Zazzle Makes Ethical Advance: Select Your Own Shirt Lines
Zazzle is a website that allows you not only to design a buy a shirt for yourself, but also to sell the shirts you design to other people. As far back as 2006, we at Irregular Times have been asking the people who run Zazzle to let people who want to sell shirts there the ability to choose which sort of shirts they’d like to sell there. You see, Zazzle offers a lot of great ethically produced t-shirts, including designs for men, women and babies on made-in-the-USA American Apparel shirts. But they also print on a number of t-shirts that are shipped from halfway across the planet on oily, energy-wasting barges so they can be made more cheaply by workers who earn pennies. I’m happy to sell the former; I’d rather not sell the latter.
Finally, in a major ethical advance, Zazzle has granted its shirt-sellers this option:
This is a screen capture of the Zazzle design control panel. See that option below the t-shirt graphic? By selecting the option for “Made in the USA only,” you can ensure that your shirt design will only be made available on American Apparel shirts. For me, it’s not the nationalist made-in-the-USA aspect of this choice that is reassuring. It’s the presence of wage and worker protections and the ability to affirmatively inspect production conditions that American production confers.
When you click on the t-shirt image below, you’ll be taken to a Zazzle shop on which you can purchase the design on American Apparel t-shirts for men, women and the kiddos… but none of the other brands with which I am less comfortable:
I am much more inclined to work with Zazzle in the future, now that Zazzle is willing to work to accommodate the ethical concerns of people like me.