 more because they cost that much more to make. Which is also part of the reason it didn't work out as we found out the hard way that not everyone wanted to pay that much more for a shirt - well really $12 more because it was for two shirts. It brought the You and Who shirts up to $42, vs. the $22 that 26 Shirts shirts sell for. Well, $28 for the made in USA version. But with offering it as an option that someone can choose to pay more, if they decide it's worth it to them, makes way more sense. We only have limited quantities of limited sizes left on hand but who knows - if enough people want them then we can get more blanks made, right here in the USA. (Specifically, Allentown, PA) And this time in a few weeks not 10 months :)

    If you do decide to get one, please let me know what you think about it. We call them "butter" shirts internally because they're so crazy soft they're like butter. And we worked and worked on the pattern, with Ali from Anatomy, and it's our own custom fit. I hope you love them as much as I do.

    So, while they're still available, you can
    get a Peng-Win shirt on Heavy Metal and help Pittsburgher Emma Auker, or
    get a Great Dhane shirt on Black and help Buffalonian Charles Battaglia.

  • March Forward

    productdescimg

    26 Shirts is ready to take the next step.

    What was originally conceived in November 2013 to be a one-year, Buffalo-minded community service project, has taken on a life of its own and raised over $219,000 for needy families and foundations in three different cities.

    As this website continues to NOT be a t-shirt website that helps people, but a website that helps people through t-shirts, we've come to a tipping point. We're at the point now where, if we want to continue to follow the path that appears to be so obviously laid before us, we need to start thinking bigger.

    As you know, we currently operate in Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and (almost) Cincinnati... But did you know that we've also been reached out to by people in Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Kansas City, NY/NJ, Oregon, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, DC?

    The national demand is there, and we want to meet it. There's people in need that can benefit from our unique fundraising model of selling sports-related tees that give back to the community and we want to implement it for them.

    But this "next step" is about more than just expansion into new markets. We know we can do a better job of getting the word out about what we do in the four cities we're currently committed to. So many people -- even here in Buffalo, where we're based -- have no idea we exist. That needs to change.

    But if 26 Shirts is going to undertake any kind of growth, we're going to need resources to do it.

    That's where you come in.

    Tomorrow, we're launching a campaign called "March Forward" to raise money towards expanding our operation.

    For five consecutive weeks, we're going to offer a unique, limited edition product that will serve as a fundraising device to help us obtain the funding we've identified that we need.

    We'll unveil each product when its given week arrives.

    Our Week 1 "March Forward" product: 26 Shirts logo hats. We've partnered with New Era and they'll be available as 3930s or 5950s. Here's the cool part... 35 random customers will have their hats arrive signed by one of the following athletes:

    • Joe Delamielleure
    • Jim Kelly
    • Pete Metzelaars
    • Fred Smerlas
    • Darryl Talley
    • Thurman Thomas
    • Eric Wood

    We still have a few asks out there waiting for replies, so if any other athletes get added to the above list during the week, we'll be sure to let you know!

    That's the kind of angle we're going to take with these 5 different products. Each one will have a fun element of randomness to it.

    Please keep in mind, we're not suspending operation for a month while we do this. We'll still be raising money to help families in Buffalo, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Don't stop purchasing those shirts! We're hoping you'll go above and beyond and, basically, INVEST in our operation so that we can make a bigger difference in more people's lives.

    I always say that the reason 26 Shirts has been successful is because so many people believe in and play a part in its mission. It's not just Dan and me. It's every customer, artist, sponsor, and social media friend helping spread the word. So, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I love you guys.

    Now let's March Forward and continue to change the game. Together.

  • 25 Days of Flicktures

    25 Days of Flicktures

    Hey. Great news, gang!

    We're proud to announce that we've teamed up with Scott Flick of Flicktures for a great promotion we'll be doing now through the Christmas holiday... We're calling it 25 Days of Flicktures.

    Each day from now until Christmas, we're going to randomly select one customer from the previous day and have Scott send them an 11x14 print! We can't take too much credit for this, though. It was Scott's idea, and we're thankful that he's willing to do what he can to help promote our shirts this month. Thanks, Scott!

    Never heard of Flicktures before? At Flicktures, Scott strives to create one-of-a-kind, pencil-drawn masterpieces from original photographs. You can check out all the work he has available for you to adorn your man cave with at his Etsy shop. He's actually leant his talents to 26 Shirts twice in the past. Check out Marv and Moulson, if you've not seen them before. (And also, SPOILER ALERT: he designed shirt #3 for the current volume -- it launches Monday, Dec 7th.)

    So what are you waiting for? Go order a shirt, do some good, and maybe get a pretty sweet little "thank you" sent your way tomorrow!

  • Now on deck: Cincinnati

    Have you heard? We're getting ready to launch 26 Shirts in its fourth city... Cincinnati!

    26CIN_Logo

    We can't wait to help needy families and charitable causes in Ohio's Queen City through unique fan-generated, local sports team-related t-shirt designs.

    But we need to make sure that, when we launch, enough people know about 26 Shirts: Cincinnati. While the designs and concepts that we've begun to put together are fantastic, it's the families we help that matter most. Like we always say, "We're not a t-shirt website that helps people, we're a website that helps people through t-shirts."

    To help build our audience and get the word out, we're doing a launch contest that will see one lucky winner get free shirts for a year... That's 26 FREE Cincinnati-related shirts, on us!

    Entry is easy and you'll even be rewarded for helping. Just go to the Season Ticket giveaway page and "Refer friends for extra entries." You get 3 extra entries for everyone you refer to the contest. AND we're giving away two more free shirts just based on the referrals - one for the person with the most referrals and another random draw from those that referred at least 1 person.

    So get your link from the contest page and share it on Facebook, tweet about it, email your friends... Start here! --> 26 Shirts: Cincinnati

  • Home Opener ticket giveaway!

    We're excited as you are for the hockey season to start! To celebrate, we're giving away a pair of tickets in Section 109 for the home opener!

    Buffalo hockey Home opener ticket giveaway!

    Pick any of the ways to enter - or all of them to get more chances to win! Refer your friends for even more entries.

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