Global Citizens Festival skyline tank.


MEANINGFUL MERCH: Merchandise has become a popular category with artists including Justin Bieber and Kanye West causing a frenzy over screen-printed T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Global Citizen, a social platform, is attempting to capitalize on the trend with the merchandise for its Global Citizen Festival, which takes place Sept. 24 in New York’s Central Park. But instead of just selling its typical fare – T-shirts, hoodies and hats with Global Citizen Festival branding – the group is producing things that will contribute to its mission, which is to end extreme poverty by 2030.

“We’ve always done merchandise, but this year we wanted to focus on how the merchandise ties back to our mission,” said Barbara Burchfield, who cofounded the nonprofit Conscious Commerce with Olivia Wilde and is a producer of the festival. “We created partnerships with already existing brands that have mission statements centered on social impact.”

Global Citizen partnered with brands including Krochet Kids, Parks Project, Sseko and Akola on pieces that give back to society. Krochet Kids, which employs women in poverty-stricken areas including Uganda and Peru, has created a T-shirt for the festival, while Sseko, which gives jobs to women in East Africa, has produced a convertible bag that can be worn three ways.

The product, which retails from $25 for a T-shirt to $120 for a crossbody bag, is being sold on Global Citizen’s e-commerce site and will be available at the festival, which will feature performances from Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Demi Lovato, Major Lazer and more.

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