EDC sells a lot of youth shirts – decorated shirts and bags both screen printed and embroidery, to youth groups all across the country. The reasons they buy vary. The obvious reasons of establishing the group and sub-group identities and providing cohesion are classic. These items also create individual and group memories of a special time in their lives. The best use of decorated apparel for youth groups is to provide an emotional purpose as a theme that everyone is engaged in.
We have customers that provide embroidered leadership shirts and screen printed group member shirts. This tactic provides a lot of lessons to the group about the rewards of the hard work and risk-taking from being a leader. Clothing matters in human cultures, and different roles require different clothes. In many areas acceptance of a job requires adopting the sometimes unspoken dress code of the company.
Given all these good reasons to provide shirts, they can also be badly designed and over-used. Giving a shirt with a logo only is too much like providing a uniform. The best shirts include a theme that provides an emotional tie for the group to rally behind. To a kid a uniform says, “They made me wear this so I wouldn’t get lost.” The addition of a theme says, “I am proud of what I am doing so please ask about it.” It is so much more powerful to connect behind an emotional statement or cause like, “Together We Achieve More”, “Lift Every Voice,” or even “Keeping Our Water Clean.” Better still would be letting the kids develop the theme based on their own passions.
Use your group’s logo, but make sure to include a powerful theme that includes an emotional topic that kids care about and can connect with. A lot of new brain research indicates we are hardwired to connect to each other in order to thrive. Kids react to expectations, well designed programs including screen printed t-shirts and/or embroidered polo’s set a level of expectation for engagement, connectedness and success. To learn more about youth group apparel call Rick at 800-445-2946