By Hal Sheppard
We created the orange “Sweat to E.A.T” shirts for a fundraiser sponsored by our client Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. The shirts are more eco-friendly than cheaper, entry level promotional shirts.
Summer camps have been a large part of my life since I was a kid. I spent several summers as a camp counselor, developing leadership skills and a love of nature that informs better.’s focus on sustainability. My children also all spent summers at camp in their formative years.
So, when we were given the opportunity last October to work with a summer camp, Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, we jumped at the chance to provide T-shirts for an event the camp sponsored. We knew we could create fun shirts the participants would be excited about—and that we could use eco-friendly materials to represent the camp’s, and our, respect for the environment.
What is Camp Mah-Kee-Nac?
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, located in Lenox, Massachusetts, is a summer camp that serves more than 300 boys each summer, providing them with engaging and educational opportunities. The camp’s mission to inspire and educate youth through community resonates with our family because of the fond memories we all developed during our summers away at camp.
The camp is a recurring client for better. by BlueStar, who choose to work with us because of our focus on environmentally friendly products and our personalized production process. I have known the co-director of the camp, Jamie Chadwin, since he was born. After watching him become an educator, a coach, and now an owner of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, I was thrilled to work with him and his wife, Rachel, who is a co-director of the camp.
What was the event?
In October 2019, the camp sponsored a fundraiser for End Allergies Together (E.A.T) at a local Orangetheory Fitness. End Allergies Together is working “to accelerate treatments and cures for the growing food allergy epidemic” by funding scientific and medical research.
Jamie and Rachel invited us to attend the event in September. Their invitation said that they were hosting the fundraiser because many of their campers have food allergies that they are proud to be able to accommodate.
What did we make?
When we got the invitation, we decided we wanted to show our support for a cause that matters to the camp. Rather than just attending the event, we chose to co-sponsor it along with Camp Mah-Kee-Nac and support it by donating printed shirts for all participants free of charge.
The shirts were branded for the fundraiser and included logos for all three co-sponsors. We chose T-shirts made from cotton and recycled polyester as opposed to using the typical promotional shirts. The chosen shirts support “responsible cotton production that optimizes water use, improves soil health and preserves natural habitats” — qualities we believe make these shirts better than alternative options.
“As a summer camp, we are very much aware of our impact on our environment,” Jamie says. “We align with the values of better. by BlueStar.”
Our other work with Camp Mah-Kee-Nac
In addition to making T-shirts for this event, we have collaborated with Jamie and Rachel on numerous other occasions, providing the camp with customized water bottles, hats, blankets, recycled bags, and coffee mugs.
The mugs (shown above) have been given away to families at the camp’s off-season “huddles,” informational events where families can preview the upcoming summer camp session.
A better. Relationship
At better., we pride ourselves on investing in our client relationships. We care about delivering the best quality promotional products to them, but moreover, we care about supporting them holistically. In the case of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, supporting the E.A.T fundraiser allowed us to show them that we care about the values at the core of their business.
“We have the best possible relationship with better.,” Jamie says. “The company helps us develop a vision for each project. There are no angles other than trying to achieve the best possible outcome for our needs. better. by BlueStar is always looking for new innovations in the marketing industry. On top of all that, we trust that the options we are provided are responsible and sustainable.”
Our ongoing work with Camp Mah-Kee-Nac highlights how we continue to help our clients reach better decisions about their promotional product needs. Our commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices sets us apart in an industry too often characterized by waste.
“They are always our first call,” Jamie says.