After the success of a charity T-shirt launched for World AIDS Day last year, Sydney designer Chris Cheng has brought the idea back again but this time wants to do it bigger and better.

“Last year was pretty much a test run but after speaking to the AIDS Trust I’ve been able to get their support to roll it out on a bigger level,” Cheng said.

“Last year, with a limited run we were able to raise around $1000. We’ve already raised half that amount from just two hours at this year’s Food and Wine Fair.”

Cheng was inspired to create the T-shirts by a range of AIDS charity tees produced by Belgian designer Martin Margiela that sold in Europe and select stores in Australia a few years ago.

“It’s really humbling to see people doing things without expecting anything in return,” Cheng said.

“It was a great idea, but the contribution to Australia was not that high. I wanted to localise the idea — have it Australian-made and for an Australian charity.”

Cheng described this year’s T-shirt as “fun, sex and athletic”, with an abstract take on the Southern Cross the inspiration for the design.

“The text on the shirt is ‘See the light’ and I was inspired by the Southern Cross, which is iconic in being Australian but carries a broader message of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It just felt right with all the other elements.”

The ‘See the light’ AIDS charity T-shirt is manufactured under Cheng’s fashion label LAB as part of his Defusion line, with 30 percent of profits going to the AIDS Trust.

info: The T-shirt will be available for sale in Australia and Japan in the coming year. To find out more in the meantime contact Chris Cheng at [email protected]

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