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Local T-Shirt Movement Sparks Wave of Support

Story Update (4/29/20)

Since DiscoverNEPA initially reported this story on April 8, Axelrad’s “Shirts Off Our Backs Movement” has exceeded every fundraising goal. To date, the effort has raised $58,640. That’s nearly 4,000 t-shirts sold!  The Movement’s number of participating businesses has also increased from just over 40 to nearly 250.

And there are no signs of stopping any time soon. Check out the link. Add a few cool, new shirts to your rotation, and show a little love for NEPA’s struggling small businesses.

Wilkes-Barre Print Shop Inks Shirts to Aid Local Small Businesses


Axelrad Screen Printing spurs support for NEPA small businesses through sale of uniquely local t-shirts.

Local social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders issued by the Commonwealth to combat the spread of COVID-19 have left many of NEPA’s small businesses struggling to get by. And, while communities have rallied behind their local shops and restaurants, offering support has come to require a bit of creative effort.

Enter Axelrad Screen Printing and their uniquely creative solution – T-shirts. Or, more specifically, The Shirt Off Our Backs Movement.



It’s an awfully simple plan.

Axelrad is in the business of printing t-shirts (among other things). Many local businesses are currently in the business of, well… not being in business. And, people are currently in the business of not leaving the house due to… you know.

So, Axelrad has taken out all of that risky, leave the house-drive somewhere-possibly come into contact with people-behavior. They’ve created a virtual storefront dedicated to selling t-shirts from local small businesses.


Here’s how it works:

Local businesses send Axelrad a t-shirt design.

Axelrad creates the t-shirt design and uploads it to The Shirt Off Our Backs Movement page.

You search through dozens of really cool t-shirts, all priced at $15.

100% of every shirt purchased goes directly to that specific business.

You get to show some local pride while rocking some pretty rad t-shirts



A little help goes a long way.

“The idea came from wanting to support local small businesses, but with the mindset of our current restrictions,” offers Tyler Rice, Axelrad Graphic Designer and principle originator of brilliant ideas.

He and the team at Axelrad decided to step up and use their talents and resources to help. Tyler and his colleagues saw a community that was desperately willing to do their part to sustain local businesses. The only problem was that they really couldn’t leave the house. “Now, more than ever we need to stick together and keep our small businesses alive.” He continued, “this gives everyone the ability to donate from the comforts of their own homes.”

As of this morning, The Shirt Off Our Backs Movement website features shirts from over 40 businesses. In about 48 hours, they’ve raised over half of their $10,000 goal. And, according to Rice, “I can definitely see us surpassing that in the next few days. We don’t plan on stopping!”



From all sides, the level of support behind the Movement has been nothing short of astounding.

Businesses are excited to participate. People are having a blast picking out their favorite shirts. Everyone is staying home and safe, and they’re doing a lot of good. For Tyler and the rest of the good people at Axelrad, this is about community. And it shows just how much NEPA cares about its local, small businesses (and really cool t-shirts).

We couldn’t be happier with the outreach, love and support we’ve received from the community the past few days. I could go on forever discussing the importance of community & local business, but in short, I believe we took a small step in hopes that we would be able to relieve some stress from business owners and provide additional income for those who are struggling.

Tyler Rice, Graphic Designer

Here's What You Need To know:

Are you just a regular girl or guy interested in buying a shirt?

It’s simple. Visit this link. Or, find it on social media at any of the participating businesses. From there it’s as easy as adding shirts to your cart and supporting your local favorites.

Are you a business interested in adding your shirt to the Movement?

Quick and painless — All they need is a logo, along with a t-shirt & imprint color. Yes, they’ll help out with the design if needed. They’re what you might call experts. Next, you can email your design info directly to [email protected]. Or, you can send it to them directly on any social media platform.

And, before you ask – There is NO out-of-pocket cost to participating businesses.



Last words

Making a difference in difficult times takes a bit of hard work, creativity and selflessness. And this little shirt shop has it in spades. Heroism takes many shapes in a crisis. We can easily imagine capes on the shoulders of those sacrificing their health and safety on the front lines. We can see it in small doses, too, like the everyday heroes staying home and social distancing. You da’ real ones. And, months, or even years from now, we’ll remember it every time we see one of these simple, little t-shirts.

Tyler and the team at Axelrad, however, may beg to differ. They don’t want to be recognized as heroes from all of this. In fact, it’s YOU they want to thank.

“Everyone who has become a part of this movement, from business owners, social media sharers and consumers, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts in helping to spread joy in what only feels like a bleak time.” He sums it up, “You are just as much a part of this as we are, and AxelRad has your back!”

And, that’s exactly what I’d expect a real hero to say.

Get online. Go buy a t-shirt or two. If I may be so bold, I’m kind of partial to this one, oh… and also this one.

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