Province of Canada, a small apparel company with a made-in-Canada ethos, has released a heather grey T-shirt with the words "Fort Mac" in a neat, black typeface across the chest.
"We didn't want to sit on the sidelines, so we asked, what can we do?" said company co-founder Jeremy Watt. "We wanted to create something that people would want to wear and have that continued awareness, so we used the nickname of Fort McMurray … and kept it simple."
Watt said he and his wife and company co-founder Julie Brown didn't want to brand the disaster, but rather "create a permanent wardrobe reminder."
Part of the proceeds – roughly $15 to $20 of the $48 price a shirt – after production costs will be forwarded to the Salvation Army for relief measures in the northern Alberta town.
Watt said the organization will likely have boots on the ground in Fort McMurray for the next year and need all the support it can get. He should know: He worked at the Salvation Army for five years as a creative director and travelled to Haiti and Sri Lanka after those countries were hit with natural disasters.
"This is going to be a long recovery," he said. "To make something that can sustain that awareness was important to us."
The 100-per-cent cotton T-shirts can be preordered online and will be shipped to customers in mid-June.
Fort Mac T-shirt, $48 at provinceofcanada.com.