Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

T-shirt fan donates pile to charity

Andi Best who wore nothing but t-shirts for a year amassed a three-yard high pile from around the world which he is handing over to Cancer Research UK to sell on (AndiBest/PA)
Andi Best who wore nothing but t-shirts for a year amassed a three-yard high pile from around the world which he is handing over to Cancer Research UK to sell on (AndiBest/PA)

A man who wore a different t-shirt every day for the last year - even on his wedding day - is donating them all to a cancer charity and said his sister who died from the disease would have "loved" what he did.

Andi Best, 28, from Bexleyheath, Kent, set himself a challenge to wear nothing but t-shirts, and amassed a three-yard high pile from around the world which he is handing over to Cancer Research UK to sell on.

The graphic designer wore shirts from companies and organisations far and wide, and managed to keep them coming in for 12 months.

He called the challenge the THREEHUNDREDANDSIXTEEFIVE Project.

He took pictures of himself in all of them and blogged about them every day - but admits that he overlooked his wedding day when he embarked on the pursuit.

"I wear a lot of t-shirts, which is where I got the idea to do this. But it didn't occur to me there would be so many events and occasions when it might become an issue.

"Black tie events for work, my stag do and Halloween were a bit of problem, but by far the biggest was my wedding," he said.

Turning up at the most important day of his life in a t-shirt was not popular with his Lithuanian-born fiancee Aiste.

"I thought about one of those pretend tuxedo t-shirts but in the end I settled for a white t-shirt with text in Lithuanian on the back saying 'Now I'm trapped'.

"I wore it under a formal shirt for the service but took that off for the reception," he said.

Mr Best acquired well over 365 t-shirts which are taking up masses of space in his home, so he has now donated them to Cancer Research UK to sell in its shops.

"The question people kept asking was what I was going to do with them all. I knew I couldn't keep them. I lost my older sister Tracie seven years ago when her cancer came back for the second time.

"She would have loved my challenge and found something pretty rubbish for me to wear.

"All the girls in my family do the Race for Life every year, so it seemed fitting for me to do something for the same cause."

Mr Best was sent t-shirts from all round the world, including all over Europe, America and Asia.

Often they arrived without much or any explanations of what they were promoting or commemorating.

"There were also rude and lewd shirts and some with overtly sexual connotations so I had to be a bit careful about what I wore or where I wore it to.

"And when I took pictures for my blog, I had to pose carefully to cover up the offensive bits or doctor the photo.

"Sometimes people sent me them to test my gall. My brother Rob got me a particularly awful, ridiculous one with a giant skeleton on it which glows in the dark. I wore that one for Halloween.

"Some were t-shirts which had been made to remember the dead - a custom in some parts of America apparently.

"Other people sent me ones in luminous pink as they knew it would make me look foolish. But there were also some really cool ones," he said.

Lynn Daly, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: "Andi's t-shirt challenge has become a great source of new stock for our shops, which is great.

"I'm sure there will be plenty of bargain-hunters out there ready to snap up some of the weird and wonderful shirts he has amassed in the last 12 months.

"The money the t-shirts raise will help us cure cancer sooner."

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