Books on Shirts. Shirts on a Mission.
In 2009, when childhood friends Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc started getting serious about their idea for a literary-based clothing line, they had a couple of missions in mind: become a part of the changing conversation about reading and do something with a social cause. Out Of Print Clothing has been in business for just over a year, selling t-shirts featuring art from well-known classic books. The company is growing rapidly in popularity and has stayed true to its founders’ dual missions.
“There had to be a way to use book cover art to start conversations and bring more people into the discussion about books,” says co-founder Lawton. He and LeBlanc wondered what place the art would have in a world gone digital, since many people have strong connections to the stories they love but aren’t always carrying paper books around anymore. “Now, we hear all the time that people are starting these conversations and have a renewed interest in books through the shirts, because the art is so cool.”
Beyond making a fashion statement about reading, Out Of Print Clothing wanted to support reading through a charitable organization. Books For Africa collects donated books and puts them in the hands of children in Africa who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. “When we found Books for Africa, we liked what they do and how efficiently they do it,” Lawton explained. “We thought they had such a great mission, and we wanted to help them spread the word.”
For every shirt Out Of Print Clothing sells, the company donates one book to Books For Africa. So when you buy that Great Gatsby t-shirt from Out Of Print, you’re not only making a statement about being passionate about good books and good art, you’re also telling the world you support a good cause.