Islanders have a special place in my heart. I consider myself one –most people don't think of Long Island as an actual island, but it is, and growing up there showed me that Islanders are a special breed of people. They're tough and independent, and have a unique relationship with the sea. They draw pleasure and life from it, but recognize that as easily as it gives, it can take away. Most Islanders have experienced the latter, but choose to stay despite that fact.
These roots make me feel a strong sense of solidarity with the people of The Bahamas. As the images have come across this weekend, the devastation appears far worse than I imagined. It made me remember a time we were forced to flee our home for a shelter during a, particularly strong hurricane. The idea that your home, the one place you should feel safe and secure, is not enough to protect you is deeply unsettling. There are parts of the Bahamas where there are literally no homes left. Some people perished where they lived, and others survived only to find they had no home to return to. It will take years to rebuild parts of those islands, and even then, they will be forever changed.
The feeling of helplessness in the face of all this makes me turn to the one thing I know how to do (which sounds insane as I write it): design a t-shirt. It's the method we have of donating proceeds to people in need. I would not normally ask anyone to buy a specific item from us, but this time, I'm asking.
In a few weeks, we'll have been through this year's Fashion Week parties, updated our wardrobes for fall, and moved on from considering the horrors of this natural disaster. But many Bahamians will still be living a nightmare. Please help us do something that can actually contribute to their relief by buying this t-shirt. And let it serve as an inspiration to visit this island nation if you've never been there, so you can see for yourself how special and beautiful its people and places are. No man is an island.
All proceeds will go to All Hands and Hearts, an established aid organization with an emphasis on both quick, effective disaster response and long-term, community-based reconstruction. You can read more about their work and origins here: https://www.allhandsandhearts.org
Please consider sharing this with friends to help us maximize support. If you don’t like the t-shirt, you can always just donate to All Hands and Hearts directly.