Brother and sister duo James and Dana Veraldi of Animalia are partnering with artist Donald Robertson on a special t-shirt to benefit the First Nations Communities of Australia. The shirt features and kangaroo and koala holding the Aussie flag on a 100% recycled t-shirt, available for adults and kids. The siblings answered a few question for The Daily about their latest venture and how this adorable (I mean…HOW CUTE!) t-shirt came to life.
Where did the inspiration come from to originally create Animalia?
To bring our worlds of wildlife, fashion, and content together to support wildlife conservation. James is an active investor in the Lao Elephant Initiative, beekeeper, and startup investor and operator. Dana is an animal lover, artist and founder of her own fashion line, DEERDANA. But we created Animalia for our conservation partners. Each of the organizations we work with are hand selected for each animal we support. They are our heroes, they inspire us. They sacrifice everything to be on the ground working to preserve wildlife while getting paid very little to do so. We created this for them. To bring more awareness and support to their work and give everyone an opportunity to go from wildlife enthusiast to conservationist through apparel, content, and experiences they love and feel good about.
How did you partner with Donald?
Donald is a friend of mine from his NYC days. I have always wanted to work with him on a project and this felt like the perfect one! I was visiting his studio in Santa Monica to photograph his twins and explained our desire to create a limited edition shirt to raise money for Australia’s indigenous people and wildlife. Donald immediately painted the art you see on the tees. I am honored to have the first Animalia collaboration of 2020 with an artist and friend I admire so much.
Why did you choose First Nations Communities of Australia to partner with?
What’s happening right now in Australia is devastating. Thankfully so many millions of people have contributed to many wildlife fund such as WIRES or the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. But few outside of Australia even know about First Nations People, let alone contribute to them directly. Their lives are so intertwined with wildlife. Their culture and habits so keen for land preservation. We need to love, learn from, and work collaboratively with all indigenous people globally if we are to maintain the incredible wild ecosystems we have left.
What portion of the proceeds are going to the cause?
100% of profits. For example, our Adult Drawbertson tee is $50. Of this, $15 goes into the shirt itself — the recycled cotton blanks, printing, tags, packaging (always biodegradable). And $5 is set aside so we can gift shirts to various people to either help spread the word or who are connected to the fires. That leaves $30 of gross profit, of which 100% is going to the Fire Relief Fund for First Nations People.
Tell us a little bit about Animalia’s product sourcing for the apparel?
We print on 100% recycled tees made locally in downtown Los Angeles. Our printers are based in Orange County and everything is packed/shipped from our headquarters in LA. Is it very important to us to work with sustainable or recycled fabrics and have a relationship with our printers who we visit regularly.
What’s next for Animalia?
Continue to be great partners to our conservations. To continue to be transparent with our community and followers. New designs, new designer collaborations, more great content from our Weekly Newsletter for wildlife news and stories, and the launch of our first travel experience to Costa Rica this April to volunteer with leatherback sea turtles! If you love wildlife at all, you will love being part of our community and you can contact us anytime for questions about our partners, our process, even our financials. We are an open book!
Click here to order a shirt!