Saturday, December 5, 2009

Acts of Random Kindness - A Challenge and a Giveaway

Did you see the article about kindness in The Sunday Times Style Magazine last weekend? Apparently "it’s suddenly rather sexy to be kind." Which is great news for the Irish clothing company ARK, a company founded on the idea of kindness. ARK stands for Acts of Random Kindness Ltd and they are dedicated to making the world a nicer place to live with one simple yet powerful idea; every time you wear their t-shirts you perform one act of random kindness. Buy a stranger an icecream, give up your seat on the bus, make your Mum a cup of tea. Its a small thing to do but it could really make someone's day. And as they said so well in the Sunday Times "Kindness has an almost explosive quality: tiny acts swell far beyond their original size and scope." So ultimately one small act of random kindness is a step towards making the world a better place.

I started looking around and saw that people weren't just buying clothing, they were buying an identity to adopt a way of life. Instead of putting on a t-shirt to be someone great, why couldn't you wear one to do something great?

- Cameron Stewart, Director.

There is a range of ethically produced, 100% cotton ladies and lads t-shirts, polo shirts and long sleeved tops. On the front is the opening line of the ARK story "So I have this idea..." while the story continues on the back shoulder. The shirt acts as a powerful reminder, giving the wearer a unique awareness for the world around them and the power they have to make someone's day. ARK is an opportunity to link positive social action with fashion...or make the world a better place while looking stylish.

'When you're wearing Ark, you're on the look out. What can I do? Who could I help? It's not like wearing any old t-shirt. There's this tingle of anticipation when you throw it on in the morning, not knowing where it will lead you'

-Cameron Stewart, Founder.

When I first heard about ARK I got really excited. It’s such a simple but wonderful idea. And the Christmas Season is the perfect time for kindness. These T-shirts would make great Christmas presents. (I have at least one person in mind for one already!) However its also a really good time for all of us to step away from the computer for a while and go and do something kind. So I've got a Challenge for you...

Do one Act of Random Kindness this week then email me ( to tell me what your ARK was, what happened and how you got on. I'll share these stories on the blog in the run up to Christmas, hopefully giving us all more ideas and inspiration for acts of kindness over the Christmas Season. In addition to the sense of satisfaction you'll get from making the world a nicer place for someone, you'll also be entered in a draw for the ARK t-shirt of your choice, thanks to the kind people at ARK HQ.

If you need any ideas or inspiration for your Acts of Random Kindness check out the ARK Facebook Page where they are suggesting a different ARK every day in the run up to Christmas, and you can also read about some of the ARKs they've done in the past. (Everything from giving out Rice Krispie buns to bringing in the turf, the photos are great!) Or read this inspiring interview by Blaubushka with Cameron Stewart, Director and Sáileog O Halloran, the ARK fashion expert. Your ARK doesn't have to be a big dramatic thing (although obviously it can be if you want!). It can be something small like buying a chocolate bar and leaving it in a vending machine for the next person to find or making a cup of tea for someone in your office. So don't procrastinate... step away from the computer and find someone to ARK!

Hand out Rice Krispie Buns

Give free guitar lessons

...or high-fives!

So to summarise:

  1. Do one Act of Kindness between now and next Monday 14th December.
  2. Email me at about your ARK before midnight Monday 14th December (Irish time!) with "ARK Challenge" in the subject line.
  3. I will post some of the stories on the blog in the run up to Christmas so if you don't want me to publish your name or story for any reason let me know.
  4. I will put the names of anyone who emails me into a hat and pull out one name to win the ARK t-shirt of their choice.



Susie Bubble said...

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers..." don't ask me why this post made me think of this quote...

Emy Augustus said...

tee hee hee I recognize your profile picture! I used it in a post one time. It was this weird midnight-ish post about being on my period...

i think i did a search of 'red' and it reminded me of blood?

Susie Bubble said...

I will try to do an ARK... but it could be pretty random...

Little Monarch said...

oh what a wonderful idea!!!!!!!! the world needs more RAK!

Anonymous said...

Why are ethically produced clothes nearly always plain and uninteresting!? Great cause but hugely unimaginative!

FashionsLaboratory said...

What a good idea, not so much an act of 'random' kindness but the boys i work with just jump started my very dead car, an act of kindness either way!!

Sabine said...

What an amazing marketing ploy... The act of kindness is a beautiful idea, but do I need their t-shirt for it? (Or do you think I've been working in the marketing field for too long?)

miss milki said...

Thanks for all your comments! Can't wait to hear about the ARKs you do. :)

chicknamedhermia: I know these are just plain t-shirts but maybe sometime I'll do a post on more interesting ethically produced clothes. There is some good stuff out there but its hard to find and usually expensive.

Sabine: I understand your cynicism, I'm usually a bit like that myself! But I think this is more about the act of kindness than the t-shirts themselves. Of course you don't need the t-shirt to do it! Its just a reminder. Also all the profits from the sale of the t-shirts go back into the company & the ARK movement.

Ronan said...

Hey Miss Milki, It's Ronan here, I run Ark° with Cam. Really nice post, appreciate you spreading the good word!

I just wanted to respond to chicknamedhermia. I agree that their plain and perhaps subjectively uninteresting but that's because they were designed by myself and Cam who have no fashion or design experience! We just wanted to keep them classic and focus on the material, colour, and stitching and let the idea do the talking. But we are bringing on board a fashion design expert and / or collaborating with an internationla design house so future ranges will be full of fun. Alternatively, if ye guys have ideas of how to viually represent the brand, I'd love to hear from you: ronan @

Re: Sabine. We're in this for kindness and thought the best way for our message to gain traction was to link it with something tangible. We all forget to be kind so it's nice to have something in your wardrobe to get you out there making the world a better place. There are also no dividends in the company so no personal gain apart from a modest wage. All the money we make is reinvested back into our movement and our nice message of 'Arking'. :)

If you get a chance, join our Ark challenge on facebook!

If anyone wants to join us on our projects, just give us a shout on our website.