Chari-Tees

By Kinsee Morlan / photo by Greg Cali

It's been a stylish summer for Louis XIV. In July, the local rock band's drummer, Mark Maigaard, and his business partner, Erin Goss, launched Sound Off Apparel (soundoffapparel.org), an online clothing company that enables bands to express themselves artistically while raising awareness and cash for their causes.

"A lot of bands have causes and charities they're passionate about, but they don't always have the right avenue," says Goss, who lives with Maigaard in South Park. "We're helping bands give back by making it easy and accessible."

Sound Off Apparel creates limited-edition band t-shirts in collaboration with local artists. Each month, the company enlists the help of a different local band, which assists in conceptualizing the t-shirt design and picking the charity that will receive nearly 50 percent of proceeds from sales of the tees.

One of Sound Off Apparel's goals is to educate fans as to their favorite bands' causes. Maigaard says supporters of certain causes also stumble upon bands that share their passion, potentially becoming new fans in the process.

"It's about raising awareness all around," he says.

San Diego bands Transfer, Low Volts, Flaggs and Blackout Party have collaborated with Sound Off Apparel so far. The Silent Comedy's t-shirt will be featured in October, with proceeds benefitting International Justice Mission, a nonprofit that helps victims of human trafficking.

The clothing company is still young, but initial feedback has been good - so good, plans for going global are already in the works.

"We definitely want to keep the ball rolling on this," Maigaard says.

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