Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shirt the Kids in Style

I have been doing pretty well with the Compact Challenge so far. The only thing I have really spent money on is food, which I could try cutting back on by packing my own lunch. However, I have made one t-shirt purchase recently, but I think that it is a worthwhile purchase because the proceeds go towards a charity campaign called “Shirt the Kids”.

The PNOY Apparel Company, which operates in Chula Vista, CA, is a company from humble beginnings, which gradually grew in popularity. The company's mission is "about history, culture, tradition, politics, pride, sacrifice, our parents and all our ancestors. This is about identity and the lack thereof: 'No History, No Self, Know History, Know Self'." They want to bring awareness about the Filipino culture through their clothing. Each shirt design has a meaning. With each purchase, you get more than just a piece of clothing to add to your wardrobe, you get a piece of history. The shirt to the right for example, is derived from four Philippine flags that were created throughout times of war and conflict in the Philippines. Each shirt is made in the United States and printed on American Apparel tees, which are sweatshop free!

In an interview with Asian Journal, Ellezar “Zar” Javier, founder of PNOY Apparel Company described why he decided to take part in a charity campaign. He recalled his trip to the Philippines: "Before that trip, I did not fully appreciate my lifestyle in America. But after seeing so much poverty in my homeland, I realized I have been so blessed to live in California". The trip made such an impact on him that he decided to launch the Shirt the Kids Charity Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to give away 10,000 shirts to needy children in the Philippines. When you purchase a shirt, $5 goes directly to the charity campaign, which is enough to clothe one child.

In Fashion-ology by Yuniya Kawamura, she illustrates that Davis' views on fashion counter the model used by classical theorists. Davis states that the 'trickle up' theory is dated "because although what people wear and how they wear it can reveal much regarding their social standing, this is not all that dress communicates, and under many circumstances, is it by no means the most important thing communicated" (Kawamura 31). The PNOY Apparel Co. fits this statement well because their clothing communicates much more than social standing. Their designs highlight the Filipino culture and its history. In a way, Filipino Americans can connect with their roots by learning the meaning behind the shirts and by helping those in need in the Philippines today.

Melaniy Santa Ana
Blog #2

1. De Castro, Cynthia. "Pnoy Apparel: Clothing Poor Pinoy Kids w/ Hope ." Asian Journal 21 April 2009. pinoy-kids-w-hope.html>.
3. Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Dress, Body, Culture). New York: Berg, 2005.

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