Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

These feminists are blazing a trail with their nonprofit slogan tees


Slogan t-shirts in support of the sisterhood have been around for a while now – and some critics argue that they contribute to the shallow commodification of feminism.

But there’s no empty gestures as far as an innovative group of US-based entrepreneurs are concerned.

The Star Tribute has unearthed a small but growing collective of Minnesota designers who are committed to designing feminist tees that raise money for women’s health and equality charities. 

The paper reports how the Twin Cities area of Minnesota has seen a boom in local artists dedicated to creating affordable t-shirts with slogans such as “Matriarch”, “She persisted” and “Anarchy Is Female”.

Maddy Nye's "Matriarch" tee

Maddy Nye's "Matriarch" design (seen on a model)

Maddy Nye is one the designers involved in the grassroots enterprise. Fifty percent of sales from her “Matriarch” tee, priced at $30 (£23), goes to women’s rights and LGBTQ nonprofits.

The recipients change each month; this month, for example, profits go to the International Women's Health Coalition. This organisation advances the sexual and reproductive rights of women and young people, particularly teen girls, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

“I think this activism zeitgeist just overlapped with a renewed interest in graphic tees as a medium for artists and designers,” she says. “Of course it’s only a T-shirt, but it’s contributing to a larger paradigm shift in awareness and action.”

Solidarite Femme

Solidarité féminine: a t-shirt edition inspired by Donald Trump

The election of Donald Trump to president last November has acted as a call to action for these women.

The leader of the free world has a long history of misogyny and was caught on tape boasting about sexual assault.

“After the election, we were kind of devastated,” says Michelle LeBlanc, owner of Minneapolis boutique Mille. “What can we do to be more active? What can we do to give back more?”

Read more: Five badass women fighting for reproductive rights

She discussed the situation with artist Nye, and they came up with the idea for peach-coloured “Solidarité féminine” tee (above). 

Half the proceeds from the t-shirt, priced at $42 (£32) goes to Planned Parenthood. The shop has already raised $2,000 (£1547) towards the charity, which is America’s largest abortion provider.

One of the first things Trump did when he gained power was to sign an anti-abortion executive order – surrounded by a room of men.

One of Crystal Quinn's designs

One of Crystal Quinn's designs

Another Minneapolis-based artist, Crystal Quinn, came up with the idea for her feminist Tees when she was falling asleep last night.

She got out of bed and started drawing, coming up with the slogan “Anarchy is female” (pictured in the top main photo).

“Putting it on T-shirts was the first thought I had,” she tells the Star Tribute.

The design has since been used by protesters fighting for women's rights, particularly those involved in the Women’s March events in solidarity against Trump’s presidency.

"She Persisted"

Chelsea Brink's "She Persisted" tee

Artist Chelsea Brink was persuaded to make her “She Persisted” slogan, originally created for a tattoo party, into a t-shirt (above).

Profits from its sale go to a string of women’s rights organisations including The Malala Fund, She Should Run and the National Women’s Law Center.

“If one person sees it [the slogan] and is affected by it, that makes a huge difference to me,” she says.

Read more on the Star Tribute.

Images: Maddy Nye, Michelle LeBlanc, Crystal Quinn and Chelsea Brink



What are “boy jobs” and “girl jobs”? We asked the ‘experts’


A man asked Simone Biles to smile – and her response was perfect

erin brockovich.jpg

Tackling sexism at work: a leading New York exec shares advice



“The nervous bride’s guide to the nightmare of wedding dress shopping”

It’s Bridal Boutique Bingo! How many veiled horrors will you check off?

by Amy Swales
25 Jul 2017

Where to buy the most iconic party dresses in film on the high street

Including THAT green dress from Atonement...

by Sejal Kapadia Pocha
19 Jul 2017

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

19 Jul 2017

25 fashionable and functional bikinis for summer 2017

Invest in one of these stylish pieces to see you through the rest of summer

18 Jul 2017

The latest H&M designer collaboration is here and it's fit for a royal

Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama and Alexa Chung are major fans

by Harriet Hall
13 Jul 2017

Meryl Streep has an insane Barack and Michelle Obama handbag

And you really need to see it

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Jul 2017

H&M just announced a collaboration with this very chic French brand

by Nicola Colyer
07 Jul 2017

Nickelodeon has released a seriously retro fashion range for adults

Because who wouldn't want a Rugrats t-shirt?

by Jasmine Andersson
07 Jul 2017

This week’s Style List: jewels, summer scents and statement towels

All your sunshiny needs sorted

05 Jul 2017

This River Island dress is a summer must-have, according to Instagram

Fashion bloggers are obsessed with this high-street frock

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Jul 2017