‘I started it to bring more empowerment toward women’: Fisher alum starts sustainable feminist t-shirt brand during pandemic


Photo provided by Rad Sister

By Kelsey Braun ’22, Editor in Chief

October marks the one-year anniversary of Rad Sister, a sustainable feminist t-shirt company started by St. John Fisher College alumn Natalie Gates.

In 2020 when Gates realized that most of the clothes in her wardrobe were women empowering t-shirts, she knew she wanted to start her very own t-shirt company. 

“I don’t know how to be different because it just seems like everybody is buying the same things from these big corporations. I was like, ‘I want to make a small business, but I want to give back to communities that don’t have as much.’” 

All the Rad Sister t-shirt designs are conceptualized by Gates and designed by women graphic design artists that she hires. “Personally, I’m a feminist, I love talking about social issues. I support women and them breaking barriers down,” she said.

With a bringing women-together theme across the brand, the t-shirts are also made of recycled materials or organic cotton.

Photo provided by Rad Sister

“We donate 10%  of our profit to different organizations that support women,” said Gates. “My specific interest is continuing women’s education or assisting them in getting out of unsafe relationships, whether that be domestic violence or sexual violence.”

For now, a majority of her customers are based on the East coast, with some in Denver, Colorado, where she currently lives.

Looking toward the future, Gates hopes to eventually have collections out every season and a partnership with a storefront to increase the amount of money she is donating.

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