This week I continue my summer long series on Ongoing T-Shirt Contest Sites. Every week, I will be reviewing a different tee from one of many different online contest sites. I’ll be discussing how each of these sites differ, how the submission and selection process work and what your rights are as a designer. So far I’ve covered ShirtFight and A Better Tomorrow so be sure to check those past episodes if Â you haven’t yet.
You can also watch this episode on Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, blip.tv and download and sync all episodes to your iPod or iPhone by subscribing for free to Co-Tee TV in the iTunes Store.
Through The Glass by Grant Tucker and available at Full Metal T-Shirt.Good: Excellent packaging, T-Shirts come neatly packed in a clear custom package. FMT definitely pays special attention to detail, shirts come with custom hangtags, special washing instructions and pins. Shirts are printed on Alstyle AAA blanks and are a bit longer than the typical American Apparel tee. Shirt is preshrunk so the size you order is the size you will have even after the first wash. Direct-To-Garment print allows for amazing gradient fades on this black teeÂ Bad: Not tagless,Â Direct-To-Garment is not the softest print I’ve felt but is not the heaviest – it’s somewhere in between and despite it leavingÂ a smooth texture over the shirt the possibilities available with DTG definitely outweighs this. I would definitely pick up another DTG printed tee!Â Price: $29
Awesome by Quixotic Clothing.Good: Printed on a dark gray American Apparel blank, comes shipped with a collection of 1 inch Quixotic pins. Extremely cheap at just $5. Very fun design, perfect tee for anyone that loves to smile and makes others laugh!Â Bad: It’s low in stock (only medium and X-Large available). This is one of those straightforward fun tees, nothing wrong with it.Â Price: $5.00.
Coty: What was your reaction when you found out that you won the Threadless Loves Green contest with your entry, Show Me The Vanilla Sky..Pls!!?
Kanzaki: It was the best moment in my life….I was crying, screaming, howling, spanking myself and finally I found it wasn’t a dream!!! Thanks Threadless and the amazing community gave me the staggering journey.
Coty: What was the inspiration behind your winning design?
Kanzaki: The bird eyes view line drawing has its thrill, it is dramatic and epic for story telling, you can find it very common in Japanese Manga. The design is a story telling approach, I try to tell the audients how do our animal friends feels while we human beings turning the planet to a furiously polluted “vanilla sky”, though they cannot say anything to complain, we should feel guilty when seeing the vanilla sky scene from their perspective. I think the bird eyes view is perfect to deliver that kind of impact both visually and psychologically how we perceive the message.
Coty: Along with the cash prize from Threadless, you will also be receiving a ton of community donated prizes – which of these prizes are you most looking forward to?
Kanzaki: Yea!!! This is definitely one of the best part of this contest and thanks Threadless had this great idea!! Though it is very hard to pick they all sounds great! I would say I’m anticipating goodies from bnannas, who courtesy an original song about whatever I like!! Alvarejo, the amazing artist who courtesy an “insanely detailed” portrait of me!! Haha… how funny that will turn out!! And ivejustquitsmoking (Marco), the creative genius who will courtesy an “experimental painted pair of shoes” !!:D
Coty: Which of the Loves Green entries were your favorites, which ones did you think would win?
Coty: What are some of the things that you do to help keep the planet green?
Kanzaki: There are many things we can do to help reduce harm to the planet, one of those that not many people know is buying less bottled water. I don’t purchase bottled water, as it uses up oil and other fossil fuels to be produced and shipped, fills up landfills, represents wasted money, produce of CO2, thus contribute to global warming. It is very simple that we can drink tap water and reuse plastic bottles to help keep the planet green.
Thanks again to Kanzaki Choi for taking the time to chat with me, and remember, leave a comment here for your chance to win Show Me The Vanilla Sky..Pls!! by Kanzaki Choi!
Coty really does love ThreadlessÂ and as such, it’s time for another Coty Loves Threadless! It’s episode 11 guys, we’re almost into the teens, can you believe it! Congratulations to Nature Troopers of the World by Yeoh Guan Hong for being my Threadless Pick of the Week! And BTW, I hear Mr. Festa is now doing his own Threadless Pick of the Week on the Friday Festa Dome Show -- see guys, I’m catching on! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out and vote for my TypeTees slogan submissions -- I’m submitting one every day until I get printed! Come on Threadless, I need a Threadless shield that I can call my own!
