T-shirt makers riff on Melania Trump's jacket with their own message and donate proceeds to refugee services
Posted June 22, 2018 8:53 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — First lady Melania Trump caused quite the stir with her "I Really Don't Care" jacket.
Now, clothing companies are selling T-shirts that are inspired by the jacket but tout an opposite message. And they're donating the proceeds to refugee services.
One such company is the New Orleans-based Pop City, which is selling a $25, olive green T-shirt with the words "I Really Do Care, Do U?" emblazoned in white graffiti-style lettering (the same style as Melania Trump's jacket).
Another company, Wildfang, also borrowed the font style from the original piece. It's selling a black T-shirt for $40 and a black and olive green bomber jackets for $98 -- both boasting the message "I Really Care, Don't You?"
Born of frustration
Pop City owner Rhonda Findley said she came up with the shirt because she's frustrated and upset with the tone of the current debate over immigration.
"[Melania Trump] should be a standard-bearer," Findley told CNN. "And if her standard is that, then it's up to the rest of us who use fashion or T-shirts ... to be socially conscious and to answer when people misstep or do what the first lady did."
Pop City says 25% of proceeds will benefit the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees. Another 25% will go to the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans' Immigration and Refugee Services.
"If Melania will just just tell me what size she wears, I will make sure to send it," Findley said.
Born of outrage
The Portland-based Wildfang says it's on a mission to give back more than $150,000 this year. And it says it's donating 100% of the proceeds from its "I Really Care" line to RAICES.
"My heart has broken all week watching the images of children in detention centers," CEO Emma McIlroy told CNN. "Yesterday I opened my news app and saw Melania's jacket and it was just so appalling."
"We wanted to send our own message," she added. "We wanted to make it clear how we feel about immigrants and their human rights."
"We want to hit $50,000," McIlroy said. The company anticipates donating the money to RAICES next month.
"We will be truly delighted to send that check," she added.
The first lady's reasoning
Melania Trump wore the controversial jacket Thursday as she boarded her plane from Andrews Air Force Base for the US-Mexico border to tour an immigrant children's shelter.
The first lady's team insisted that there was no hidden meaning behind the sartorial choice.
"It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe," East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN in a statement.