A really really BIG price reduction!

...the shop will be closed for the holiday season after this...so get your Christmas orders in early! : )

$10 and $15 t-shirt deals

We've reduced some more of our end of line sale items to $10 and $15!

Note that these no longer contribute towards the charities as either our agreements with them have expired and/or these low prices don't even cover the cost of making the t-shirts.

But the good thing is that you get to walk away with a real bargain : )

Check out the online shop to see what's available....

The men get their share finally!

After many years of Glassons selling the Breast Cancer Research Trust charity t-shirts for the girls, their "brother" company Hallensteins is finally getting really into it.
I just got an email from Hallensteins promoting / announcing their ProDesign t-shirt collection in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A really wide range of t-shirt designs and artists!! Great stuff! And all $40 each with $10 going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation ...pretty good for snazzy looking tees. My fave's the Richardson tee : )

I'm wondering what you, the all important customer, thinks: are charity t-shirts in bountiful supply now every which way you turn??

Now that the huge clothing companies have covered both bases, with access to such awesome design talent. ....maybe it's fine time thehinitiative moved on!! : )

NZ’s Top Tee Designer is Found

Andrew Harbott, one of our designers from the Mental Health Foundation 2008 collection (the Normal is Over-rated horse/unicorn design), has made it into the ranks of NZ's top tee designer!!

Andrew will have his winning design created into a t-shirt, which will be sold throughout Hallensteins stores nationwide. His t-shirt will be part of an impressive collection of designs by some of New Zealand’s leading graphic designers and artists, such as Otis Frizzell, Stephen Richardson, Shine, Inhouse, Federation and the Bro’ Town illustrators who have collaborated with Scribe.

In-store and online from mid-November, $10 from every t-shirt sold will be donated to Make-A-Wish NZ, with each dollar going directly towards making wishes come true for children with life threatening illnesses.
Awesome work Andrew!! : )

Spring cleaning sale

Everything must go!

Women die needlessly during pregnancy or childbirth everyday in the Pacific. At the global level, every minute another woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. That is VERY scary (talking as a mum, my labour/birth was already hard enough here in New Zealand)....and to think that it is a preventable tragedy!

On 22nd October 2009, Family Planning International will proudly present 'Safe and Sound', a music concert in support of maternal and related sexual and reproductive health in the Pacific.

A selection of New Zealand female artists will perform at the San Francisco Bathhouse in Wellington. They include Lisa Tomlins, Jess Chambers, Iva Lamkum, Tessa Rain, Bella Kalolo and DJ Ayesha.

Buy your ticket now from Under the Radar or Real Groovy in support of maternal health in the Pacific. Note that this event is R18.

Reading KR Connect: Change the World? Why Not gave me an encouraging oomph. I could especially relate to this part:

If you want to know what the road looks like, here's an idea. In trying to pursue your dreams, you will fail. A lot. And it will hurt. A lot. But you will get back up. And that will feel good.

To say you will have the boundaries of what is courageous for you pushed will be an understatement. Sometimes you won't find the courage, and that too, will hurt. Sometimes, a lot.

But with each challenge, you will grow stronger. And you will learn, as I am learning, that the reward of living life in a world where everything remains forever possible is a reward far greater than any material prize could ever be.

So now I must live up to the seed I have sown, and the very idea of trying to do that terrifies me. The 99 percent is already telling me I'll fail and stuff it all up. However, in reality, that just means I have another opportunity to prove those voices wrong.

So, my question to you is this;

Are you ready to Change the World?

Because you are only one choice away.
On the more cynical side, even with all the positive speak, one blogger put it well: "your actions will speak louder."

A lot of the times, it feels like thehinitiative (or I!) haven't made a bittiest difference to anyone anywhere. There are so many other clothing labels & businesses doing more, faring better, going farther - it's so easy to compare! So, it's when I get feedback like below, that really helps keep thehinitiative & I going. It's feedback from a long time ago but something to be held on to : )
Thanks so much for the t-shirts-they are so cool!! We love them. I am a teacher and my students have been asking about them-so we have had a great discussion about the reasons for movember, mental health and children in crisis.
As a result my students have brought in money amounting to $40 which we are going to spend on the oxfam website buying gifts that keep on giving.
Just wanted to let you know what differences wearing the very cooly designed tshirts-has made!!
- from a teacher of 12-13 year olds in South Auckland, December 2008.

Eat so they can

I have to admit, I was a bit cynical about this at first glance - Eat so they can?

But upon reading more into it, it's really all about friends/community, and using something as simple as a home cooked meal & inviting others around to help collect funds for a worthy cause.

