A T-shirt business built on activism

The thumbnail version:

  • Activism spawned a T-shirt retail business
  • Another aspect to the story is the power of niche marketing

The full version: 

I see a niche!

The obvious message in the article on the Shopify feed was meant to be about how one woman’s search for a specific type of Tee launched a successful business. It grew rapidly from the living room of an apartment in Washington DC to two retail stores, one in Washington and the other in Philadelphia.

Here’s how the story of the activist-based T-shirt company, The Outrage, began . . . “Around the same time, she was looking to buy herself a feminist T-shirt, ideally from a company owned by women and with an ethical supply chain and production practices. ‘Once you learn about that,’ she says, ‘you can’t unlearn it.’ But she came up short. So Rebecca spent months in libraries and coffee shops building what would become The Outrage, launching an online store at the height of the 2016 presidential election.” It launched and orders started pouring in.

So this was intended as a story about activism, but for us, it’s interesting for another reason. It demonstrates how business success can flow from spotting an under-serviced niche market. The T-shirt market is very crowded, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still niche markets to be explored. It could pay handsomely for a shop owner willing to do the searching.