Rave: Locally Designed T-Shirts

I try to be a responsible shopper. I try to buy locally produced clothes, for example, because they usually aren’t made by children in developing countries, and they usually haven’t traveled across the world. (In fact, sometimes they’ve only traveled across the bay!).

As well as the social benefits of buying locally, there’s also a style benefit: I get to wear something that is unique and isn’t available in every city in the country.

For my budget, t-shirts tend to be the most affordable options and some of my very favorite tees are from the designers listed below. Since these are sweatshop-free t-shirts, expect higher prices than at Target or Old Navy. It’s not uncommon for t-shirts to cost $30 and up.

FluffyCo **Update: The 14th store has closed as of Sept. 2007**
If you’re located in SF, head to their store at 14th and Guerrero on Friday or Saturday (the only days the store is open). You’ll avoid paying shipping, you’ll get your correct size since you can try anything on, and you’ll get to hit up their truly tempting sale rack (everything on it is $10!).

fluffy.jpg I left the store with the tree print hoodie (I wear it ALL the time) and a $10 Teddy Bear Picnic t-shirt.

Straight outta Sacto, this shop has a good variety of t-shirt styles and prints (most are somewhat botanical and I have a serious weakness for nature-rrific prints). When you sign up for their email list, you’ll get notified of sales.


Image from http://www.stellarocco.com

The scoop neck tops (such as the one shown above) are American Apparel, but unlike most American Apparel stuff, they don’t run super small. Order your normal size.

OK, so this is not really a t-shirt designer but definitely worth a look. It’s worth finding stores that stock She-Bible, since the pics on their website pretty dark and I can’t really see what makes these pieces special. (And make no mistake about it: these are some special pieces!).

I initially got a ¾ sleeved She-Bible tee as a gift. It’s bright green, has adorable puffed sleeves and a sweet yellow arc design. Then, I found a She-Bible “classic dress” at Crossroads Trading Company. The dress is black with an adorable lavender bird printed on the side and the fit is truly perfect: the draped neckline doesn’t reveal anything when you bend over, the length is work appropriate and the bird makes it unlike anything else in my closet.

More Local Designers:
This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of local options. Find more at to Feria Urbana, a sort of trunk show for local designers which introduced me to Stellarocco.

Or, check out the selection at SF stores that support local designers, such as:

Note: Not everything in these stores will be locally made: I recently saw an item in Candystore marked as “Made in Turkey”.


One Response to “Rave: Locally Designed T-Shirts”

  1. cryitout Says:

    Don’t forget Crown on Green Street near Grant in North Beach. Great hand-sewn stuff. And it’s very close to a newish lobster roll shack on Green.

    nice meeting you today!


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