Clothing website offers alternative in social media age

Clothing website offers alternative in social media age

Katrina Simyab, Clarion Arts and Culture Editor

Threadless.com has found a great way to combine independent art and random t-shirts. This website is a unique online clothing store that not only promotes local artists, but makes it easy for anyone to get some of their own designs and creations into the hands of the general public. Kind of like a “Facebook” for t-shirt enthusiasts, it costs nothing to become a Threadless member and it is super easy to sign up.

Whether you are a graphic designer or just a kid with a Mac and an active imagination, Threadless allows anyone to upload their designs in the hopes of getting them screen printed onto t-shirts and other apparel such as baby onesies and hoodies.

Other Threadless users are able to view all submissions and vote on which designs they would want to wear. The designs with the most votes get made into t-shirts sold from the website. Threadless also has cool challenges where a member can design a shirt based on specific criteria and win cash prizes and other goodies if their entry is chosen.

The prices on Threadless are also really reasonable. They always have a clearance section where it’s easy to score some pretty sweet deals. Other than that, most of their shirts run at about $20. The hoodies are a bit more expensive; some costing $50 each but even with the steep price tag, many of the designs are so popular they sell out anyway.

Threadless is extremely interactive and allows its members to play a part in every aspect of the t-shirt creation process. They also offer incentives for buying Threadless merchandise and supporting independent artists. If a member buys a shirt from the site and then takes their own picture wearing it, they can upload the picture to Threadless and get $1.50 in store credit and also a chance to win a free t-shirt.

With hundreds of artists and submissions there is a shirt design for every style and preference. Every artist has their own “portfolio page” and Threadless interviews top designers so other users can learn more about how they come up with their creations. Certain designers have become fairly well known and even attract a cult following.

One favored Threadless artist has the screen name “Olly Moss.” Moss is rather popular on Threadless and has had 49 of his submissions printed. Many of his designs are tongue in cheek and creative. One of his winning submissions, entitled “Spoilt,” lists the endings and climaxes to many popular books and movies, spoiling them for anyone who reads the shirt. Another shirt shows a group of guys running toward a car each one with a picture of a “shotgun” coming out of their mouth giving a new meaning to the popular front seat saving phrase.

Threadless is an amazing site. It is a great platform for independent, aspiring artists to showcase some of their designs and get some publicity for their work. It is very hard to be disappointed by the huge selection of t-shirts Threadless has to offer. Some are funny, some make you think, and some of them are over the top, but all of them help keep independent art alive.