Who wears free t-shirts?

One of the most common articles of clothing that we custom imprint for our customers is the basic t-shirt. Sure, sometimes we do polo shirts or jackets — but t-shirts are the most common pieces of apparel we find customers requesting. Sometimes these t-shirts are for volunteers or staff members; other times they are to sell as merchandise at an event.

tshirt androidSometimes, custom t-shirts are used as a promotional item for giveaway. But who really wears those free t-shirts? Often, the wearability of a free t-shirt depends on the design — is it something cool that people will WANT to wear? But there’s also a growing trend of free t-shirts become a “status symbol” of sorts, at least in the tech industry:

A team of UC Berkeley researchers has discovered that the 85% of the average tech worker’s clothes are free tech t-shirts, hoodies, and other assorted clothing.

The study of this prevalent free clothing, known by tech workers as “swag,” has come at the same time as a massive tech boom that has swept the Bay Area. On a normal weekday in San Francisco, you’re liable to see dozens of young hipsters walking down the street wearing t-shirts, jackets, hats, and even socks emblazoned with the names and logos of companies ranging from tech titans to ten-person startups. Tech companies hand out free logo-festooned paraphernalia at career fairs, company events, and almost any opportunity available.

According to this article, Bay Area tech companies are giving away so many free t-shirts that it’s becoming common to find homeless people wearing them!

Do you have any t-shirts you got for free that you wear with pride? What would make you keep and wear a free t-shirt?

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