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kentphoto said:
But, I'm wondering, because everyone and their dog seems to be printing on AA, is it a 'necessary evil' for me to (if I want to sell a crap load of shirts) not only have the best designs I can create, but to print on American Apparel?
To me there's two prongs to this question:

The first, is it necessary to print on a garment like those made by AA?
The second, is it necessary to print on garments made by AA themselves?

In answer to the first: that depends on you and your demographic. Some people only buy AA style shirts, some people refuse to buy AA style shirts. Whichever brand you use, you will exclude some buyers. I think if your designs are good enough you can use more or less any style of t-shirt, so it's mostly up to you what you want to use.

In answer to the second: no, it is absolutely not necessary to use AA shirts. Even if you choose to use that style it is not necessary to use American Apparel (unless, of course, you choose to). One option you could consider is Alternative Apparel. Of the people I know who've compared them, all think the two brands are similar, and all prefer Alternative (though not by a long way or anything - they are quite similar).

If you want to use a different brand you can either address the topic head on (e.g. in your FAQ have "Why don't you print on American Apparel?"), indirectly ("we print on Alternative Apparel, they have a modern cut and don't use sweatshop labour"), or not at all (it's always a good idea to state what brand you print on - but you don't have to justify why).

There are also other brands of shirts who meet criteria of being a slim cut, sweatshop free, etc. If you do some searches in these forums you should come up with several leads.

Basically though, while some people like AA specifically they are normally open to trying other brands. I find a lot of people on the internet who like AA don't like AA so much as they hate "traditional" brands. You can use a different brand, so long as you make it clear that the brand has the same features that make them like AA.
 
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