WORK: The Unseen’s Silver Lining project

Creative studio and ‘material exploration’ house The Unseen is selling T-shirts customised by artists and designers to raise money for charity. Shirts were donated by ASOS after the retailer used The Unseen’s logo without the studio’s permission…

The Unseen makes clothing and accessories that respond to the environment. It has made garments that change colour in response to heat, touch and wind, an iridescent piece of clothing that reflects its wearer’s mood and a range of reactive accessories for department store Selfridges. Behind the scenes, the studio is also investigating how its colour-changing inks can be used in science and healthcare.

Last year, the company filed a copyright infringement complaint against ASOS after the retailer began selling T-shirts featuring its logo – a circle with the ‘The Unseen’ written underneath in serif text – without its permission.

ASOS was ordered to stop selling the t-shirts and eventually donated unsold ones to The Unseen. Rather than destroy the shirts or sell them at cost price, The Unseen decided to ask artists and designers to customise them before auctioning them off to raise money for charity.

Creatives were asked to express what ‘the unseen’ means to them. Designs range from typographic approaches to collages and abstract patterns and contributing artists include Kit Miles, Emma Lundgren, Bobby Baker and Daughter musician Elena Tonra.

T-shirts will be sold anonymously at an event in London on November 18 and proceeds will be donated to two charities: Paintings in Hospitals and Daily Life Ltd. (Both use art and design to help hospital patients and their families). Artists will be revealed after the secret sale and T-shirts will be on display in a free exhibition on November 19 and 20.

Places for the secret sale and exhibition are limited – to book or to find out more, see