Whohoo! The second line of Uth-Oye!, “a socially conscious, cause-based design initiative,” is now out. Last year, the graphic t-shirts were both unique and spunky, displaying choice catchphrases like, “Don’t Jealous,” and images of flying auto rickshaws, bleeding gas pumps, and a King of Spades armed with a muchie and an AK-47. This year, the initiative has produced more t-shirts, as well as jeans, hoodies, and handbags, all with equally spunky messaging and imagery.
While I think the t-shirts are witty, the best part of Uth-Oye is its smart branding and ability to leverage this to raise awareness and help fund innovative and sustainable social initiatives occurring on the ground in Pakistan. One such partnership is with the Clinton Global Initiative – U and the Pakistan Sustainability Network, to provide solar lamps to a village in Thar, in Sindh province. Jeremy Higgs, the founding director of PSN’s Karachi chapter [and fellow Twitter buddy] told me,
When the Uth Oye! team approached us, we 1) couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with a socially-minded and awesome t-shirt designer and 2) saw it as an opportunity to get the message out there about innovative solutions for environmental sustainability that are happening right here in Pakistan.
The nine-month pilot, which provided lamps to Oan village, an area with little to no access to electricity, was such a success that the Uth-Oye/CGI-U/PSN collaboration is now deploying a second phase, installing more lamps in this area. In another partnership with the Association for the Development of Pakistan (ADP), the initiative helped fund and build “15 natural bio-gas generators that generate usable gas by fermenting common waste items (Manure, Human Waste and Sewage)” in Soon Valley, an area with a significant need for alternative sources of gas and fuel.
As someone who works with similar types of initiatives in my day job, I was not only impressed with the causes endorsed by this design initiative, but also how Uth-Oye made those same projects digestible for the average person, someone not used to the avalanche of obnoxious buzzwords so common in this industry. Case in point, underneath each cause’s description is a “Summary for the Lazy,” brief bullet points that break down 1) the situation 2) the need 3) the solution.
For those of you who needed a Summary for the Lazy for this post, Uth-Oye: Smart Branding + Cool Design + Innovative Causes = Apparel with an Impact.
Uth-Oye! clothing and accessories available in stores in Karachi and Lahore starting December 25. Online orders and [international] shipping available on the website. Join the Facebook page for more daily updates.