Inspired by a casual chat between father and daughter, CPTN shirts originated as a family project amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. A small venture by James Hamilton, an Australian expat based in Dubai, it initially comprised happy-go-lucky shirts, also called ‘Happy’ shirts, with loud colours and striking prints placed on fabrics procured from local markets in the UAE.
In 2021, a transformative encounter with a textile owner in Dubai, Jeetu Balani, owner of DIA textiles, blossomed into a splendid partnership, propelling the brand beyond its initial Hawaiian shirt-inspired roots to embrace a Dubaiian identity — a fusion of colour, style, and premium fabrics.
From Hawaiian to Dubaiian
“The concept of Dubaiian emerged because globally, everyone tends to label these shirts as Hawaiian. People look at it and automatically say, ‘Oh, it’s a Hawaiian shirt’. We wanted to challenge that perception. We wanted individuals, when they visited Dubai, to proudly say, ‘I bought this in Dubai,’” says Balani, an Indian expat born and raised in Dubai.
Headquartered in the heart of Bur Dubai’s textile souk under the umbrella of DIA Textiles, the brand has a concept kiosk at Time Square Centre, where they specialise in customising clothing, retailing fabrics, and showcasing their trademark shirts, amid various other spots in the city where you can find their ‘Dubaiian’ shirts.
However, what started as a feel-good side hustle in the pandemic has now metamorphosed into a powerful uniting force, bringing people together from different nationalities, to show solidarity in the face of human suffering. Recently, adding to their collection of funky shirts, the co-owners introduced a unique ‘Keffiyeh Watermelon Shirt’ in support of Palestine, which is now being purchased by people across the country and abroad.
“Stepping out of my house one fine day, a gentleman noticed my shirt and said, ‘I love your shirt. Where did you get it?’ I proudly replied, ‘We made this shirt’. As he continued to look at it, he expressed his desire to support Palestine, suggesting, ‘Can you add a watermelon?’ Without hesitation, we created it for him, just a single piece initially. He wore it, loved it, and encouraged us to make more,” recounts Hamilton.
A design for Palestine
Little did Hamilton know that an idea inspired by a family friend would take over social media, with influential figures now wearing CPTN shirts to show solidarity with the humanitarian cause.
Among the prominent personalities to wear the shirts were Helen Farmer, a UAE-based radio host and Alanoud Badr, founder and designer of Fozaza, which sparked a chain reaction, leading to an influx of orders.
For every shirt purchased at Dh250, CPTN shirts contribute Dh100 to charities and relief campaigns supporting people affected by the war in Gaza, including Tarahum for Gaza and the Palestinian Children’s Refugee Fund. The watermelon symbol, which has long been associated with showing support for Palestine, stitched on the shirt serves as a visual representation of solidarity, with proceeds being directed towards supporting organisations and initiatives that aid the Palestinian community.
Already having completed their first payout to the charities, the co-owners also stress upon the need to maintain full transparency when it comes to their charitable contributions. “We’re operating this line exclusively online because we don’t want to be perceived as the face of it. It’s not about us; our goal is to find a way to offer support. So, it’s all online, where the funds can be segregated directly and we can emphasise that this is a charity operation,” says Hamilton, adding that information regarding their payouts will all be available on their social media.
The co-owners, who have already sold hundreds of shirts to people not only in the UAE but also abroad, are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for the shirts. “This cause is uniting a lot of people. Especially, in a city like Dubai, which has people from all over, there are Lebanese expats, Egyptians expats ordering the shirts. We’ve got orders from probably every ethnicity in Dubai. In fact, we’ve also got orders from the US for these shirts,” says Balani.
Clothing as a language
Fashion acts as a dynamic and versatile form of self-expression, allowing individuals to communicate their identity, values, and mood through the language of clothing. The wardrobe becomes a canvas, and personal style serves as a brushstroke, reflecting one’s unique tastes and preferences. Beyond aesthetics, clothing in this context also serves as a non-verbal language, expressing emotions, beliefs, and personal narratives, enabling individuals to articulate who they are and how they perceive the world, without uttering a word.
At times like these, fashion can help people communicate what words cannot. “Fashion is something that speaks for itself,” says Balani. “Clothing can allow people to communicate their silent struggle in a powerful manner.”
As human beings, there’s more uniting us than dividing us, adds Hamilton. “One of the most remarkable aspects of being in Dubai is the diversity of the place. I’m originally from Australia and my business partner Jeetu is from a completely different part of the world. Despite our different backgrounds, both of us are driven by a shared belief.”
“There are people suffering — children, families, women, the elderly, pregnant women — the list goes on. If two individuals, hailing from completely different places can align their efforts towards addressing global concerns, why can’t others? Even if we’re able to help a tiny part of the population, it’s a huge achievement,” says Balani.
Damon Arnette, 2020 first-round draft pick, arrested on gun, meth charges last month; lawyers push back
Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals conditions for playing events after ‘stage fright’
Cloudbeds unveils annual State of Independent Lodging Report
Kentucky Senate votes for nuclear energy development as coal industry declines
40 migrants found sleeping in Queens basement after e-bike battery tip
The Best Moisturizing Body Washes I’ve Tried for My Super Dry Skin
Get Caught Up in Sydney Sweeney's Euphoric People's Choice Awards 2024
Beyoncé Revealed She’s Dealt With Scalp Psoriasis While Promoting Her New Hair Care Line
People Who Have Had COVID Face a Much Higher Risk of Chronic Fatigue, Study Says
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Fired Back at Critics With 3 Words After Sussex Website Rebrand, Canada Trip
The UK Is GPS-Tagging Thousands of Migrants
Wendy Williams Wanted out of Marriage to ‘Serial Cheater’ Ex-Kevin Hunter for 20 Years
Kensington Palace Gives Brief Update on Kate Middleton’s Illness
Could Meghan Markle Dust off Her Briefcase for ‘Deal or No Deal’ Role on Reboot Series?
The Beachwaver B1 Is the Curling Iron of My Dreams
Tech24 hours ago
Updates From the Game of Thrones Spinoffs, Blood and Honey 2, and More
Lifestyle23 hours ago
Denis Villeneuve: ‘Movies Have Been Corrupted by Television’ and a ‘Danger in Hollywood’ Is Thinking About ‘Release Dates, Not Quality’
News17 hours ago
In wake of Flaco the owl’s death, New York City lawmaker working on 2 new bills to protect birds
Auto23 hours ago
This Wild Amphibious Prototype Was Built By TVR’s Former Owner. It Still Runs And Drives
Lifestyle23 hours ago
How Keke Palmer Celebrated Son Leo on His First Birthday
Politics23 hours ago
Latest 2024 election news: Michigan primary presents next challenge for Republicans, Democrats
Sport22 hours ago
I was Rugby World Cup poster boy but I’m skipping Six Nations for another game
Sport22 hours ago
Grand Canyon baseball player gets ejected following game-tying grand slam after bat flip