From day one, High Tees has been a Social Enterprise.
So what is a Social Enterprise?
Well its a type of business that aims to achieve social, environmental, and economic objectives by using innovative strategies to address social and environmental problems. Social enterprises can take many different forms, but they are all characterised by a commitment to creating positive social and environmental impact, as well as generating financial returns.
High Tees is a for-profit social enterprise. We use our profits to impact the causes we are most passionate about.
From day one, High Tees has had the mandate to "do good". A big and broad statement, we know. We were really clear on where we wanted to create an impact.
Sustainability goals were a given -
- ethically sourced
- organic cotton or sustainable materials everywhere we can
- locally printed and manufactured, partnering with local printers
- certified child labour free
- printed to order to reduce waste
- water based printing ink
- recyclable and recycled packaging
Entering the fashion space we were shocked at the things we were researching. The amount of waste, the pollution, the Fast Fashion addiction. Even though we have not ever really seen High Tees as a fashion item per se, a t shirt is a t shirt is a t shirt. We wanted to do better. So we ensure we cover all the dot points above.
Beyond the sustainability goals, we knew we could do more. Our founder, Jess, has been a passionate campaigner and advocate for Refugee Rights for over 20 years. Angry and dismayed at the Australian government's immigration policies and treatment of people seeking asylum, Jess has sought out ways to help ease the treatment of people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia where she can.
Jess then created a plan on how to do this.
High Tees to financially support amazing organisations that have a direct impact on the lives of people seeking asylum in Australia via donations through the sale of High Tees products. We partner with West Welcome Wagon.
Creating specific products designed to actively campaign and spread a message about the issue (hello Welcome and Kindness Tees). We also have supported ASRC by created our "Kids of Nauru" T shirt.
To become a direct employer and supporter of artists with an asylum seeker or refugee background.
While we haven't quite got to step 3 on a permanent basis just yet, but we are getting there.
To date we have been able to raise over $35,000 for our favourite charities and foundations.
We have partnered with local NFP, West Welcome Wagon now for 4 years. West Welcome Wagon are located in Sunshine, West Melbourne. A volunteer organisation, they provide material aid to people seeking asylum - household goods, clothes, toys, food, school items. They currently support over 3000 households.
Check out some of the volunteers wearing the WELCOME t shirt.
In addition to partnering with West Welcome Wagon, we also donate to Adam Goode's charity, The GO Foundation - an organisation that provides scholarships for indigenous students from primary to university. So any indigenous Icon we feature, a portion of the sale goes to The GO Foundation.
Our native animal range raises money for WIRES Wildlife Rescue.
Overall, High Tees is using business as a force for good, by promoting a social causes, actively campaigning and making a positive impact on both people and the planet.
We love that our designs and products can have an impact not only on the lives of our customers but also on the people who need it the most.
Check out our West Welcome Wagon Collection here.