With national Pink Shirt Day on the horizon, some of us might be rummaging through our wardrobes in search of anything pink before Friday, 20 May. This is when we realise that many of us do not own a pink shirt. Three Mercury Bay Area School Year 9 students - Isobel Roche, Samantha Rosser and Phoebe McDougall, with the help of their fabric technology teacher, Emma Fletcher - have taken this issue into their own hands by creating pink t-shirts themselves.
Pink Shirt Day is a national movement that unites people in their plight to eradicate bullying and to replace it with celebrating diversity, inclusiveness and kindness instead. The team’s selling period was from the end of April to 9 May during which they have sold 75 shirts, raising over $800 for the national Pink Shirt appeal.
“We came up with our idea when one of our teachers, Mrs Hutt, wanted to do something about our school policy of KAURI (Kindness, Achievement, Unity, Respect, and Identity),” says Isobel. “This is when Mrs Fletcher offered to help create pink shirts using her business, Zeek and Co, to make it a reality. Instead of just focusing on anti-bullying, we decided to focus on being kind instead, to fit in with the K for KAURI.”
Coming in both adult and children’s sizes, the 100 percent cotton shirts display printed sayings picked by the girls on the basis of a survey they sent out to fellow students.
“Not only have locals been buying the products the girls have made, but even some in Auckland and Hamilton,” says Emma. “We have decided to limit this year’s orders of t-shirts as we were only testing the waters. However, the bigger the better by next year, once Zeek and Co has acquired a screen printer in order to achieve large bulk orders.”
Isobel says she can’t wait to see everyone wearing their shirts on 20 May.
Pictured is Emma with Isobel (in the centre) and Kolbie Fraser, a fan of the t-shirts.