We have had some great success lately with our “Keeping Politics Positive” t-shirt contest. We have been able to get great designs, provide royalties for 10+ designers, and also get some great press.
I recently had a great conversation with a social entrepreneur out of the San Diego area, Jimmy Hendricks. No, not the infamous James Hendrix of the 1960’s, but a fellow entrepreneur bridged by passion to do what is right for the world. Jimmy, in his own unique way, is helping me achieve my goal of making politics accessible and exciting again – ideas that are core values to the Piryx mission.
The Web can be home to political debates that cause mountains to crumble at the words and actions by fist shaking, red faced, online community members who’s sole passion in life is to shout to the entire world, not why their candidate rules, but why “the other guy” is scum. Messages on the Web that confess to political hacks (literally) of public official’s emails are only overshadowed by discussion boards littered with virtual yelling matches.
A democratic design community and e-commerce site based in San Diego, Collarfree.com, seeks to reverse the negative discussions surrounding the upcoming elections by providing proactive and positive involvement through a contest titled, “Keeping Politics Positive.”
The contest, which runs through September, allows people to submit and vote on t-shirt designs for Obama and McCain. The talent within the community of more than 5000 users creates shirt concepts and the winning shirts will be available for purchase by shoppers.
The contest aims to not only spark involvement, but also to ignite upbeat and constructive behavior in political evangelists on the Web. Where other communities spend their time berating the opposition, Collarfree expands on their philosophy by requiring all t-shirts be for a preferred candidate rather than against another.
“We wanted a way to promote the election but stay true to our company values,” said Collarfree co-founder, Jimmy Hendricks. “Our company slogan is Fashion for Independent People and one of our core values is positivity, so we created a contest built on that and chose the campaign name, ‘Keeping Politics Positive’.”
Collarfree founders, Jimmy Hendricks and Patrick Dillon call their process “Democratic Design.” They are creating a community that has, among other things, fostered a political playground where no one gets punched in the gut. Through user generated fashion designs representing the beliefs of the designers, they prove that political campaigns can be anything but a war zone.