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Yellow Bird Project: Cool Philanthropy

This might be old news to some, as Yellow Bird Project was founded in 2006, but it recently got onto my radar and should be on yours too: Montreal-based Yellow Bird Project collaborates with hip melodymakers to offer cool shirts that entirely benefit artists' chosen charities.

Their website states:

We're a non-profit Montreal based organization dedicated to bringing our customers the finest of quality, originality, and philanthropy. We seek out only the coolest of cool artists, collaborate with them to design awesomely awesome tee-shirts, and give all the prettiest of pretty profits to charities of the artists' choice.

Bon Iver's shirt, for instance, benefits the Toronto women's shelter Interval House. Stars, whose members Evan Cranley, Torquil Campbell, and Amy Millan also play in Broken Social Scene, offers a cute design—a tiger listening to headphones attached to a turntable—that also benefits a women's shelter, Montreal's Le Chaînon.

Yellow Bird boasts a small roster of respected indie artists including, for example, The New Pornographers, Of Montreal, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The focus seems singularly philanthropic, not promotional; each band gets a page showcasing its shirt, and apart from a small photo and short bio of the band, there are no links to websites or mp3s to be found (links to the charities' websites are posted). The majority of shirts don't sport band names.

The only downside to this otherwise perfectly sterling project is that they use American Apparel shirts, lining the pockets of total douchebag Dov Charney. In light of Charney's pathetic serial sexual harassment, I think altruistic hipsters are misguided in supporting the company. But, to be fair, their shirts do fit nicely, and the soundness of this cause trumps the crappiness of AA.

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