Giving back to the little guy
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Have you ever bought something you absolutely adored, only to find that it went on sale so now everyone and their mom has the exact same garment you do? Though popular fashion is fun, it stops being so when you find you look like everyone else. Fashion is meant to be a very personal thing; it’s supposed to reflect your own sense of the world. That can be a tall order to place on the shoulders of something that is dictated so much by outside forces—availability, popular trends, price-point, etc.
This is why independent fashion is so important. Often independent fashion isn’t under the same restrictions as brand-name fashion. The clothes themselves simply reflect the designer’s aesthetics, not necessarily what’s trending.
But what do you get when you take the entire concept of independent fashion, and make it even more under the thumb of the artists and creators of the world? Simple. You get Redbubble.
Redbubble isn’t the brainchild of any one designer; instead, it’s an online marketplace that offers a variety of products that are print-on-demand. This means that artists will upload digital versions of their work, and the manufacturer will produce products with that image on it—anything from sweatshirts to fleece blankets. These various products can all be ordered from the website redbubble.com, and a portion of the profits will go to the artist whose image you chose.
This allows for a huge variety of things to shop through. You can go by a particular artist you like, a fandom, a character, an art genre, a celebrity—the options are endless. And because it’s print-on-demand, it means that they will never be out of your size.
I have purchased and seen a lot of things from this website, and I can safely tell you that the quality never ceases to amaze me. Their t-shirts are amazingly soft, their tote-bags are both enormous and strong, and their mugs are totally dishwasher safe. I love this site, and have long since bookmarked it for when I need a quick gift idea for a friend.
The only thing that kind of sucks is that because of the nature of how the products are made (basically it’s made to order), the shipping time does take a little longer. However, because of the quality standards I’m more than happy to wait—but you might want to keep this in mind if you’re ordering something for someone else.
Pricewise everything varies depending on the artist, so you could be looking at a $20–50 shirt. The trick is to not allow yourself to get suckered into buying something at an inflated cost.