SolidariTee comes to Newcastle

Izzy Fanshawe celebrates SolidariTee - a charity which sells t-shirts to earn legal aid for refugees

Izzy Fanshawe
17th February 2020
Image: Alec Boyd
This academic year, 16 Newcastle University students have volunteered to form a new representative team for the charity, SolidariTee.

The campaign was founded by Tiara Sahar Ataii, in Cambridge, in 2017, after she had volunteered as a translator and interpreter for NGOs in Greece. Tiara realised that the best way to support and fight the refugee cause is through legal aid; and that due to today’s consumer culture, if something can be offered in return for people’s money, then more funds can be raised, and more impact made.

Thus, SolidariTee with its ‘Solidarity’ and t-shirt combined pun was born. SolidariTee reps sell t-shirt’s in exchange for donations that become legal aid grants for NGOs supporting the ongoing refugee cause. At the end of each year, SolidariTee decides which NGO’s to donate to, depending on the total of money raised. For 2018-19 it was Mobile Info Team and Fenix. Check them out with a quick google.

There’s been a slump in motivation and funds that needs turning around

Some vital context…

In 2015, the world saw the largest refugee crisis since WWII, yet five years on it’s 2020, and refugees are still stuck in purgatory-like camps (if they are “lucky”) waiting, sometimes for years, to have their asylum interview. Nowhere was prepared for the volume of refugees that came to Europe, and somehow this is still the case. The unfortunate longevity of the crisis has taken its toll on aid and fundraising as well as refugees. There’s been a slump in motivation and funds that needs turning around. With its enthusiastic student-led teams and target audience, SolidariTee is working to modify this, to ensure attorneys and volunteers can get to refugees and successfully help them through the asylum process. This is where your money goes. All we need is t-shirt buyers and/or donations!

As of 2019, SolidariTee has over 40 teams working across the globe with 700 + students mobilised towards and promoting the campaign.

Importantly, SolidariTee knows not only to promote such a necessary cause, but also to ensure their t-shirts are planet friendly. In order to respect and support people, we must too respect the earth on which we all live. So, all the t-shirts are WRAP & OEKO-TEX certified. They’re also super soft and comfy to wear.

The campaign is run entirely by voluntary students from their bedrooms, meaning there are very few overhead costs

T-shirt’s sell at only £10 with £8.41 of that being solely charitable profit. This is because the campaign is run entirely by voluntary students from their bedrooms, meaning there are very few overhead costs. Plus, students are experts at cost-cutting. So, rather than spending £10 on too many snacks in the SU Co-op, or on trebs you’ve forgotten about the morning after, or on that Pret lunch break…make £10 go so much further for a change. When you think about it, it’s really not very much and a bargain for a fresh t-shirt too.

The charity’s official tag line reads: SolidariTee is the largest student-led charity fighting for change in the refugee crisis. We raise awareness of the crisis and offer grants to individuals and NGOs working in this field.

For more information visit their website full of myth busting facts and reasons to donate at:

Last but not least…keep your eyes peeled on social media for events happening this semester in aid of SolidariTee. On February 28th we are teaming up with Kitchen Sync at WorldHQ for a “nortie night of tunes” so please join! Details can be found on Facebook.

To support the cause by donating/buying a t-shirt, please contact Izzy Fanshawe (NCL Head Rep) at: who can refer sales to her team.  Or, if you recognise people in this article’s photo, just contact them directly.

Spread love guys and use your privilege to stay informed on your world.

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