Clothing for anyone and everyone.
Founded and written by Ashley Ross
Spill the tee
identiTee is a gender-neutral clothing business offering a variety of products for anyone and everyone. The aim is to raise awareness and show support for anti-bullying particularly within minority communities such as LGBTQ+ and BAME. I, Ashley Ross, want it to be the product choice for all genders and bridge the gap between male and female clothing within the fashion industry; it allows everyone to express who they are freely no matter what their identity.
Make it rain
identiTee now sells tees, sweatshirts and caps with the iconic, colourful ‘everyone.’ embroidery design in the centre of each garment for an inclusive look. £1 from every t- shirt sale is donated to the charity of the month with the aim of supporting Diversity Role Models in July for Pride Month. Diversity Role Models aims to embed inclusion and empathy into the next generation by embracing diversity and allowing individuals to thrive in this environment. They do this by creating safe spaces, offering workshops and talks in schools, and training school governors, teachers, and parents/carers.
Previously, identiTee has supported Young Epilepsy, a charity with the desire to create better conditions for young people with epilepsy and associated conditions. They want to remove the stigma and discrimination surrounding the condition by providing research and expert information whilst influencing policy and thought. I know first-hand how epilepsy can affect an individual. My sister, Bethany, was diagnosed with the condition in 2011, hence she was one of the reasons I wanted identiTee to give back to her and other young people in the same situation. I show my support as much as I can by raising awareness of epilepsy through social media campaigns like Purple Day and donating to charities including Young Epilepsy.
Clothing for anyone and everyone.
How it all began and how the magic happens
My journey of identiTee started when I found out I was one of four students selected to complete the Year in Enterprise at University of Leeds! I completed a strenuous application process which involved pitching my business idea to a panel of five people (Dragon Den style) with them asking some tricky questions at the end. It was quite a daunting experience for me but certainly worth it as I was the first International Business and Marketing student ever chosen to take it!
The idea stemmed from our University Rugby team’s End of Season Dinner... I wanted to wear a jazzy suit for the event (something quite out there) but after having a lil’ browse online, I discovered there were very limited options for men’s suits let alone women’s. I eventually found a suit which I loved but did some more research on the clothing industry succeeding the event. It turned out there were hardly any gender-neutral clothing stores or non-binary sections in fashion retailers. It was time for a change. Hence, I developed the idea of identiTee: gender neutral clothing for anyone and everyone.
The year has given me opportunities to do things I could never have dreamt of. I have got involved with networking sessions with Enterprise Ambassadors such as Bec Evans who later released a book and invited me to join her panel of entrepreneurs to discuss ‘How to have a Happy Hustle: Making Ideas Happen’ greatly increasing my confidence.
Although I run the business alone, there are so many people that help me out and have helped me to make identiTee what it is today, I really can’t thank them enough for it all. I worked closely with graphic designers, other Marketeers, branding professionals and the University to help me develop this idea. I have had a mass of support from an array of people particularly my personal tutor, Brian Baillie, who helped me with pitching, confidence and contact opportunities; Tom Allchurch, an alumnus of the University who aided the development of my ideas and gave advice on my current business situation; the Women’s Rugby Team particularly Lucy Ridler who constantly poses for cheeky pics in identiTee-wear and helps me to promote the idea across campus; and finally, my mum who’s been there since the beginning through the ups and downs of the whole journey and got me through it all.
Green Green Green!
The tees and caps are made from 100% cotton with the sweatshirts comprising 75% cotton and 25% polyester; all identiTee products are vegan friendly and stem from 100% recycled cotton trimmings! identiTee has the desire of exploring more designs featuring community supportive concepts like VOIS (mentioned below).
A label without the labels.
identiTee clothes are for anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter your size, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or background; everyone is invited to wear identiTee clothing. And this is one of the reasons identiTee doesn’t use size labels in its clothing. It’s simple: a tee with an identiTee label to welcome clothing for everyone.
identiTee’s got your back
Check out our website for help with bullying, LGBTQ+, BAME and disability support. There are a number of websites and hotlines with information on how you can get help for yourself or someone else.
All products are available in black and white and in an array of sizes from S – XXL.
Caps - £8
Tees - £15
Sweatshirts - £25
Use this discount code for 15% off everything: AMBERMAG
VOIS stands for the Voice in Our Society. The idea stemmed from people becoming the change in our society and using our voices to express that. The campaign aims to creatively involve all members of the community to support the progression of fashion regarding gender-neutral garments to demonstrate more support in minority communities. identiTee chats to an array of people in our society, giving them the chance to share their experiences of equality and diversity helping to raise awareness of the issues. It is something identiTee loves to celebrate! Our aim for the future is to use these stories and transform them into design illustrations; giving those the chance to see their experiences through an art-form. This would demonstrate support for others who may have a different story but the same feeling as another.
Please get in contact if you want to share your story!
IdentiTee gets involved in a number of community projects within the Yorkshire region. I’ve attended street engagement sessions with the Angels of Freedom group setup in 2014 by Rob Wilson, a great activist of LGBT rights. We patrol the Freedom Quarter of Leeds on Friday evenings to ensure everyone is having a fun and safe night. We raise awareness of the support groups on offer to them or simply invite them over for a chat. The community group has also meant I can attend hate crime workshops deepening my understanding of how identiTee can truly support minority groups.
Other volunteering programmes identiTee helps with is the AGE UK Out in Leeds Programme. I act as a facilitator for the group once a month and run sessions to reduce social isolation for elderly LGBT people. We have film days, discussions, museum trips and café visits; it is a great way to talk to more people in our community and aid their wellbeing.
Keep in touch with identiTee!
Photographer: Rosa Gallop | Models: Mel Irawo; Lucy Ridler | Concept: Ashley Ross
Clothing for anyone and everyone.