Shirt for Shirt Project

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Give Big. That was our 2018 New Years Resolution at M22, and we are following through with it. First, it starts with our amazing customers. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the ability to launch a campaign like this. For the past ten months, we have been planning, creating, and executing this project; but ultimately it can not happen without you.

 

For every shirt you purchase, we will donate a new M22 shirt on your behalf. In partnership with United Way, we are helping families across Michigan enjoy a little something extra this holiday season.

 

Each year at M22, we try and pick one project that gets us fired up. Something that gets us nervous, that makes us think and wonder to ourselves “how in the hell are we going to pull this off?” Last year, for Earth Day, we donated 100% of our sales to the Leelanau Conservancy. We really had no clue what to expect of this, but we quickly learned that it felt really really good to do something that the community embraced, our customers supported and to give in such a big way. Almost a year and a half later, we still have customers coming in commenting on how proud they were to support such a great cause. We knew we had to do something big for this year.

Our goal is to donate 5000 shirts by Christmas this year, and the only way we can do it is with you.

So for the next six weeks, we will be matching every single one of your shirt purchases. Our goal is to donate 5000 shirts by Christmas this year, and the only way we can do it is with you. So whether you are buying a shirt as a gift, or just for yourself, know that we will be giving one, on your behalf, to someone in Michigan to put a little more stoke in their holiday season. Know that we could never do this without you, our loyal customers.

Thank you.



Q: Where did the “a shirt purchased is a shirt donated” idea come from?

A: In our continued efforts to use our business as a force for good, we try and concept new projects that will have a positive impact on our community and state. We have always given back 1% of all sales to the Leelanau Conservancy since our first day in business. Last year, on Earth Day, we decided to give 100% of all sales to the conservancy. We found that our core customers loved being a part of a campaign like that. So, this year we wanted to create a new campaign that would directly impact families across the state and an outlet that would allow our customers to give back during the holiday season.

Q: Why United Way?

A: We strive to work with organizations that are leaders in their community and that align with our businesses core values. From day one we have worked with the Leelanau Conservancy, which has been a great partnership. Since then, we have worked with organizations that are leading the charge of protecting our natural resources, like FLOW (For Love Of Water), The Great Lakes Business Network, Groundworks and more. Because this campaign is focused on helping families around the state, we decided to work with Heart of West Michigan United Way. Their dedication to the people of their communities, their outreach throughout the state of Michigan, and their commitment to creating lasting, sustainable changes that transform lives and thriving communities makes them a great partner.

 

"We are thrilled to be partnering with M22 this holiday season. United Way and M22 share a love of the state of Michigan and a belief that individuals and communities in our state should prosper. We recognize the impact we can have on each other; be it caring for the environment, tutoring a student, or creating a space for someone to call home,” says Katelyn Kovalik, Volunteer Center Manager.

 

Q: What is United Way?

A: Heart of West Michigan United Way is a nonprofit organization based in Grand Rapids, MI. They believe that Michigan should be a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. "Too many people in our community are working but still unable to afford their basic needs, and that’s not okay. Poverty is personal and complicated, but we work with local companies to mobilize volunteers and raise money to support a variety of programs and nonprofits that are working to reduce poverty,” says Katelyn Kovalik, Volunteer Center Manager. This is what United Way is doing across the globe; there is a collective focus on the unique resources and needs of all communities.

Q: How will United Way distribute the clothing and where will it be distributed?

A: United Way will be distributing the clothing to people in the community through the agencies that are already a part of their lives such as school social workers, local housing programs, and community centers. With this being such a large donation, the clothing will ultimately make its way across the state.

We realize donating 5000 (or more) shirts this year will be the greatest one-time donation we will make to date. However, this keeps us true to following our core mantra of using our business as a force for good.

Q: Are you donating these shirts in Traverse City?

A: One of the issues we first encountered when creating this campaign was that our goal of donating 5000 pieces of clothing requires an organization that has an extensive outreach and has the volunteers able to handle such a large quantity. We quickly realized that there aren’t very many non-profits that can distribute that large of a donation. We knew we would have to reach out to more metropolitan areas throughout the state to be able to make this happen. We have also donated to over 30 different organizations and silent auctions throughout the community here in Traverse City just this year to benefit those in need. This is on top of our continued commitment of giving 1% back for every sale to the Leelanau Conservancy.

Q: When will you be making this donation?

A: Our goal in working with United Way is to start donating the clothing anywhere between Nov 26 - Dec 21. This will allow them and their volunteers to get the clothing distributed in time for the holidays.

