Mad Over You is a new social impact t-shirt brand that donates 100% of net profits to programs for underserved youth in community centers nationwide. Made in the U.S., these graphic tees are premium quality with select styles designed by the kids in the community centers themselves. Each shirt has a special “mad tag” code — a tracking number on the inside label that customers can type into the Mad Over You web site and see exactly how and why their purchase is making a difference.
Below is a quick chat with founder Ian Madover about the brand and it’s mission.
Q: Initially I would like to get your thoughts of blending business and social good. I believe we are seeing an amazing trend happening of social good start-ups focusing on solving issues through commerce. Are you excited about this trend?
IAN: Yes, I’m very excited about it. I had the desire to “do good” first, then came up with a business idea that would serve that goal.. But, what I really wanted to do was re-invent the way that people connect or establish relationships with the organizations their purchases support.
Q: What motivated you to start Mad Over You? What was the opportunity that you saw to combine a business model with a social good aspect?
IAN: Before MOY, I had a band-aid business geared towards kids. This started as a business idea but shortly after it launched I received an email from an 8 yr old girl who had cancer asking me if I would donate band-aids to her non-profit she started and pay the annual cost of her website. I was blown away by her bravery and her desire to help other kids battling cancer. This inspired me to create a division called “Ouchies for Others” where a 1OO% of the sale was donated towards three pediatric cancer organizations. After that I was hooked.
Q: Mad For You is currently in five cities. What was it about these five cities and these five communities centers that made you gravitate towards them and donate all net profits towards?
IAN: When I started to develop the idea, I spoke to my children about it and asked them whom we should help. They felt strongly about helping kids in the U.S. — kids in our communities. So, we did a lot of research and vetted five organizations that we felt were good partners for the launch. And, we felt these five cities were a good starting point giving us good coverage of the country.
Q: The idea of the money directly going to the community center is fantastic. When a person purchase a shirt does the profits go to a specific program within that community center or to the community center in general?
IAN: It goes to a specific program at each community center. We worked with each community center to create an effective and meaningful partnership by developing a specific project with attainable goals. This way the purchaser can really feel like they are part of the solution, making a real impact. The projects range from arts and music to health and nutrition.
Q: The tracking part of Mad For You is pretty interesting. When a person purchases a shirt, they get a tracking code and they can follow what exactly?
IAN: The MADTAG code is a 10 digit # on the inside label of the shirt. You can go to the website and type in your MADTAG code and it connects to one of these five community centers. It enables customers to learn more about the organization, their programs and the kids they serve — and opt to donate more.
Q: Has there been any thought to expanding beyond tshirts? As the brand grows will product line change or do you like the idea of focusing on one product and making that product really special?
IAN: We hope to eventually expand into other apparel categories. I started with t-shirts because I, myself, am obsessed with them. I was always searching for quality, cool t-shirts. So, it was a product I was passionate about creating and did it with a painstaking focus on quality and attention to detail.
Five Partnering Community Centers:
DreamYard (Bronx) uses the arts to inspire youth, public schools and communities in the Bronx. The Mad Over You project will support DreamYard’s Art Center, where K-12th Graders and their families come to explore nationally recognized programming across theater, poetry, dance, visual arts, photography, video, music, audio production, fashion design and Maker projects.
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) provides free and exceptional after-school programs in academics, arts, and athletics. Each year, HOLA offers 2,400 youth, ages 6–24, the opportunity to break the generational cycle of poverty, develop their potential and pursue their education. The Mad Over You Project will support HOLA’s thriving music program and provide over 300 students with music instruction.
Bird Street Community Center (Boston) was established to provide a safe, welcoming environment for at-risk inner city youth. The Mad Over You project will support the Bird Street arts and humanities program by renovating and upgrading the teen center and kitchen.
BUILD (Chicago) serves 3,500 youth across 11 Chicago communities and in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. BUILD serves youth during the school day, after school, on weekends and during school breaks; the times when they are most at-risk. The Mad Over You project will support BUILD’s after school program through the Brand BUILD Arts Academy (BBAA), which targets urban youth that come from under-resourced communities and schools, and exposes them to new experiences.
Overtown Youth Center (Miami) provides unwavering community support based on the principles of integrity and respect, with in-school, after-school, and summer programming to give hope and inspire resilience in children.The Mad Over You project will specifically support Overtown’s health and nutrition program, ensuring the kids have access to well-balanced, nutritious meals.