Monday, June 17News For London

London Youth Charity: Buy the T. Not the stereotype

London Youth, a charity organisation with a mission to improve the lives of young people in London have collaborated with sportwear apparel Champion. The new campaign has been launched with the aim to challenge negative youth stereotypes and raise awareness of the power of good youth work.

London Youth stand  at Urban Outfitters  photo by Mariam Gambo

Established since 1887 the charity launched their first high profile collaboration in stores such as Urban outfitters and Champion on regent street.

Through a limited edition of T-shirts designed by London based graphic designer Tim Head, the charity uses the personal stories of five young people to tailor the message and art on the clothing.

Tim Head, the man behind the art shares his thoughts on the process of making the t-shirts on Instagram prior to the launch in stores across London.

View this post on Instagram

Today is the launch of a project I have been very honoured to be a part of – Lives not Labels, a collaboration between @london_youth and @championeurope. I was invited to workshop with some amazing young people from London and took their work and create some T-shirt designs from the process. These T-shirt’s are now for sale in @championeurope and @urbanoutfitterseu with profits going towards @london_youth which is a charity to support vital youth centre services for London Youth. My man @jpearsonhowes made an amazing film that will drop soon. It’s all a really special project and I hope that the tees I made with the youth will hopefully help them ✌🏻thanks @terrydonovan1987 and @thecornerldn too 📸stolen from @london_youth (sorry!) . . . .#champion #urbanoutfitters #tshirtdesign #hypebeast #londonyouth

A post shared by Tim Head (@timhead1980) on

The campaign titled ‘LABELS’ fronted by the slogan ‘Buy the T-shirt Not the Stereotype’ encourages thought on the struggles young people face, particularly by the hands of negative stereotypes. It acknowledges how young people are demonised in the media as they are constantly portrayed as violent. The media outlets ignore the positive stories of young people and the significance of the social and mental issues they face whilst overcoming significant challenges at a pivotal time in their lives.

Urban Outfitters launched the campaign in the regent street branch on Sunday.

Proud to represent the message of London Youth charity we discussed the importance of the campaign with store manager Naomi.

Q: Do you feel that young people are subject to negative stereotypes based on how they look?


Naomi later discussed how the campaign is targeted towards a younger audience. She said: “It launched last weekend, its doing well and I think everyone should support it.”

With messages such as ‘support the youth’ and ‘make your own path’ the £30 t-shirts make their statement clear.  It also features a short introduction to one of the five young Londoners that inspired the campaign. Subira who was labelled as ‘trouble’ in school and become a mother at 18 is now studying at drama school and has dreams of one day running her own stables. A positive story shared in hopes of inspiring another.

For many young people their youth worker plays a critical role during their transition to adulthood, in a space beyond education and the home that’s why youth clubs and campaigns play an important role to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of young people from all backgrounds.