You could host a brunch, a lunch, a dinner, a cocktail party, a bbq - and your guests will just need to contribute e.g. $10 donation towards it.

Donations go to the Global Volunteer Network Foundation Global Children's Fund set up especially to aid children living in poverty.

It's meant to all happen this weekend - so anyone up for an impromptu meal with friends? : )

In response to Seth Godin's the problem with non(-profits) , Jeff of the Donor Power blog mentioned something that was close to home:

Our #1 problem is hatred of fundraising and donors. Hardly any nonprofit was founded in order to raise funds. But most depend on fundraising to exist. This seems to fuel a sort of resentment of the craft and of donors that blocks effective, donor-focused communication. Organizations with this problem yearn for "better" donors that don't need the "demeaning" tactics of effective fundraising. They spend needless millions on this failed alchemy experiment. (Read the full blog post: Seth zeros in on our third-worst problem )
I wonder if fundraising can feel like a dreaded chore. Something that has to be done to keep things in good order, but frankly, you'd rather spend your time doing something else? Is it a hassle to hunt down something to fundraise with that will work for you or the organisation, having to find funds to pay upfront for it (if it's product related?), then trying to sell it and/or convince others to get it.

A quick look at the typical fundraising product scene came up with:
Note: This is just a list of things found, not a list of recommendations : )

....but what other fundraising ideas are out there? Product or non-product related?

What works better for the organisation that's trying to raise funds? (so that it's not so dreary)

Or (more importantly?), what works better for the people/supporters who are buying / donating towards it?

New Mental Health Foundation tees!!!

The latest range of limited edition Mental Health Foundation t-shirts have been released as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2009!

This year thehinitiative was only involved in the design stage, providing designers with a brief and then passing it onto the Mental Health Foundation for them to take further. Due to the economic recession & its financial impact on thehinitiative, we had been (sadly) unable to run any further t-shirt campaigns or produce new collections for our charities.

So....haven't the Mental Health Foundation done an awesome job with the t-shirt collection?! : )

Design credit goes to the lovely Mari Pettersson and the designs relate well to the Mental Health Awareness Week theme, Winning Ways to Wellbeing.

The full collection is now available from the Mental Health Foundation's online shop with t-shirts selling for $45 each. Every sale raises money for the Mental Health Foundation. T-shirts from previous years' collections are also available for purchase from the Mental Health Foundation's online shop (note: they are no longer available from thehinitiative's online shop).

We're taking a short break : )

Hey all, the office & shop will be closed on Wednesday 23rd September until Sunday 4th October. Orders will only be processed from Monday 5th October.

We'll be at the Island Bay Craft Village

A first for Island Bay, Wellington!

Craft Village, Saturday 8th August, 10am-4pm every 2nd Saturday of each month. It'll be held at 88 The Parade, Presbyterian Church, Island Bay -

Local and greater Wellington region crafters & businesses will be coming together to display a colourful variety of handmade goodies and such.

There will be giveaways, spot prizes and a bustling atmosphere of creativity for all to enjoy!

Wooo! Some progress on the design front...

Thanks to everyone who submitted designs for the 2009 Mental Health Foundation (MHF) t-shirt collection! : )

The following designers have made it onto the MHF's shortlist with their designs (in alphabetical order of the first name):

Cara - What you give is what you get
Damen - Aroha Script, Aroha Angle, Aroha Mirror
Jinha - Open your mind
Mari - Heart & shoulder, _LEAN_ON_ME_, and SMILE®
Michelle - Reach out #2
Vomle - Kind words are a piece of cake

The final designs for the t-shirt collection are currently being chosen from the shortlist and Mental Health Foundation will contact designers directly by 24 July 2009. So, designers, keep your eyes peeled on your email inbox.

By the way, if you submitted a design and want to know why it wasn't shortlisted by the charity, feel free to contact us and we'll provide as much info as we can.

To everyone else: We would love to post all the designs up - but you'll just have to wait and see what comes out from MHF in October 2009! : )

This is such an awesome idea!!!!!!! "It's a sobering fact that a full 40 percent of the world's population (some 2.6 billion people) lack regular access to a toilet. Add to that the fact that one child dies every 15 seconds from water contamination, and it's not hard to see the motivation behind the Peepoo bag."