Avaryce (pronounce av-er-is), a new brand out of Southern California, has just released their first line of tees this season called 2 Legit 2 Quit (MC Hammer would be proud). The slogan at Avaryce is “The World is Your Canvas, Don’t Let it Go to Waste.” and as such they pack every order with a random color marker and encourage Avaryce fans to go out and create something unique. If Â you send in your art (created with the marker) they will post it in their Art section.Â
The shirts are printed on American Apparel blanks and sell for $18. You can also pick up the Avaryce package which includes all three tees from the new line for $45 (a savings of 9 buckaroos).Â
Green is in and for good reason – it’s just plain good karma to be nice to the planet we live on. And this tee, by Dallas based artist Jeremy Prasatik akaÂ jp33, will show the world that you are indeed an eco friendly fellow. This shirt is an interesting one to me because design wise, it looks like it belongs on the tag of the tee instead of the main design. The tee is available from jp33 for $25 and of course it is printed on 100% organic cotton.Â
I Am Wellness is a clothing brand based out of Seattle, Washington and operated by a young couple that is dedicated to empowering the people that wear their tees and those around them. All I Am Wellness tees are made 100% in the USA which is always a good thing.
My overall impression of the company, based on their overall mission and story, is that they fill a niche in the apparel industry geared towards those interested in living a healthy lifestyle, whether it be through exercise and athletics, eating right, or living green. I can definitely see this line being sold in health clubs, spas and gyms throughout the country – I think these tees would see in those markets.
I talked a little bit with one half of the I Am Wellness team. We discussed the meaning of I Am Wellness, their target demographic and some of the lessons they’ve learned as newbies in the industry.Â
Coty: What does I Am Wellness mean to you?
Brandon: I AM WELLNESS is an empowering phrase which means unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential, the ability to achieve anything no matter what current situation you are in.
Coty: You mention on your website that your brand is all about empowering the people that wear your products. How would you describe your target demographic?
Brandon: The I AM WELLNESS brand was created to empower all people to live the fullest life possible regardless of their age, current health or financial status. It should invoke a feeling of unlimited possibility and unlimited potential. Our target demographic is anyone who wants to better themselves and help empower the lives of those around them. This demographic is very diverse, it ranges from people who are healthy, sick, young, old, rich and poor – it is truly for everyone.
Coty: Prior to starting I Am Wellness, neither you nor your wife Annika had any experience in running a clothing brand. What has the experience been like for the two of you so far?
Brandon: Since neither Annika nor myself have a background in the clothing industry we had to learn from the ground up. Starting our clothing business has been a very creative experience. It has been very fun and we have met all kinds of really cool people.
Coty: What are two important things that the two of you have learned during this process?
Brandon: Two of the most important things we have learned is:
Trademark your idea! Before we launched our first shirt we had already started the trademark process. Chances are, if you think you have a good idea, someone else will try and profit from it. We have already had people try and copy our brand.
Be patient, have fun, stay excited and…..get a cool website! Make sure you have an easy to use website that provides detailed information about your products, cool photos, email sign ups and a place for people to receive free information (blog, spotlight, etc.).Â
This is an amazing industry which takes time to grow in. Don’t let slow sales get you frustrated, as you develop your brand and grow as a company the sales will come.
Most of all, have fun, enjoy the journey and remember…it’s just t-shirts!!!
So there’s been some talk in Hawaii about the possible ban of plastic bags in Maui, followed most likely by the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. Do I think plastic bags should be banned?Â Yes, I definitely think that plastic bags should be banned. Plastic bags are carcinogens to Mother Earth. They clog waterways and pose a threat to marine life. Plastic bags are no good.Â
Some retailers argue that a plastic bag ban would be impractical and would cause retailers to use paper bags, which costs more to produce, thereby leading the added cost to be passed on to the consumer. This, however, does not need to be the case. If the plastic bag ban did take place then retailers should suggest that consumers purchase reusable bags (these are already available at many markets for a buck or less), a practical solution that consumers can use for infinite trips to the supermarket. If, for some reason, a consumer chooses not to use a reusable bag then they should be given the option to purchase a paper bag. Forcing consumers to purchase paper bags will increase the likelihood that they will use a reusable bag in the future and in doing so they will be doing their part in helping out Mother Earth.Â
This paper bag ban is really a non-issue. Make it happen, Hawaii. Be an example. Kokua.Â
PS: For the doggie lovers wondering what they’ll use for poop bags, many pet stores offer biodegradable alternatives. Or if you want to be 100% green, leave the poop. It might not be good for your shoe but it does make for a natural fertilizer. I’m kidding, we all need to be responsible pet owners so get those biodegradable poop bags or teach your dog to use the toilet.Â