The humble t-shirt is the staple of any wardrobe and there are more and more awesome companies doing cool and innovative things with them. Here’s a roundup of our favourites.
Threadless is the original granddaddy in the new wave of online t-shirt companies. Wired magazine even coined the term crowdsourcing when writing about Threadless back in the early 2000s. So naturally no t-shirt list would be complete without them. You can get some absolute classics, such as “Runnin’ Rhino”. You can also submit ideas for new designs, and vote on what products you think should be brought to market.
Teespring’s idea was to put t-shirt manufacturing in the hands of individuals. They manufacture in small batches, so they’re all about empowering small groups, sports teams, niche fan bases, you name it. Get your design up, get people to pre-buy (a la kickstarter) and voila, they make t-shirts and you make money.
3. Startup Threads
This one is really cool for tech companies, which want to offer branded t-shirts either for sale through their website, or as a automated giveaway. Just insert the API into your website, give it a set of rules and the process takes care of itself. It’s used by some big companies like PayPal and Foursquare, which is pretty cool.
4. Shirt Woot
Now much more than just apparel, Woot is still a firm favourite for cool & funny t-shirts. They’ve also introduced a threadless-style submissions process, where you apply to either have your designs evaluated by the Woot judges themselves or else take part in their weekly “Derby”, where the online community picks their favourite designs to get made.
5. Tee Busters
Daily deals sites like Groupon, Living Social and GrabOne really took off a few years ago. With market saturation, the demand has levelled off somewhat, but the niche has been carved out and daily deals are here to stay. It really was only a matter of time before some bright spark put together the idea of crowdsourcing designs and daily deals. And thus, Tee Busters was born!