Read more here...Single-use toilet bag turns human waste into fertilizer - Springwise

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Good books

This is probably well known by most, but Oxfam have an online bookstore, Good Books, where "all profits go to Oxfam to help fight its global battle against poverty and social injustice."
There is NO extra cost to the customer as they don't mark up their books to cover this contribution. According to them, "our prices remain among the lowest you will find; delivery worldwide is completely free, and with over two million titles in stock our range is one of the largest you will find."

And when I read updates like this one about a child trying to express the horrors they've seen/experienced in Darfur, it really makes the heart go out to them as well as wanting to help those e.g. Oxfam who can help them.

So, if you're about to buy a book, how about checking to see if it's available at Good Books first? : )
Every cent, every dollar counts and has a far bigger trickle down effect.

Buy a Magic Beans discount card, that helps you save and yet supports mental health!

Cards cost just $19.95, are valid until 31 July 2010, and $5 from each card sold goes to the Mental Health Foundation to help finance their work to help improve the mental health of individuals and communities in New Zealand.

The cards will help you save your family a fortune! The Magic Beans card opens up a world of savings for your growing family. It's the one discount card every expectant parent or parent of 0 to 5-year-olds needs in their wallet.

For just $19.95, you get a year's worth of giant deals and super-savings on everything your children could possibly need, like:

  • FREE OHBaby! magazine
  • 20% off entry to Butterfly Creek
  • 50% off maternity bras from EGG Newmarket
  • 20% off Trunki luggage, gr8x, Lola and Ben, Peanut Shell slings from 3 Wise Monkeys.co.nz
  • 25% off eczema or sensitive skin products
  • 25% off kid's clothing
  • 15% off Natures Sway Baby Hammocks & Slings
Check out the list of all the retailers and their deals - you'll see how quickly your card pays for itself!

Magic Beans Cards make great baby shower gifts or a novel - and practical - present for anyone with a baby or young child.

The other great news is you can start using your card as soon as you receive it.

You can purchase your cards from the Mental Health Foundation online shop for $19.95.

Happy as Larry

We like people who are like Robin Hood : )

Happy as Larry is a project about getting lots of stuff for free and giving it away ... like Robin Hood, but with whiskers.

It's a word of mouth experiment in random acts of giving.

Check it out at www.happyaslarry.co.nz

Charity auction coming up!!!

Trade Me, New Zealand's biggest online auction site, has kindly offered to help Plunket run a charity auction for the t-shirt collection! The auction should be starting mid next week and will run for about 2 weeks.

What this means is that
i) we won't be selling any of the Plunket t-shirt collection via our website shop from today til the auction ends
ii) you might be able to score a few good auction deals & help support Plunket even more : )

So, watch the Trade Me site next week - there will also be some special $1 reserve Mum & Kid / Dad & Kid packs too!

A is for
Audi Design Foundation, whose "aim is to encourage and empower designers by supporting and promoting designs that create a positive change in people's lives".

B is for
Beatle's inspired MINI that will raise funds for The Material World Foundation, which was originally set up by The Beatle's George Harrison to support charities and people with special needs. MINI seem to be on some kind of roll with specially designed charity cars, as they have already have a hot pink leopard spot MINI for 2009's Life Ball, Europe's largest AIDs charity event (last year's was a secret agent MINI).

C is for
Charity car show featuring Porsche, Jaguar, Mustang, Corvette and MG. It's being run by The Friends of Steve McQueen (who supposedly used to be one of Hollywood's sexiest leading men??) in USA. Hmm, someone should plan one for New Zealand - great car eye candy!

Plastic bags...they're everywhere! Have you ever wondered what to do with the ones you have, the ones family/friends have, or even ones you might see lying about?

A great place to start with some crafty ways of reusing/recycling all those plastic bags can be found at Craftzine.com, while two of the simplest ideas I've come across elsewhere are:
1) combining old fabric (with some synthetic content) with plastic bags. Pretty much all you need is an iron and you can make bags and dresses, and

2) Oscar Lhermitte’s idea of putting a bag over a wire frame & light bulb and taa-daa - you have a lamp!

If you want to get straight into it, check out Instructables.com for a step-by-step guide to turning plastic bags into "yarn", which has photos at each step of the way. The possibilities are endless! (......I'm really tempted to try my hand at making a recycled bag rug)
And if you're really up for a challenge, how about knitting some dresses (they're bound to be waterproof! haha) or making a chair like this Inkuku chair by Ryan Frank?

Let’s be New Zealand’s first Fair Trade City and Make Wellington Fair Trade!

What does that mean? Check out http://fairtradewellington.wordpress.com

So, what can you do?

