KARACHI: The company Virgin Teez was established by Moeez Javed Rizvi, and its motto is: one shirt, one cause. Rizvi says the company was set up to raise awareness about global issues such as hunger, poverty, lack of education by selling T-shirts and allocating a percentage of those funds to charity. “I wanted to start a charity because I really want to help people in need,” said Rizvi. The company is based in Pakistan, but caters to the international market as well. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Rizvi related the story of how the company started. A local NGO was funding his university education. But when the floods hit Pakistan about two-and-a-half years ago, the NGO diverted its funds away from his education to a more important cause – the rehabilitation of homeless flood survivors. Rizvi was devastated when he lost his scholarship, but understood the gravity of the natural disaster. “I knew I had to help – not just the needy in Pakistan but across the world,” said Rizvi. He then set up Virgin Teez, a company which supports charitable causes. They build various charity campaigns and send 43% of the proceeds of each sale to the corresponding charity.
These T-shirts are designed with good quality fabric with water-based ink by artists across the world, but Rizvi says the company’s aim is to promote art in Pakistan as well.
Their unique selling proposition is that all their T-shirts are limited editions, with each signifying a specific and unique cause. “The story behind each cause is printed on the inside of the T-shirt, next to the heart. You carry it with you wherever you go,” Rizvi added.
Some of the company’s recent campaigns helped provide education to over 500 children in need. A ‘Joy Jar’ was created with the funds by which toys and gifts were delivered to children fighting cancer.
The average price of a Virgin Teez T-shirt is Rs1,000. When asked where the money goes, Rizvi said that only 53% of the funds are used for the company’s operating expenses. These expenses include the cost of blank T-shirts, screen printing, cause cards, shipping bags, garment labels amongst many others.
“We have a desire to change the world,” said Rizvi. “We believe Virgin Teez is the answer to revitalise the act of generosity and team with other change agents (customers) to improve lives in Pakistan and around the world as well.”
Purchases can be made at their outlet or online at http://www.virginteez.com
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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