First of all, let us let you in on a not-so-secret secret.

We are huge believers in products that can impact the world in more ways than one.

It’s a belief at the heart of the mozzie-free tee. It’s the idea that our everyday decisions can have more than everyday significance.

It’s the idea that something ordinary can become extraordinary.

Which leads us to our big confession… Your Honour, we plead guilty to stealing an idea.

In keeping with a defence from Pablo Picasso that may or may not stand up in court – “Good artists copy, great artists steal” – Borne Clothing proudly boasts an ethos that is absolutely taken from others.

It’s a fact we made clear from our first ever pitch:

“We've drawn inspiration from the success stories of ThankYou water, TOMS shoes, and even more local companies like Eat  Your Water. We think that social enterprise is the path to positive, sustainable impact.”

WATCH: Our first ever pitch video

A lot has changed since the pre-pandemic world of August 2019 – jeez, that editing is definitely pre-2020 – and we’ve added a whole bunch of other companies to that list of inspiration: like A_C Official for their ethical sourcing, Novocastrian favourite Lone Clothing Co for their local and design conscious approach, Who Gives a Crap?, for keeping our bums clean and for their commitment to donating 50% of all profits, and Cotopaxi, who not only donate to NothingButNets, but whose founder, Davis Smith, recorded one of our all-time favourite podcast episodes.

But some things have remained the same, like our belief in the power of social enterprise.

Here are three reasons why we we believe in the power of social enterprise (and three reasons why you should buy into it).

1. It’s an idea that works.

Since our inception, we’ve donated $2000AUD to help end mosquito-borne diseases. Our predecessors have shown the power of impact that grows and grows over time; Australian social enterprises Who Gives A Crap and the ThankYou Foundation (who donated a similar amount in their respective first years) have donated over AUD$17 million towards humanitarian goals – all by hydrating people and keeping their bums clean.


Toilet paper and hand soap are the definition of everyday household items – if they can change the world then so can the shirt you’re wearing when you’re wiping your bum or keeping yourself hydrated.

2. It’s an idea that helps.

A critical trait of our funding model is that our money goes towards targeted and intentional relief efforts. That sounds common-sensical, but it has historically been a flaw of social enterprises, especially those that adopt a one-for-one model.

TOMS, for example, pioneered the buy-a-pair to donate-a-pair system, but struggled to find their feet when it came to creating impact. Though they were able to achieve their primary goal of providing better access to footwear, they found it more difficult to demonstrate how that helped push the needle on some of their key goals, like improving school attendance in low-income countries.

Since then, the standards for social enterprise have changed, with clear-cut and intentional donations now becoming the standard for most organisations.

It’s another characteristic that we have proudly thieved. We still tout that our donations have the potential for a one-for-one model – that’s because the money raised from a mozzie-free tee does go towards interventions like bed-nets. And when you help fund a bed-net, you are giving enough protection for two people for up to three years, which means that peace of mind for you means a peaceful sleep for two. It’s a one-for-two model, really.

But if all we did was donate mosquito-nets, we wouldn’t be tackling malaria outside of the bedroom. That’s why we leave the implementation decisions up to our impact partner, NothingButNets. Our relationship with them makes this part of the process incredibly easy, since they clearly demarcate the interventions they intend to carry out in a given period of time.

That’s why we know for sure that when you purchase a shirt this Christmas season, you’ll be funding work in Borno state in Nigeria, a country that alone accounts for more than one quarter of all malaria cases each year.

Specifically? Your purchase will be enabling indoor-residual spraying campaigns – interventions that help keep someone’s home a safe space from malaria.

PS. If you want more info on that, you can head to our recent post, which is now updated with a formal NothingButNets impact report!

The floor is lava. And so is the ceiling. And the walls. But only if you’re a mozzie.

Indoor-residual spraying (IRS) does exactly what it says on the tin. Trained sprayers go from house to house, coating indoor surfaces with a long-lasting (residual) insecticide that incapacitates malaria-vectors (a cool way of saying mosquitos) when they land on them.

You know when you’re chasing a fly around the house and it keeps landing just out of reach on the ceiling? Imagine not having to chase it anymore – that’s how good indoor-residual spraying is.

In fact, the Global Malaria Programme has said that, “the tremendous accomplishments of malaria programmes in Europe, Asia and the Americas, which resulted in hundreds of millions of lives being saved between the 1940s and the 1980s, was largely due to the addition of IRS as a vector-control intervention.”

Which leads us to...

3. It’s an idea that saves you money.

When you buy one gift, you’ll be giving a gift to more than one person, because the Mozzie-Free Tee is the gift that gives.

  • It gives a mozzie-free day to you or your friend or a loved one – whoever the mozzie magnet in your life is.

  • It gives critical tools like indoor-residual spraying to vulnerable people.

  • It gives people time – in a world where one child dies every two minutes from malaria, it makes their childhood home a safer place, and it buys them a more time to enjoy it.

Of all the things we could steal, we don’t think this one is too terrible.

At the very least, we hope we’ll still make Santa’s nice list.

This giving season, give the gift that gives.

July 11, 2022 — Bal Dhital