1. Sign the online petition
Wellington has many outlets serving, selling, supporting and using Fair Trade products. Wellington Fair Trade Communities Group now wish to declare Wellington New Zealand’s first Fair Trade City through a resolution passed by Wellington City Council.

The resolution supports fair trade, commits the Council to serving fair trade products at their meetings and workplaces and to supporting Wellington to meet the goals of a Fair Trade City.

2. Sign up your workplace, business, faith group, club or community group to be recognised as Fair Trade
It will bring positive publicity and show that your group, workplace or organisation is serious about corporate social responsibility. All you need to do is fill in a form and fax/email it back to the Fair Trade Association in Auckland saying that your organisation:
a) Uses Fair Trade certified products in your cafeteria or meetings;
b) Will promote Fair Trade in your workplace, business, faith group or club or group.

Becoming a Fair Trade community group can help your organisation meet sustainability, environmental and social responsibility goals. It can improve morale by supporting poorer communities with every cup of tea or coffee… and it’s FREE! Fair Trade certified products are not only better for the producers, they are great tasting too!

3. Follow progress on Wellington Fair Trade Communities Group blog or on Facebook
If you join the Facebook group, you'll be the first to know about the campaign's progress.


Building a home?

It's been a full house here with six tradesmen working here all at one go! Well worth the effort as its just more steps towards settling into this new place. We finally have a government-subsidised heat pump to help keep the office and rooms cosy in an energy-efficient & cost effective manner. (Thanks to Right House and EECA Energywise!)

It sure feels nice to make a place 'your own' & be able to call it home. And it's just as awesome to help do it for others too! Habitat for Humanity is an international not-for-profit organisation, who we are lucky enough to have in New Zealand. The ultimate goal of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the face of the earth by building adequate and basic housing. In New Zealand, they focus on eliminating sub-standard housing by building, renovating and selling simple, decent houses on an affordable basis, and have helped give 328 families their own home (and counting).

There are many ways of volunteering, from doing something local in your community, to joining up with a team in other parts of the country and International Volunteer trips (sounds interesting!). So if you're good with a hammer (or a keen DIYer), like travelling or meeting new people, check out Habitat for Humanity : )
Or, if you know of a family in need of a good home, here's info on applying for a house)

Blog makeover & Newman's Own

Ok finally got our act together and the blog looks like it belongs to us now : )

In other news, if you know of a charity or a good cause that may require funding for a project, Paul Newman's Own (what a role model! 100% profit after tax to charities/causes worldwide!!) is having its 2009 call for entries from charities. Details for Australian and New Zealand charities can be found at www.paulnewmansown.co.nz or for general details about the Newman's Own Foundation, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org. Am very very impressed by the business & foundation!

I saw an ad for this at the Oh Baby website: Turn On The Tap has rejigged the old nursery rhyme Jack & Jill and made it into a story about water to help raise awareness about safe, accessible water in developing countries. A great idea! It reads like a children's storybook and is an educational/"eye opening" read for kids too - I want to get one of the books for my daughter and friends : ) Check it out - they have other resources available too (like labels for fundraising water bottles).

We're moving (again!)

Yep, we're moving (again) to a whole different place! It has/will be busy so please excuse us if we don't seem to respond to queries straightaway. Hopefully, we & the computers will be all up & running again latest by Tuesday 5th May.

Ideas that Matter

Came across this awesome site - the title got me straight away - "ideas that matter"!

Sappi (who seem to be some kind of premium paper manufacturer?) has created...

the industry’s only grant program aimed at helping designers contribute their talents to the charitable activities that they care about most. Sappi believes that the creative ideas of designers can have an impact beyond the aesthetic and that those ideas can be a powerful force for social good. To date, Ideas that Matter has awarded $9 million worldwide in grants supporting causes that range from youth centers and health care awareness to wildlife protection.

Entry criteria:
Grant awards, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 per project, may be used for implementation and out-of-pocket costs, including photography, illustration, paper, printing, mailing and related expenses. It cannot be applied toward the designer’s time.

Who may apply:
Ideas that Matter is open to individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, and individual design students and design student groups.
Looks cool eh? : ) And it looks like it's open to anyone worldwide... nice!

T-shirt design submissions update

The Mental Health Foundation idea submissions are closing this Sunday! Whoa time flies!

Unfortunately, we've also just discovered that the website form for submitting the entries has not been working at it's best (boo!). So we've been getting incomplete info and you've probably been getting a page of garbled code everytime you click Submit.

Getting developers to look into it...but in the meantime, please send us all ideas via email.

Please copy and paste the submission form into an email. Send it to us with your image files attached to design (at) thehinitiative.com and we'll email you a confirmation that everything's been received. Thanks for the patience & sorry for the inconvenience!

