By Cecilla Can
GSN Managing Editor
A Gilbert-based T-shirt company has partnered with two Valley nonprofits to spread “hope.”
Junkie Threads last month teamed up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital selling T-shirts with the word “Hope” atop an outline of the state of Arizona. For each shirt sold, the company will donate $5 to the hospital.
“We want to give back to the community as much as possible,” said Ryan Lamar, who co-owns the business with Estevan Sanchez.
Its brand is built around giving back and building community.
Junkie Threads also formed a partnership earlier this year with Salvation Army. For every T-shirt sold, a blank one will be donated to the charity.
“For every Hope shirt we sell, we donate $5 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” said Amanda Gonzales, the company’s marketing manager. “Not only does $5 go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we give a blank one to someone in need for the Salvation Army. So, it’s like double-dipping.”
The company has already donated 100 T-shirts to The Salvation Army Southwest Division Headquarters in Phoenix and is ready to donate another 100 this month, Lamar said.
The business has been operating for the past eight years with Lamar overseeing the business side and Sanchez the designs.
The company’s AZ Colored Cactus, featuring dozens of different colored cacti shaped in the state of Arizona, is the company’s best seller, according to Gonzales.
“The majority of stuff we do is Arizona-focused,” she said.
The company also offers the Grown Collection featuring nine states to choose from, such as “Arizona-grown” and “California-grown.” The City Collection sports eight cities and their skylines imprinted on a shirt, and the Active Collection carries motivational messages such as “Conquer,” “I Could Deadlift You,” and “No Pain No Gain.”
The shirts include tank tops and three-quarter-length sleeves and come in men’s and women’s sizes. The Grown Collection includes youth and infant sizes, and the Hope Collection includes infant sizes.
The adult shirts sell for $25, while the Hope shirts sell for $28. All products are made to order.
“We do everything locally,” Gonzales said. “We have local printers, our design is in-house. We don’t send to any manufacturers.”
Lamar, Sanchez and Gonzales would brainstorm a concept, and then Sanchez would come up with a design on his computer.
He then ships the design to a printer either in Chandler or Tempe.
The garments for the company’s products are purchased from a company owned by a Phoenix family, said Lamar, who stores the shirts in his Gilbert apartment before he ships them to the buyers.
Gonzales said the company sells its shirts online, at a store in Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4, in the University of Arizona’s bookstore, Marmalade Market in Gilbert and events such as Gilbert Art Walk and Made with Love Gilbert Market on the weekends. Sanchez said its Active Collection is doing well at various Orangetheory Fitness locations.
Lamar said plans are to expand on the company’s City and Grown collections with more cities and states.
He said the company is currently in talks about partnering up with Suns Charities 88 launched by Phoenix Suns Charities. Sanchez said he’s already sent a concept design to the group for review.
For now, the company has a more pressing goal in mind.
“The goal is to donate $5,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which is 1,000 shirts we will give to The Salvation Army,” Gonzales said.
To look at Junkie Threads’ products or to buy a T-shirt: junkiethreads.com