Wee the People takes its inspiration from our kids: their optimism, their playfulness, the simple things they value. Fresh air, clean water, honest adults. Our designs are clean, our messages simple, and our t-shirts are well-made. We design shirts that we’d want our own children to wear, and we run our business in a way they would be proud of. We use t-shirts that are ethically-sourced and all of our screen printing is done in the USA. Our shirts are designed to be worn by any and all children, regardless of where they fall on the gender spectrum. Most importantly, ten percent of our profits are donated to our favorite progressive non-profits, which are youth-led wherever possible.
So how did we get here?
Wee the People was created out of our own simple need for some hope. After the optimism of the Obama years, the 2016 election left us feeling shattered, but we knew that we needed to persevere for our kids, to demonstrate by example what it means to be engaged and compassionate citizens.
Then Covid hit. In early 2020, we watched as stores, restaurants, and then schools and playgrounds all seemingly shuttered overnight. We worried about the impact that all of this would have on our children, who were no longer able to see their teachers, friends, or extended family members. We were surprised and heartened, though, to witness their intense resiliency, transitioning to a locked-down life with relative good humor. They kept us upbeat.
Increasingly, when looking for inspiration and hope, we found ourselves talking about the incredible work of children and teens: Greta Thunberg, Malala, Black Lives Matter youth, and the Parkland activists. Since we can’t shelter our kids from all the difficult things going on around us, we decided to pour our energy into exposing them to the activists and messages that ignite powerful and positive change. We want our kids to know that they have a voice, that we will listen, and that no one is too young to engage in political activism.
Alongside the hand-painted poster, the screen-printed t-shirt has long been a staple for activists intent on making a political statement. But we noticed that most of the shirts and designs we admired were made only for adults. So we created Wee the People.
We are here, first and foremost, to create great t-shirts for kids. But Wee the People is more than a clothing brand. We are also here to help foster in our youngest generation a political consciousness and the language to communicate about it.
In this moment of political polarization, we believe in the absolute importance of teaching our children how to think past the binaries that so dominate our culture - progressive and conservative, left and right, urban and rural. Our shirts uplift positive messages, affirming basic rights to clean air, a solid education, and an equitable society. We want our t-shirts to spark conversations with our kids, and eventually, between our kids about human rights, justice, and environmental sustainability.
These progressive social movements depend on us to raise their next generation of leaders. Fortunately, history has shown us that sometimes it is the youngest people who have the clearest vision, the boldest ideas, and the strongest commitment to positive change. We know that a t-shirt can’t do the work of educating our kids. But if it sparks conversation and curiosity, it’s a good start - and a fun one at that.