hessnatur (www.hessnatur.com), the leading global pioneer in organic apparel, and Planet Green (www.planetgreen.com), the first and only 24-hour multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment, have announced the official submission call for “The Eco-Tee Design Challenge” at www.planetgreen.com/ecotee — a rare opportunity for budding designers and green crusaders to make an environmental statement and a name for themselves at the same time.

The contest, which is designed to highlight the positive impact just one simple organic tee can have on the world, offers the American public a chance to create a limited edition organic tee that will be sold internationally and credited to the winner. The official date for entries is August 1, 2009 through September 1, 2009.

After an initial judging by Planet Green editors, the public will be called upon to vote for the design they feel is the most creative and original. Once five finalists have been selected, the winner will be chosen by a distinguished panel of eco-conscious, fashion-savvy judges including Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver and Founder of TOMS Shoes; Miranda Purves, Lifestyle Editor of ELLE; Summer Rayne Oakes, model and environmental activist; and Miguel Adrover, internationally renowned fashion designer and Creative Director of hessnatur.

“The commitment to the environment from everyone involved in the Eco-Tee Design Challenge has made this project possible,” states Wolf Luedge, CEO of hessnatur. “We hope the American public will join us in creating a design and realizing that their global message, and changing their tee shirt to organic, can make all the difference in the world.”

The winning tee will be produced by Grameen Knitwear, a subsidiary of the Grameen Foundation, created by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus. 50% from the sale of each tee will be donated back to the Grameen Foundation, to continue its work in eradicating poverty through micro financing.

“Planet Green is committed to helping people have a positive impact on the planet,” said Ken Rother, Vice President of Planet Green and TreeHugger Interactive. “The Eco-Tee Challenge is a great opportunity for people to express their personal commitment to the environment and have the opportunity to reach millions with a positive message of change.”

A pioneer in the sustainable and social responsibility movements, hessnatur was recognized with the 2008 Public Eye Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos for its work in improving the social conditions of workers around the globe. hessnatur recently merged the revolutionary microfinance program of Dr. Yunus’ Grameen Knitwear, with its expertise in organic farming to help improve both the living and health conditions of workers in Bangladesh, one of the poorest regions in the world.

Luedge states, “It is a little known fact that the growth and harvesting of conventional cotton causes some of the world’s worst environmental pollution — one third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers to create just one of the 2.4 billion tees produced globally every year. If we can highlight this in an engaging way, we are one step closer to making a healthier world.”

The German-based hessnatur, which was founded in 1976, launched in the United States in September 2008 at New York Fashion Week with Miguel Adrover as their newly appointed Creative Director. For more information visit: www.hessnatur.com.

About the Judges

Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver and Founder of TOMS Shoes
Before his thirty-second birthday, Blake Mycoskie was honored by the Smithsonian and brunched with the First Lady. The reason for the accolades is as impressive as the accolades themselves: a progressive business that shook convention. Early on, Blake changed need into opportunity. By age thirty, Blake had already started five successful businesses. His experience, coupled with unique circumstances, would change the world. While vacationing in 2006, Blake befriended children in Argentina who had no shoes. To help, he created TOMS: Shoes for a Better Tomorrow. For every pair purchased, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. Later that year, TOMS returned to Argentina to hand-deliver 10,000 pairs of shoes. For Tomorrow: The TOMS Shoes Story, the documentary about the Shoe Drop, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Since its beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 140,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the purchases of caring customers. Because of customer support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009. When not acting as “Chief Shoe Giver”, Blake spends as much time as possible in nature. From driving across the US to visit every TOMS retailer to his most recent exploration through Patagonia, the only thing that rejuvenates Blake like giving is being outdoors. *As of April 2009.

Miranda Purves, Lifestyle Editor, ELLE
Miranda Purves was hired at ELLE in 2003. The Berkeley native was instrumental in the development of ELLE ‘s Green and Blue issues, which are leading the way for sustainable living in the fashion and beauty industries. She is a true advocate for the environment both outside of work, and within the pages of ELLE where, in the magazine’s Living section, she champions people who exemplify the possibility of a beautiful and meaningful life from the food they make, to the way they entertain, travel, and decorate.

Summer Rayne Oakes
Summer Rayne Oakes is an eco-fashion model, environmentalist, spokesperson, and author. A Cornell University graduate and Udall environmental scholar, Summer is an on-air correspondent and advisor for Discovery’s Planet Green; author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty published by Chronicle Books, she is one of the leading trend-forecasters and experts on sustainable fashion and beauty; the face of Payless ShoeSource’s new eco-friendly shoe line “zoe&zac”; she works in partnership with the Mezimbite Forest Centre in Mozambique on sustainable development, design/personal care, and forest restoration programs; and takes an active role in the youth climate change/green jobs movement with groups like Energy Action. Through her work as a consultant Summer Rayne advises companies and organizations, and works on sustainable development and environmental programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Miguel Adrover, Creative Director of hessnatur
CFDA winner Miguel Adrover is more than a talented and world-renowned fashion designer. He views fashion as a medium for social messages. His masterful tailoring as well as his unique vision captured the attention of the fashion press as well as the most important stores in New York, London and Paris, and his work is exhibited at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About hessnatur
Founded 33 years ago by the European environmentalist Heinz Hess, the company designs organic and natural clothing. Its mission simply states: “Human beings should live in harmony with each other and with nature. Respect for the planet and its people is fundamental to the way we do business, interact with our customers, our partners and each other. We will not compromise our environmental integrity or our design aesthetics.” The company is dedicated to the health of the planet and those that live on it. They thrive on the utmost authenticity and transparency in the creation of everything they produce through to the manufacturing process.

About Planet Green:
Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment. Launched on June 4, 2008, this brand with a mission is available in 57 million homes. Planet Green is the center for a new conversation, speaking to people who want to understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. It’s for people who truly want to make a difference in meeting the critical challenge of protecting our environment.

Planet Green and its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer unique, original, insightful, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green’s unique programming, digital tools, and content will

enlighten, empower and most certainly, entertain. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.