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The T-shirts that are changing the World

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T-shirts are way more powerful than you think. This post will tell you about people who are changing the

In order to show you the revolutionary power of the T-shirt, we’ve collected some of our favourite examples of revolutionary personalised t-shirts. Some thrive to change complex social problems, while others are simply a creative way to get people involved with important topics. If you use a little bit of creativity, a T-shirt can be way more than just a fashion statement.

mental-health-t-shirtLiving With: T-shirts for mental health

The T-shirts do two things: One, they get conversations started about common mental health issues. And two, they help people dealing with mental health issues to feel empowered and accept themselves. Hopefully, they will go a long way towards changing perceptions of mental health.

$2 from the sale of each garment goes to a nonprofit that helps raise awareness of mental health issues on college campuses in the U.S.

Virtuali-Tee: The Ultimate way to learn about the Human Body

The Virtuali-Tee is one of the coolest uses of new technology we’ve seen lately. It works with special codes that are printed on the T-shirts and unlock a free app when they’re read by a smartphone. Then, a realistic 3D anatomical image of what’s inside the human body is recreated on the device’s screen. The image lets you move around and “look inside” the torso as if you had x-ray vision. It also works with virtual reality headsets so you can really get into it. Pretty amazing stuff, right?

gatsby-t-shirtLitographs: bringing the written word back into fashion

With the rise of mobile phones, e-books, tablets, and more, lots of people are choosing to read on their devices rather than pick up a good old-fashioned book. That’s why Litographs tees was started with the aim of reviving that physical connection readers have with a book — by printing the words of a book on a tee.

Their T-shirt designs are created using the text of a classic work of literature, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, On the Origin of Species, and The Great Gatsby. The words are printed over every inch of the shirts, and even though the text is tiny it’s definitely legible.

t-shirt-as-magazineT-Post: the magazine printed on a shirt

Ever wanted to stop and read what somebody’s top says? You’ll probably want to even more if you spot someone wearing a T-Post garments — the world’s first-ever magazine printed on a T-shirt.

Like a physical publication, issues are released monthly. The way they do it is by printing the text on the inside of the piece, and then the outside has a “graphically interpreted print” (sort of like the cover) of what the issue is all about. Topics tend to be part article, part column, and deal with the break-necking pace of modern life.

Up-shirt: T-shirts to reduce waste fabric

Did you know that a factory-made T-shirt can have up to 40% of waste? What that means is that almost half of the resources that go into making a tee are wasted. This includes stuff like cotton, water, transportation costs, factory labour hours, etc… Simply put, there’s a lot of rubbish for so little product.

Instead of just throwing away all that unwanted material, Up-Shirt decided to mass-produce brand-new shirts out of all the leftover stuff. Their tees are so eco-friendly that they reduce each piece’s environmental footprint by 80%!

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Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.