If you’ve ever doubted whether or not you can make your brand cool, check out the team behind Buglife. There’s bags of enthusiasm for bugs and they translated their unlikely fashion icons – from beetles to bumblebees – into a brand that took twitter by storm. We caught up with Paul from Buglife to find out how they translated their quirky but important message into bestselling t-shirt designs, and learn how the internet is helping small campaigns reach big audiences.
Good to catch up with you Paul. Could you share with us how your store started?
Hey Guys! We see clothing as a fun way to give followers an opportunity to show off their support and thus engage others in a conversation about Buglife.
We had a few forays into producing a number of T-shirts and trying to sell them at events in the past but it was a pretty fraught experience as we were limited to logo and words and didn’t really have the capacity to promote and sell on any worthwhile scale.
That was before we found out about Teemill. For starters, the ethics behind the product and materials, using organic certified printing and materials, is obviously a huge plus.
But for us, it’s been the ability to have a complete range of designs with new additions to support campaigns and other events without any cost to Buglife. We love that there’s no administrative burden – we are free to focus on our charity work.
For us, it’s going to events and being able to wear a branded but different shirt each day showcasing Buglife and creating an instant talking point for visitors.
What do you find are the most successful methods for promoting the store?
We have focused on making sure we share stories and actively promote the offers that Teemill sponsor like free post weekends, encouraging retweets and shares – both to increase funds but also to increase our reach. As well as a fundraising tool, our t-shirt store is a great conversation starter.
And it helps that we an all wear Buglife stuff when we’re meeting the public: The sweat-shirts are ideal outdoor wear for autumn activities undertaken by many of our conservation staff.
Are your supporters loving your designs as much as we are?
Our supporters love being able to wear the logo and an amazing looking print, on clothes that fit them well.
Each t-shirt out there is effectively an ambassador for our organisation.
It’s great to know that plenty of people are out there showing off Buglife by wearing our designs. So often at events, you bump into someone wearing one or they come up to you and say “I’ve got one of those at home!” – and that’s a real heartwarmer.