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Help us tell the story behind our quest to save the planet by repatriating amazing secondhand t-shirts from the developing world. Read more

Boston, MA Fashion
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$7,138
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2011.

Help us tell the story behind our quest to save the planet by repatriating amazing secondhand t-shirts from the developing world.

Boston, MA Fashion
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About this project

Update: We reached our funding goal in just five days! Thanks so much for your amazing support. Now, we need your help to reach 7,000 dollars so we can bring Scott Crowningshield, a professional filmmaker, to Kenya with us to film the "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" Documentary. This will allow us to make the best movie possible while still repatriating the most incredible shirts out there. Did we mention that all 25 dollar backers get an amazing and unique shirt with a story to tell? 

Please join us for a Repat Kickstarter Celebration at the Whitehorse Tavern in Allston from 8-10 PM on Wednesday, May 4th!

The Idea

Many of the shirts that are donated in the United States are resold to t-shirt middlemen who resell the shirts in bulk to local secondhand t-shirt markets around the developing world. While an abundant supply of slightly less ironically amazing t-shirts are always available for purchase by consumers in these countries, the real tragedy occurs when amazing t-shirts are sent away to foreign lands before they have a chance to achieve their maximum potential of hip right here in the United States. But now, thanks to Project Repat, premature deportation has a cure!

Help Sean and Ross raise $5,000 to make the "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" movie this May as they tell the story behind Project Repat and the t-shirt castoffs from secondhand markets around the world supporting nonprofit organizations around the corner. 

The Inspiration

Sean was leading a team of volunteers in Nairobi, Kenya when he became stuck in the worst traffic jam he'd ever seen. After two hours of not moving at all, Sean discovered that the cause of the accident was an overturned fruit and vegetable rickshaw pushed by a Kenyan man wearing a t-shirt that said: “I Danced My Ass Off at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah”. About a week later, Sean met up with Ross in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and they began discussing Josh's amazing bar mitzvah t-shirt and some of the other wonderfully random t-shirts they'd encountered during their time living and working in the developing world. In an attempt to discover just how many amazing shirts were really out there, Sean and Ross ventured to one of the used t-shirt markets in Dar es Salaam.

What they found was incredible shirts after incredible shirt. Ross and Sean purchased 12 of the best shirts they found for about $1 each, brought them home tucked away in the extra room in their suitcases, washed them twice and gave the t-shirts away as gifts to their friends. What they found was that while their friends loved the shirts, they truly loved the authentic story behind each shirt. 

After the success of giving the repatriated t-shirts away to their friends, Ross and Sean wondered if they could use the same model to generate revenue to support their nonprofit organizations and others like them. Ross and Sean found four friends already traveling in the developing world and asked them to bring back t-shirts for them. Their friend Noah built them a fancy website and their friend Kristy taught them how to silkscreen. Ross and Sean created a logo for each shirt which showed where the shirt came from and when it was repatriated. They even found models who were happy to work for cheap beer and pizza!

The Project Repat website was launched on January 1, 2011 and in just a few months raised over two thousand dollars that Ross and Sean were able to donate to their nonprofits, Smallbean and NTC. With the money earned from the sale of Project Repat t-shirts, Smallbean was able to build a solar-powered computer lab in Tanzania. NTC was able to use the Project Repat money to support five scholarship girls for a year of school in Tanzania

The "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" Movie

Sean and Ross are raising $5,000 to tell the Project Repat story this May and they want to take you with them. They're taking a trip to used t-shirts markets throughout Kenya and Tanzania and making a movie that tells the story behind t-shirts like the Josh's bar mitzvah shirt that Sean saw in Nairobi. Sean and Ross have proven that the Project Repat model can work as means for supporting nonprofits like Smallbean and NTC. Now they want to tell the story behind Project Repat so that they can expand the model and raise awareness about the interconnected world in which we live, even for something as simple as a secondhand t-shirt. 

In addition to making an amazing movie, Sean and Ross will be repatriating a handful of the very best t-shirts they find and all Kickstarter backers will receive first pick from one of the truly authentic t-shirts they bring home. Not only will backers be getting a great Project Repat shirt, but you'll be supporting local markets in the developing world and nonprofit organizations like Smallbean and NTC doing great work in the countries from where the shirts have been repatriated. Sean and Ross hope that you'll join them in making the "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" movie a reality and sending Project Repat to the next level of amazing. 

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    67 backers

    THE REPATRIOT: First pick from one of the truly authentic Project Repat t-shirts that Ross and Sean bring home from Kenya and Tanzania while filming "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah". Each Repat shirt is washed twice, branded with the official Repat logo, and comes with a picture of the shirt in the market from where it was repatriated and a tag telling the story of the shirt. You'll also receive a copy of the "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" movie upon its release.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    21 backers Limited (79 left of 100)

    THE PARTY ANIMAL: All of the above, plus admission to a VIP screening and party celebrating the release of "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh Bar Mitzvah" at the Project Repat factory in Boston, MA (with free beer and food!).

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    THE ULTIMATE T-SHIRT PACKAGE: Not one, but two Project Repat t-shirts that Sean and Ross bring home from Kenya and Tanzania and a limited edition American Apparel bearded Repatriot logo t-shirt. And access to the VIP screening and party and the DVD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    7 backers

    THE HOODED HIPSTER: An American Apparel limited edition hooded sweatshirt in the color and size of your choice silkscreened with everyone's favorite bearded Repatriot on the back. See a photo of these amazing sweatshirts below and to your left. Oh yeah, and you'll get a Project Repat t-shirt of your choice, access to the party, and a copy of the DVD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer

    THE NEVER MISS A BIRTHDAY AGAIN REPATRIOT: Four $25 gift certificates to the Project Repat store. Each gift certificate comes with an exclusive Project Repat American Apparel logo t-shirt suitable for instant giving and the exclusive right to choose one absolutely authentic repatriated Project Repat t-shirt from our website instantly or at a later date. Just imagine your hipster nephew's delight when his birthday rolls around! You'll also get a Project Repat t-shirt of your own, access to the VIP screening party and a copy of the DVD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    THE ARTISTIC REPATRIOT: You'll get the opportunity to direct the Project Repat t-shirt modeling shoot in which we'll be unveiling the repatriated t-shirts that Sean and Ross bring back from Tanzania and Kenya during the filming of "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah". You'll also get a hooded sweatshirt, a Project Repat t-shirt, access to the party, and a copy of the DVD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    THE ALTRUISTIC REPATRIOT: You'll get to direct the profits from all Project Repat sales to the nonprofit organization of your choice for one month. You'll also get a hooded sweatshirt, a Project Repat t-shirt, access to the party, and a copy of the DVD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE ADVENTUROUS REPATRIOT: An all-expenses paid trip to Africa with Ross and Sean in mid-May where you can take a starring role in the "I Didn't Dance My Ass Off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah" movie while honing your awesome t-shirt spotting skills in the secondhand clothing markets in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other locations.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    THE PAMPERED REPATRIOT: Not going to be able to take the trip in May with Sean and Ross, or perhaps 12-hour days in the t-shirt markets of Africa aren't your thing? No problem at all. We're offering an all-expenses paid two week trip for two to Tanzania at a time of your choice. What will you be doing? You'll spend one week on safari seeing elephants and giraffes, and another week participating in homestays and volunteer and cultural activities in Kwala with the Newton Tanzania Collaborative. For more information on what Kwala is like and the Newton Tanzania collaborative, please visit: www.NewtonTanzania.org.

Funding period

- (30 days)