This Is Your Kid's Future Favorite Shirt

There are no violent graphics or giant logos on these soft, durable tees.

Living Loudly t-shirt

Living Loudly

Sometimes it only takes a shopping trip to change your life. When Shannon Murray-Doffo headed out to buy a shirt for her four-year-old son in 2019, little did she imagine it would be the spark to start her own kid-friendly clothing company. What Murray-Doffo found at not one but six different children's clothing boutiques was that boys' clothing is a chronic disappointment. 

"Every store had a very small supply of boys' clothing way in the back that was in muted grays, blacks or white – I mean, who buys white for a four-year old boy? The graphics on the shirts were of two varieties, either giant rubbery logos across the chest or grown man or monster mid-battle. I remember coming home deflated, empty-handed, and disappointed."

This bothered her, as she felt the fashion industry was sending a damaging message to little boys – that their clothes don't matter as much as girls', due to their location in the store and far fewer options, and that they should aspire to be violent. 

She decided to start her own apparel company called Living Loudly (reflective of the decibel level in her own family's home). The result is a collection of t-shirts with fun, whimsical, and non-violent designs that appeal to boys and their parents, as well as many little girls. 

elephant tee

Living Loudly

The fabric is a soft blend of viscose or rayon from bamboo, organic cotton, and spandex, the kind of material that makes a kid keep reaching for the same shirt day after day, and will stand up to hours of rough physical play. They're made in China right now, but there's a new line coming out that will be manufactured in Mexico from US-grown cotton. As Murray-Dofo told Treehugger, "I would have loved to make everything in the US, but most of Los Angeles has been shut down due to the impact of COVID-19."

The t-shirts are shipped in a plastic-free, zero-waste cardboard tube that doubles as shipping container and packaging. Inside, the shirt is wrapped in a sheet of seed paper, which will sprout wildflowers when planted. A story is printed on the paper, to entertain and educate the child about valuable lessons: "From developing self-control and healthy emotional expression to discovering the importance of being heard, our short stories give families fun, easy, and teachable moments."

Being the innovative entrepreneur that she is, Murray-Doffo didn't stop at t-shirts. While conducting market research into her target audience, she spent a lot of time on online parenting forums to follow trending topics. There she noticed that several themes came up repeatedly. She said,

"These questions broke out into two categories: 1) How do I help my 3- to 8-year-old with the fundamentals of becoming a good human? 2) How do I manage all the things that are thrown at me as a parent and still tread water, like nurturing my relationship with a significant other or taking care of a postpartum body? As I was taking in all of this data, I started thinking about the experts that have come into my life at one point or another and how we could work together to more broadly answer these really important questions."
tiger t-shirt

Living Loudly

Living Loudly's parenting workshops were born – perhaps a surprising companion to a t-shirt company, but also logical, since many of the same people buying the shirts are looking for guidance on how to be better parents. Living Loudly created a series of seven workshops led by licensed marriage and family therapists and a physical therapist. These are pre-recorded and available on-demand, which means parents can watch on their own time. 

If your child needs a new shirt or two, this is definitely a company worth checking out. Learn more at Living Loudly.