Out of Print and In Style
A while back, our special projects manager Kerrick Jones turned me onto Out of Print Clothing, which specializes in T-shirts decorated with first-edition book covers. No convincing was necessary for me to pick up a Slaughterhouse Five tee, but as an added bonus, for every sale the company donates a book to a community in need through Books For Africa.
In addition to their online store, the company also has a successful wholesale business. "We occasionally have companies purchase in bulk from us for gifts for their employees," said Todd Lawton, co-founder of Out of Print Clothing. "The book donation applies to both wholesale and internet sales."
Like many of you, my first thought when seeing a product like this is "who made it?" Unfortunately, the company wouldn't disclose the brand, although Lawton confirmed that they "work with a couple different major manufacturers," and I suspect at least one of those would be familar to our industry. All printing is done in-house at their Brooklyn location.
The shirts are a cool item, and a nice throwback for book-lovers in our Kindle-fied era. While Out of Print Clothing T-shirts aren't branded for your end-buyers, as mentioned in the comments of my article on Eyewitness News in Minnesota, plenty of state and retail agencies use products just like this to promote themselves. More than that, it's just a great idea: packaging a product with a relevant not-for-profit organization.
It would be great to see more of that creativity, and to see more companies integrate with good causes. If you have a story about a promotion that's turned a profit while benefitting a nonprofit so everyone wins, share it in the comments below.