As a high schooler, Maanvi Nagireddy was motivated to spread awareness about social issues. In 2018 she started a clothing business, Written On Cloth, designing and selling shirts to donate profits to nonprofit organizations.
“No one in my community was talking about the issues that were relevant and important to talk about,” said Nagireddy, a sophomore environmental science and biology major. “I believe that these stories need to be shared.”
Written on Cloth is a company that designs and sells shirts promoting awareness of relevant social issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, gun control and Black Lives Matter. This summer, the company donated profits from their COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter shirts to Project C.U.R.E., which distributes medical supplies to communities in need, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The company describes their designs as minimalist, with basic black and white designs. This summer, their shirts displayed ‘support out healthcare workers’ on a medical mask and ‘NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE’ with raised fists.
When she came to Temple University, Nagireddy decided to expand the business into Philadelphia and support more social causes.
With Kashish Patel, Kelsey Jernegan and Olivia Bishop by her side, the four Temple students focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“These two issues have been at the forefront this year, so we felt it was important to put our other ideas on hold to support issues that are having the biggest impact in the present,” said Patel, a sophomore neuroscience major.
Patel draws the designs on paper and shows them to the team for their opinions before finalizing the design using online software, she said.
The process can take up to a few weeks depending on the amount of designs and how complex they are, Patel added.
The team is taking on social issues in their work and learning to run a business as college undergraduates. Because they are passionate about the business, it is easy to set time aside to work on designs, Patel said.
“It can be tough handling a business while managing classes, but it’s also really exciting because we get to do something bigger than ourselves,” said Bishop, a sophomore psychology major.
Nagireddy enjoys that she can publically share her support and opinions on different issues through the company.
The amount of support and appreciation they’ve received from the community adds to their motivation to keep the operation running, Nagireddy said. This summer, Written On Cloth sold about 400 shirts and raised more than $2,000, she added.
The team plans to redirect their efforts to focus on the Philadelphia community by researching and reaching out to organizations within the North Central neighborhood. They want to continue to bring awareness to issues that may not directly affect all Temple students, but affect the surrounding community, Patel said.
“Every voice deserves to be heard,” Nagireddy said.
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