When Eric Wilson launched Artevist last autumn, he knew the t-shirt market was saturated. “But on closer inspection”, he explains, “you soon realize that the vast majority are in the business of churning out the cheapest, often sweatshop, products possible.”
But Artevist is a community of artists, not just another graphic tee company. There are no mass-produced designs, sweatshop garments, pesticide-laden cottons, or plastic inks here. Artevist shirts are made in America from sustainably grown organic bamboo and cotton fabrics, and are printed without using pthalates or PVCs. Each unique limited-edition design is created by an eco-conscious artist, not a corporation.
How does the Artevist model work?
The Artevist concept is simple, community-driven, and activist-oriented. Anyone can submit a potential design or rate designs already submitted to categories dealing with issues such as the Environment, Human & Civil Rights, and Arts & Media. Artists whose work is chosen are paid fairly, and the design is transferred to an organic tee. Only 250 of each design are printed intially — never more than 500 — and the shirts are always shipped directly to the customer from the printer. Artevist does not touch the product, thus effectively reducing the carbon footprint and the various costs associated with excessive shipping.
In terms of popularity, founder Eric Wilson admits the Environment category is the “clear winner”, but says he’s “really striving to enforce the fact that it’s not all about the environment.” “I believe in the concept of consumption reduction,” Eric laughs, “and though it may be counterproductive for my business, I do think people should buy less of things, including t-shirts, but of higher quality. I believe the tees I’m making are some of the most eco-friendly on the planet.”
Whether you’re graphic designer looking to join like-minded artists, or an eco-savvy consumer looking for wearable art, you can find your niche at Artevist.
Image “The Colors of the Earth” by Inhol via Artevist Design Submissions.