P.s. All entries since 9 April 2009 have not been received in full. If you have already submitted something, please email a copy to us as well. Sorry!!

Plastic or paper?

Quick decision of the day: we'll be wrapping tee orders in paper before putting into the courier / postal bag. Since the courier / postal bags are (recycled) plastic already, it just seemed a waste to put the tee into it's own plastic packaging as well. Just another plastic bag!
So, a shift to paper tissue wrap it is so at least it can be recycled in your city council recycling. If you know of places that sell wrap made of recycled paper, let us know 'cause we're looking and looking for some!
Oh and...you may ask: why even package the tee? We're worried it might get dirty/stained along the way, so the wrapping is just some extra protection : )

Doing good with laptops?

I heard about One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) last week and it's doing good in quite an interesting tech-saavy way. This organisation aims to have one laptop per child:

To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.
People can help out by paying for a laptop, being a translator, providing tech support to kids/adults, or even helping to develop software (games, tools, programs)! Very cool : )
It also seems that people can help by testing the laptops to make sure they run ok before they're given away (someone had mentioned it to us). There's workshops in Wellington doing this, so it must be quite widespread round the world?

Plunket tees as seen in New Idea magazine

Get this week's New Idea magazine to check out the exclusive spread about the Plunket t-shirts and the celebs who've kindly helped out with this campaign! Hurray! : )

thehinitiative in a nutshell

...and you can buy the magnet too : )

It's been a mad week!

Last week was a little crazy as we semi-moved to a temporary new location – which we will be moving out of in a month’s time (here’s hoping!). So it feels like the business is working out of boxes at the moment and I am running about like more of a headless chook than usual (and the usual is probably bad enough!) : )
The Plunket t-shirt collection will be launched in exactly TWO weeks and we/Plunket are pretty excited about it. So many people have put in so much work into this new t-shirt campaign! Seeing boxes of the tees is quite rewarding in itself – the real product always looks/feels better than just seeing a concept onscreen.
There will be an exclusive retailer in each of the major New Zealand cities for the childrens range: Baby Divine in Dunedin, Milk in Christchurch, Kirkcaldie & Stains in Wellington, Cutie in Hamilton, and Sugarfree in Auckland. Check out their details on our stockists page. Hooray for the retailers and their support!! Support them too by sending your friends to them to buy the range from 30 March onwards. Haha, we would love to hear that every single retailer has sold out : )
Ok…well counting down now…

Jackets & bags made to last

I like this idea! Howies in the UK have a line of jackets and bags that are designed and made to last, and the line's called "Hand-me-downs" : )


They've gone the extra mile in every bit of the product and guarantee it'll last a minimum of 10 years...a nice little investment as long as you don't tire of your jacket and bags easily and you use them til the end?? Jackets start at £400 and bags at £125! Woo..

Literally sweet justice

 Just in time for Valentine's Day if you celebrate it : ) otherwise, great news for the sweet tooths and bakers!!


Trade Aid in New Zealand have just launched a website and new range selling sugar, baking cocoa and drinking chocolate which are all fair trade, organic and sustainably packaged!

Check out the Sweet Justice website at http://www.sweetjustice.org.nz/home


They've also got a recipe section using their products : )

Where does your money go???

We've added two new sections into the About Us area:
Our Team - a bit of background about thehinitiative "team" : )
Where Money Goes - you get one of our t-shirts but where does the money go? how much goes to the charity? We reveal everything in this section...
Planning on making a section on Our Story - how we got where we are now - and will let you know when we actually get to putting it up on the website.

Talent spotting?

Had the Plunket t-shirt photo shoot today!! Was a wee bit anxious last night while getting everything sorted for the shoot til 1am - think the tiredness was getting to me anyway.

But it went fabulous today, think we got some awesome photographs, and the babies, kids and adults were all absolutely great to work with : ) Couldn't have asked for better , and our photographer is most impressed with how easy-going and patient the babies and kids were! Thinks they're the best he's come across : ) So huge potential for talent agencies maybe?

Happy new year!!

Hoping everyone managed to have a break over Christmas and New Years : )

This is just a quick update to say that we’ve been busy getting things sorted for the Plunket collection. Big thanks to everyone who sent in model applications for the Plunket collection! We’ve gone through all the applications and have selected the models. Sorry we haven’t had the time to individually send out emails to everyone who didn’t get through.

The photo shoot will be happening this weekend and we’re really looking forward to it – exciting & fun! : )

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