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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am just about to launch a line of t-shirts for my new social entrepreneurship venture, Lovemore, and have some super basic questions. I have read a ton on here (thank god for t-shirt forums!) but still haven't nailed it all down.

One of my main questions involves co-branding, sort of... We will be using Alternative Apparel blanks--for now only the Alternative Apparel options (organics and some eco-ish fabrics). What I'm wondering is if there is a point of view on whether or not to be open about who the blank manufacturer is. I can see multiple points of view and would love to hear from some veterans. Philosophically I'd like the perspective to then decide if we need to remove the existing labels and also to determine if we should create our own descriptions vs. using the Alternative Apparel descriptions. Also, we are awaiting the complimentary images they provide to wholesalers, does anyone know what they are like? We will do our own photos eventually, but it will take a few more weeks. I'm wondering if the complimentary images are truly usable.

That's it for now (though I will have so many more questions I'm sure). Thanks all!

Andrea
 

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I know many people private label and that works for them. I truly think the image on the garment is what you are selling. I don't think I would waste the time or energy in re-tagging. I know others feel different,but this is my opinion. ..... JB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Part of what I'm wondering, and I forgot to say it, is...is it actually a BENEFIT to point out that the shirts are Alternative Apparel? I know that lots o people like those shirts, and know what size they wear in them...so is that actually something we should make a point about?
 

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I think it could be a benefit to allow people to know the shirt name, as you stated for quality,size, and name recognition. I know many people buy clothing on name recognition. ..... JB
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess another good way to approach the question would be...is there a DRAWBACK to attempting to capitalize and essentially co-brand with your blank company? And in this case Alternative Apparel in particular?

One thing that is a little odd...but I just figure we'll deal with it, is that our prices will be higher than retail, as retail has no customization, and in particular because we are incurring greater costs as we're going the "as eco as possible" route with water based inks, recycled packaging products, etc... So when it is transparent that our prices are higher than just buying the blank product we are hoping that people understand the value of what we're putting on our lovely eco-friendly blanks. Make sense? Am I thinking correctly here?
 

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I think it stands to reason the cost of your product will be more expensive. Your offering the garment and the customization, this will naturally cost more. I think it would be good P R to stress the Eco friendliness of your product. This will give it a more trendy market to go after too. ... JB
 

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personally i would re-tag. To me it gives a more professional image. I guess if ur just trying to hock shirts here and there on the side it would b fine but if u r trying to establish a brand then I wouldn't cut the corners. And I don't really think that the blank you r using would be much help in advertising

2 cents ;)

Mikey
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you think that it has to be totally one way or the other?

Ex: Relabel and do not mention Alternative Apparel at all vs. Don't relabel and talk about the quality/fit/fashion of Alternative Apparel, or do you think there is an option in the middle that makes sense?

I just really don't have a sense about this part of the game. Thanks!
 

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well me personally, I tell ppl about our clothing line.. Now our asking price is $30 per tshirt. So when I'm talking about our product and I think ppl might be questioning our price I will then let them know that American apparel makes our shirts for us. Then ppl feel that we r not charging to much at all.
Johnny cupcakes relabels his shirts yet openly admits to using American apparel...
 

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is it actually a BENEFIT to point out that the shirts are Alternative Apparel?
I think that it can be with American Apparel, but I'm not sure Alternative have the name recognition amongst consumers to make that the case. They make a great product and they have some celebrity endorsement, so I could be wrong about that. But I would expect all but a few customers to be basically "Alternative Who?".

I guess another good way to approach the question would be...is there a DRAWBACK to attempting to capitalize and essentially co-brand with your blank company?
Sure - your branding could get lost next to theirs, or you could get caught up in having to justify their scandals (as with American Apparel for example), or you run the risk of people not even realising you put out the shirt, and not the other brand. You want yours to be the brand that gets remembered.

I'm not saying don't do it. I think it could conceivably be of benefit. I'm just saying there are pitfalls. I think your current cautious approach of seeing the positives and negatives is exactly right. I don't think anyone could really give you an adequate answer, save from your own market research.

One thing that is a little odd...but I just figure we'll deal with it, is that our prices will be higher than retail [...] So when it is transparent that our prices are higher than just buying the blank product we are hoping that people understand the value
If people wanted a blank t-shirt, they'd buy a blank t-shirt. I don't think anyone expects to get a shirt with a print on it for the same price as blank. The blank prices are certainly an anchor, but they're a point of reference rather than a ceiling price.
 

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Something I've never mentioned because I didn't want to open a can of worms but when shopping I'm wary of rebranded tees. Rebranded means I don't know how it fits without trying it on, means I don't know how it shrinks, don't know how well it wears, basically I want to know who made the shirt. Plus, many of the rebranded shirts I see I'm pretty sure are Deltas and other cheap brands and I'd have to be out of my mind to pay $15-20 for one of those. I live in a small city so there are no boutique shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We are going to be removing the Alt Apparel tags and printing in our own, that we already know as we want to do that from a branding perspective and that's where we'll note that we're using "the eco-friendliest inks we could find" etc... It's really more a question of whether to mention it at all or not in individual product descriptions or in the FAQ for the reasons wormil mentions. I think that for some people it could be a real plus and I'm wondering if there would be any reason why someone would be conversely turned off by the idea. Lots 'o good feedback here. Thanks!
 

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We are going to be removing the Alt Apparel tags and printing in our own, that we already know as we want to do that from a branding perspective and that's where we'll note that we're using "the eco-friendliest inks we could find" etc... It's really more a question of whether to mention it at all or not in individual product descriptions or in the FAQ for the reasons wormil mentions. I think that for some people it could be a real plus and I'm wondering if there would be any reason why someone would be conversely turned off by the idea. Lots 'o good feedback here. Thanks!
I think, I would leave the tag in place and add a hang tag that listed all the eco friendlt stuff. I think from a cost prospective this would be the more economical route to take. .... JB
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We'll be doing hang tags too. We are going for more a niche high end offering with top quality blanks, organics, the eco-friendliest inks we could find, and a donation given for each item purchased. Of course cost matters, but we are committed to creating a great experience and I am more than anything just looking to do what will be most appealing. Thanks for all the great comments!
 
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