Overseas Cheap Labor T-Shirt Production Doesn’t Make For Ultra Cheap T-Shirts
I’ve been looking at a wholesale price list of blank t-shirts, and I’m struck by the not-too-big difference in per-shirt prices between the sorts of shirts made by corporations using overseas cheap labor and shirts produced by unions here in the USA. In the catalog I’m looking at, a union-made cotton pocket t-shirt goes for $4.38 a shirt. A cotton pocket t-shirt of the same weight and color made by a company that sources with cheap overseas labor goes for $2.40 a shirt. That $1.98 difference may sound like a lot, but these are sold to screenprinters who turn the shirts around with designs on them for $15-$20 a pop, plus shipping. Either shirt offers a lot of profit for a printer. The union-made USA shirt involves less use of transportation resources and pays the people who make the shirt a big chunk of change more.