H-shirt is a brand for the Arab youth, it’s about artistic silk screen printing on clothes, that are of high quality, affordable prices, and do stand out with really unique designs. in order to enrich the Arabic content in the clothing industry. H-shirt aims to help people worldwide to express themselves through what they wear.
How did it come to light?
Hisham, a 24 y/o Lebanese engineer, has been having a dream for many years, of creating high quality printing on our outfits that we would relate to, unlike what we ‘re used to.
“My dream of stylish clothes that convey youthful culture, enable us to express and have more confidence in in our positive ideas and ourselves, was for a long period of time, a mere wish.”
He adds: “but in 2014 that dream became a burning desire that must be fulfilled. So after numerous experiments and research in the field of printing, the goal was met by using the most significant and deep-rooted approach, “silk screen printing”
From there, what was a dream progressively evolved to become a micro business, through personal funding and very limited resources.
“Our business started growing bigger and better to achieve multiple accomplishments, so we decided to focus all of our time, effort, and skill on our startup to make it reach all Lebanon, then the whole world.” Says Rayane (co-founder and CMO of H-shirt).
H-shirt works on producing shirts of all sizes, and types (hoodies, T-shirts, sweatshirts…) in addition to Hijabs and handbags with youthful, high quality printed, special designs (calligraphy, motivational quotes, adverbs, slogans of causes…)
Also, H-shirt targets organizations, NGOs, businesses, and groups (art, sports, cause, grad…). So basically all groups interested in their members’ look in terms of quality and creative message.
The team and workshops
In 2014 the idea was put into action by Hisham Nabelsi (founder), Rayan AlAli and Rashed Nabelsi as the assisting team.
The workshop began at home, with really primitive and home tools (ironing board, hair drier, second hand wood, spoons…), because of the scarcity of resources. Regardless of that, during its first year in business, H-shirt managed to make unique, and high quality printed shirts, which did not only sell quite well in the Lebanese market, but also in the international market as well, thanks to social media.
Thus, the startup’s story did impress many newspapers and channels, we had two documentaries about us for both "NOW" and "AL JAZEERA documentary" which made a visit to the working space of H-shirt and shed the light to a successful Lebanese startup, that proved to be special even though it started from scratch.
In 2016, the team was determined on getting funded, because the demand of the market really got higher, and the position the startup was at, was not at all compatible to meet the needs and become a major competitor. So with a proposal to BIAT (business incubation association in Tripoli), H-shirtwas given a workshop and meeting space, plus business consultation.
At that stage that might’ve been the last before fading away, the team won at Tripoli youth entrepreneurs competition resulting in a grant of 15000$. That was a great boost of motivation and hope to not let go.
So H-shirt launched its website, leading to much easier reach and communication, that consists of the creative designers from all over the world showing what they got for the youth, so that people would be able to customize their clothes, to reflect what they do personally relate to, and by that, making the dream come true.
H-shirt is looking for funding from Lebanese investors who believe in innovative ideas and ambitious hard working teams, in order to widen the current market segments targeted, and attract more and more out of the box Arab designers, to really spread the concept of self-expression.
In the days to come, the startup will be present at all the exhibitions in Lebanon related to art, fashion and culture, and this website is an important step towards achieving the aspired goal.