The devil wears poverty rates

What could be more hipster than development statistics?

Dear creators of StatAttak, designers of development statistics-based clothes,

Today I stumbled upon your website, thanks to the twitter feed of Texas In Africa. I read your insightful story on how you came to care about development statistics:

…we came across “Life Expectancy at Birth.” Andorra was the highest with 83.51 years, and all the way at the bottom was Mozambique with 31.1 years. This shocked and horrified us, especially since the average age of our small company is just under 28 years old. We spent the next couple of weeks telling this horrible statistic to everyone we met. Everyone we told was as shocked and appalled as we were. We quickly realized that telling people individually was gonna take too long, so we came up with the idea of StatAttak – a t-shirt line based on statistics that people should be aware of. This way people would become walking billboards for these stats, and they would help spread the word. The hope is that once you see these numbers, you can’t help but want to change them.

What a fantastic idea – instead of donating money to charities have a reasonable chance of helping the poor, I can instead shell out $25 for a stylish, if illegible, t-shirt which will help raise that immeasurable asset of “awareness,” albeit only after some confused, drunken explanations at the parties I will be attending with said shirt.

Thank you StatAttak, for taking the context out of the statistics, allowing me to “make people want to change them”, even if I’m not giving them the slightest clue how best to do so.


Matt Collin

PS – Even with my boring, un-statistical clothing, I get the feeling that I’m always a few years behind the fashion trends. T-shirts with time-varying statistics on them might go out of fashion a little faster (then again, even if Angola’s poverty rate is lower a year later, who’s going to know, right?)

Fighting corruption through fashion

From the BBC:

The country’s anti-corruption body said there had been growing complaints about staff at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport.

A spokesman said trousers without pockets would help the authorities “curb the irregularities”

Perhaps we could carry this further: presidents and finance ministers without bank accounts?

Hat tip to MR; I couldn’t help but laugh at the first commenter: