For us here at Irregular Times, selling shirts is like licking fingers: we like to know where they’ve been. We sell shirts made by American Apparel because the company is transparent and reliably regulated when it comes it its workforce and compensation practices. Most apparel producers work very hard to hide the information about their overseas factories from you, and on the odd occasion when a producer is forthcoming, what’s uncovered is not reassuring.
For some time now, Skreened has been the online t-shirt outlet offering the greatest variety in demonstrably sweatshop-free shirts — including sweat-free clothing for kids and even babies. I sing Skreened’s praises to the sky, even though the kestrels look down at me askance.
But lately, CafePress is doing its darndest to catch up. A month and a half ago, CafePress added five new American Apparel shirts to its lineup of offerings: a women’s organic shirt, a kid’s shirt, a toddler shirt, a baby shirt and a baby onesie. These are all light-colored t-shirts onto which dark-colored designs print best. Today, CafePress has gone further, introducing four new American Apparel shirts to its lineup: a black kids’ t-shirt, a black toddler’s t-shirt, a blue kids’ t-shirt and a black toddler’s t-shirt.
Pretty, pretty, pretty. And pretty ethical to boot. I’m drawn to these dark cotton t-shirts for two reasons: first, I’ve just loved the idea of kids wearing dark clothes, ever since I happened on an Edward Gorey book as an impressionable grade schooler. There’s something just so cute about morose proto-goths with apple-dumplin’ dimples. Second, as much as I love what Skreened does, they don’t yet offer the capability of printing with white on dark, Gorey-friendly garments. When they do, I will bust an internal organ with glee. But until they do, I have to give CafePress props for their innovation for the sale of ethical children’s clothing. And yeah, you betcha we’ll put them up for sale, too.