Semester at Sea alumnus Jeff Steitz (Fall 2011) began collecting fabrics in various ports like India, Vietnam, and Ghana along his journey with Semester at Sea. Inspired by his travels and the unique fabrics that he collected, Steitz teamed up with fellow voyager Ryan Westberg to turn an idea into a socially responsible business just months after their return from the voyage. The made-to-order custom t-shirt pocket idea started to gain its stride as a business with the launch of Serengetee out of Steitz‚Äôs dorm room in the spring of 2012.
Today, Serengetee is based in Los Angeles and invests in various fabric-makers around the world for their t-shirt production. Customers can choose a pocket from up to 50 different fabric options. T-shirts are then made to order and 5 percent of the profits from each shirt are given to a charitable organization. Each fabric design is paired with a different charitable organization, with a total of 32 organizations worldwide from which to choose. On the Serengetee website, customers have the option to either shop by cause or by fabric.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Semester at Sea, Serengetee created a special t-shirt and patch designed by Andrew Centofante, director of brand strategy and integrated media for Semester at Sea. The commemorative patch is on a short-sleeved light blue t-shirt, matching the colors of the program. Purchase the t-shirt here.
The founders of Serengetee hope to eventually source fabrics from 100 different countries. To purchase other Serengetee t-shirts and learn more about their efforts, visit: http://www.serengetee.com/.