In 2018, a child was dying from malaria every two minutes. To put that into perspective, this post will take from 4-6 minutes to read.

When you’re dealing with numbers like that, calculating the death toll of a passing hour or day or week is heart-wrenching. At some point, the figures become too large to believe, and the faces and names become numbers. And numbers sometimes fail to do justice to the stories of individual struggle.

This is a classic example of compassion fatigue - the phenomenon of a finite emotional capacity to respond to a traumatic reality. It's a response to the emotional demands of a task; we can empathise with the stories of a few, but spreading it to the thousands stretches us too thin. It's a normal response in the face of natural disasters or wars or things that threaten the health of our global community.

Malaria is one such threat. More than that, it is also an example of how harsh realities can become part of what we take for granted. A classic pub trivia answer is that mosquitoes have led to the death of more humans than anything else that has ever lived. In spite of that infamous title, we are yet to come close to mitigating the threat that they pose. Here's some trivia for you:

In the World Health Organisation's 2016 Malaria Report, what problem is highlighted as the most prominent issue in the fight against malaria?

A. Insufficient understanding of malaria as a disease
B. A lack of sustainable funding for effective prevention
C. An absence of medications that can treat the disease

The correct answer is B.
Malaria is understood. Cures exist. Preventive tools – so much better than cures – are cheap and effective. The missing piece is the money.

In 2018, a total of USD $2.7 billion was raised to eradicate malaria, a far cry short of the 5 billion that was needed to reach key global targets. The cruel reality of the situation is that our success is tied to money.  Malaria is understood. Cures exist. Preventive tools are cheap, effective and accessible. The single biggest obstacle to progress is sustainable, stepped-up funding. 

We think that social enterprise is the missing piece to the puzzle; it empowers individuals to engage with big issues of global health on an intimate level, and can fill fill in the hole left by compassion fatigue with common ground. The narrative we want to write is that social good can be created when people are connected through shared experience. Our shared experience is the mosquito bite. A swarm of mozzies might ruin my evening, but elsewhere it will ruin a life.  The solution to mosquito-borne disease lies in that connection, and in the choice that is set before us to tackle this shared challenge together.

Our garments are designed to solve problems for both communities - two mosquitos, one organic-cotton mosquito-repellent stone. Here’s how it works.

We create ethically and sustainably sourced clothing that is mosquito-repellent. Half of the profits from each garment fund the work of our impact partner, Nothing But Nets – they’re a UN Foundation grassroots campaign working across Sub-Saharan Africa and South America to end malaria for good. With the systems they already have in place, we can make sure that when you buy a mozzie-free tee, you help mitigate the burden of mosquitos overseas. That means a mozzie-free day for you, as well as an insecticide-treated net over a child’s bed, and preventive medications to a pregnant woman, and training for a local healthcare worker to empower people in the practices of effective prevention.


borne suffix/verb: carried by

We make human-borne clothing that tackles mosquito-borne disease and lets you wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s all underpinned by a very simple idea.

Our choices matter. They reflect the world we want to build around us.

Our clothing choices are no different. They’re an insight into who we are and the world we want to build for our shared future. Our clothing is designed to reflect a world in which people don’t have to be afraid of a disease like malaria, and in which the place you are born doesn’t put you at the mercy of a ruthless yet entirely preventable disease.

 We want to give you something that embodies your commitment to the people and places around you. Something more than the sum of gold coin donations and social media posts. Something that doesn’t demand to be in your every passing thought to know that you haven’t forgotten its importance.

That’s why a mozzie-free tee is three things.

  1. A mozzie-free tee is a physical reminder of our shared experience.

  2. A mozzie-free tee is a piece of clothing for peace of mind.

  3. A mozzie-free tee is a call to action.

The world is changed by people power and people power is nothing more than the sum of our individual parts. We don’t need to look any further than mozzies to see the big impact created by many smaller actions.

tl;dr mosquito-repellent clothing + social enterprise - compassion fatigue = end malaria for good

So that’s the elevator pitch, and there’s more than enough room for you to jump in with us.

June 29, 2022 — Bal Dhital