Out Of Print Donates One Million Books to Books For Africa

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Out of Print, a literary lifestyle brand of apparel, accessories and gifts, has sent over one million books to communities in need in 22 countries through its partnership with Books For Africa. Since the company’s launch in 2010, Out of Print has followed a one-for-one donation model: every item purchased donates a book. Out of Print is a New York-based apparel and accessories company dedicated to celebrating the world’s great stories through fashion. 

Launched by lifelong friends in 2010, Out of Print products are sold worldwide in over 700 retail accounts.  As part of its mission, each Out of Print product sold makes possible the donation of one book to a community in need through its partner Books For Africa. “In just a few short years, Out of Print has become one of our very largest donors,” says Patrick Plonski, Executive Director of Books For Africa.  “I am so happy that we have their skills and creativity working for us to advance our education and literacy goals across the African continent.”

Started by lifelong friends Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, Out of Print’s mission is to celebrate literature through fashion while spreading the joy of reading to those without access to books. “Our shirts have become the band tee for bookworms” says co-founder Lawton. “We feel fortunate that enthusiasm for the brand has enabled us to support so many schools, libraries and communities in Africa.”

By unearthing and licensing iconic book cover art to make merchandise, Out of Print has developed a passionate following online and in stores across 80 countries.  Over 700 retailers carry the brand, including Urban Outfitters, J. Crew, ModCloth, and independent bookstores such as The Strand (New York, NY) and Powell’s Books (Portland, OR).

Booksellers have especially welcomed Out of Print’s merchandise as an alternative revenue source to offset shrinking book sales caused by online competition and digital book sales. “Their wonderful products have ignited a nostalgia for our favorite books and have become an integral part of our business,” says Allison Hill, CEO of Vroman’s Bookstore in Los Angeles.

Looking ahead, Out of Print sees more opportunity to support global literacy and delight readers along the way. “Our customers are a vocal, passionate literary community driving us to find fun ways to pay tribute to their favorite books,” says co-founder LeBlanc. “Our story is still being written, but the next chapter is an exciting one.“

*Books For Africa is the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the African continent, shipping over 31 million books to 49 African countries over the past 26 years.  Last year alone, Books For Africa shipped 2.6 million books valued at $35 million to 27 African countries.  Books For Africa’s mission is “to end the book famine in Africa.” 

For more information on Out of Print, outofprintclothing.com