We recently had some T-shirts made — shout-out to Zeke and his crew at Home State Apparel — because we never seem to have them when we need them. They’re beautiful: the classic heathered pewter short-sleeve and a few three-quarter-sleeve baseball Ts, like the kind I used to wear when I was 11 years old.
I suppose we’ll sell a few of them, but the point is to put them on the backs of people who appreciate what we do and want to wear them.
The local T is nothing new — Home State Apparel, Airtype, Camel City Goods and other Triad companies are built on them. But if you look around, you’ll notice that more and more people are wearing T-shirts that support local businesses and institutions. Some of us, me for instance, are just repping our own brands (I’m not generally a big T-shirt guy), but everyone else is showing love for the things they appreciate in their communities.
It may be true what Eric Ginsburg says: that “local” as a descriptor is kind of over. But “local” as a concept is very much alive; if we’ve learned anything since the great bottoming-out in 2008 it’s the importance of investing in our own cities and supporting those who do. Small businesses like ours, in particular, rely almost entirely on local dollars to stay afloat. We know we’re all in this together. Repping each other’s projects is the least we can do.
So I’m going to figure out how to incorporate more T-shirts into my wardrobe. All the kids are doing it. And with our new passel of T-shirts, we’ve got the leverage to make some trades.
As those selfsame kids say: Lemme kno.