Q: If I purchase a specific style of shirt, do you donate that same exact shirt?

A: It very well could be. Every purchase you make adds to the overall quantity donated. We will be donating a variety of M22 clothing such as t-shirts, tank tops, long sleeves, pullover hoods, zip hoods, and youth clothing. We even have some toddler sizes and onesies saved for this project. We’re matching the amount of clothing sold.

For every shirt you purchase, we will donate a brand new M22 shirt on your behalf.

Q: Are you donating brand new M22 products?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there a cap on the amount of shirts I buy?

A: No. If you purchase one shirt, we will donate one shirt on your behalf. If you purchase 20 shirts, we will match your purchase and donate 20.

Q: Is there a cut off on how much you will donate?

A: No.

Q: Do you match a shirt even on sale products or is it only regular priced shirts?

A: Sale items are included in this campaign. Our goal is to donate around 5000 pieces. It doesn’t matter if you purchase sale items or regular priced items, we’re focused on the overall number of clothing pieces instead of what type or style. We’re even matching shirts sold during the Black Friday - Cyber Monday holiday sales week.

Q: How many shirts are you hoping to donate?

A: Our goal is to be able to donate around 5000 pieces of clothing, although it’s greater than just donating clothing though for us. Looking back at last year when we launched our 100% back on Earth Day it was exciting to see the response from the community and our customers across the region. On that day alone we were able to donate nearly $20,000 to the Leelanau Conservancy. That speaks volumes about our customers and the support they showed that day was inspiring. It was all about using our business as a tool for good. We wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for our customers and everyone that came out that day in support of Earth Day. That is ultimately what helped inspire this project. We wanted to be able to impact people across the state of Michigan, and we wanted to use our business essentially as a middleman for our customers to be able to give back to families during the holiday season.

Q: How is your business able to run a campaign like this?

A: We look at it as more of a long-term investment into our business. When we launched the 100% back on Earth Day last year, we knew we were taking a risk in not knowing how much we would be responsible for donating that day. Looking back, that commitment had such a positive long-term effect on our business and customers. We realize donating 5000 (or more) shirts this year will be the greatest one-time donation we will make to date. However, this keeps us true to following our core mantra of using our businesses as a force for good. These projects give our customers the ability to use our company to affect not only the environment but the people of this great state.

We’ve wanted to do something like this for a while now, and so we based our 2018 business model off of this project.

Q: How are you able to donate such a mass quantity?

A: We’ve wanted to do something like this for a while now, and so we based our 2018 business model off of this project. We factored in larger runs of inventory into our production schedule to stockpile inventory in anticipation of this project. We used previous years numbers to project inventory quantities to be able to fulfill this promise and luckily our business is at a size where if we end up going over our goal we will still be able to meet the donation numbers.

Q: What is the duration of this campaign?

A: The campaign is officially launching on November 14th, 2018. We are hoping to be able to hit our goal of 5000 shirts by the end of the year. The donation process to United Way will be between November 26 and December 21. This allows United Way to start distributing the clothing around the holidays. Depending on how the campaign goes though they are willing to accept the clothing outside of these dates as well.

Q: Will you be donating other types of products that you sell (bike kits, accessories, hats, etc.)?

A: No. We are matching the quantity of all tops sold including tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeves, sweatshirts, and youth clothing.

Q: Can I pick what gets donated?

A: No. We are matching the quantity of all tops sold including tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeves, sweatshirts, and youth clothing.

Q: What if I want to donate somewhere else?

A: We are working exclusively with United Way in this campaign because they are able to handle such a large donation and distribute it throughout Michigan. Logistically, this allows M22 and United Way to work closely together to make the donation and the distribution of the clothing more streamlined. This also allows us to know exactly where the clothing will be distributed throughout Michigan.

Q: Will this be an annual campaign?

A: It’s hard to say if this will be an annual campaign at this point. We are always looking for new ways to impact our community and state, so next year we could be working on a completely different project.

Q: Are youth and toddler products included?

A: Yes. When we say families, we want everyone in the family to be included.

Q: Are you still going to donate 1% back to the Leelanau Conservancy?

A: Yes. We will be donating the 1% to the Leelanau Conservancy during this campaign and matching a shirt for a shirt. Our continued efforts to donate back to the Leelanau Conservancy will never change.

Q: How can I participate in this campaign?

A: By shopping online at m22.com or our Traverse City and Glen Arbor store locations.

 

Join us. We can only do this with your support. Track the progress on Instagram @m22life for weekly updates as we work to reach our goal of donating 5000 shirts by the end of the year.

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