Ohio University

Sudara Tee Design Challenge provides OHIO students chance to create an impact

Sudara Tee Design Challenge

Ohio University students will have a chance to create an impact and win prize money by submitting their T-shirt designs to Sudara Inc. through the Sudara Tee Design Challenge as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Week, a weeklong event hosted by Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

Benefit corporation Sudara Inc. and its non-profit Sudara Freedom Fund were born out of a need to end human trafficking in India. Shannon Keith, founder and chairwoman of Sudara Freedom Fund, and Lisa Flynn, CEO of Sudara Inc., will give a presentation during Women Entrepreneurship Week on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. They will detail their efforts to employ Indian women at risk of or survivors of human trafficking at a sustainable, living wage to produce and sell ethically made pajamas and loungewear.  

The Sudara Tee Design challenge aims to further the company’s mission of providing women with skills and opportunities to gain economic independence and gender equity. The company will donate 15% of the proceeds made from selling the tees to My Sister’s Place, an Athens domestic violence agency.

“Violence against women is a worldwide concern,” My Sister’s Place Executive Director Kelly Cooke said. “This partnership with Sudara highlights both the global and local efforts needed to bring awareness to women being abused. Flexible funding such as the donation from this project has been the most effective means of supporting our work in 2020.”

All OHIO students are eligible to participate and can submit an unlimited number of designs. Students are recommended to match their tee with Sudara pajama pants to be sold as a set. Bonus points are awarded if the students can tell a story behind the design in the submission. The winning designer will be paid $500, and any designer whose design is sold on Sudara will be paid at least $100.

“We're so excited to team up with Ohio University in this tee challenge, where students are not only getting real-world graphic design and 'business of fashion' experience, but making an impact by directing commerce to help serve Sudara's mission and My Sister's Place's mission – both focused on empowering women to get out of unhealthy environments," Flynn said.

Selected designs will be shared on Friday, Oct. 2 for the public to vote on through two rounds, concluding on Thursday, Oct. 15. The winning designs will be available for pre-order on Friday, Oct. 16. Designs that meet the minimum order quantity will go to production and winners will be announced.

“In the wake of the health and economic devastation from COVID-19 and incidents of racial injustice, our communities need us now more than ever to put our time, talent and passion into making positive change,” said Paul Benedict, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “This competition gives our students a chance to not just hear about someone else making positive change but join them in the fight.

Women Entrepreneurship Week events are free, starting Monday, Sept. 21, which will feature several women leaders who are reshaping the business world. The events are hosted by Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, TechGROWTH Ohio and the OHIO Women’s Center. The Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

More information about the Tee Design Challenge can be found here. The deadline for entry is Thursday, Oct. 1.