Threadless.com is a user generated t-shirt site that promotes user design and sale of a t-shirt. The basic concept can be seen here from an image from threadless.com…

Users log in, and submit an original design that they created. The design is then put into a forum for users to critique and praise the design. If the design receives enough recognition, threadless will put it on a t-shirt and feature it in their store for sale. I liken this site to a student-writing contest. The author submits an original idea and gets recognized for it and in some case, will receive a monetary gift. Plus, imagine applying to art school with a best selling t-shirt in your portfolio! That will surely get the attention of admissions officers!

I think every art classroom should make a strong push to have each student design a t-shirt for threadless. Even if the students’ design is not selected they are interacting with their peers and getting the opportunity to see and learn from other designs. Just by replying on a threadless forum, students are networking with other artists. This forum can create opportunities and lead to possible internships or job experiences.

I’ve never taught art, but if I were to incorporate threadless design into my art class, here is what I may cover.

  1. Students create an original design that has to focus on
    1. A specific style of art (cubism, impressionism, abstract, etc.)
    2. An artists style (Warhol, Monet, Picasso, etc.)
    3. Take an object and make it into a design
  2. Students create their design and present it to the class. They have to address their process and inspirations for creating the design as well as field questions and criticisms from their peers.
  3. Once they have been through the class presentation gauntlet they will submit their design to threadless.com and report back on the responses they receive.

This is a fun project any art classroom should welcome. It incorporates technology, creativity and social networking. Plus it gives the student portfolio a little extra flare!

I hope you give threadless.com a try and I look forward to hearing how you have used or plan on using this site in your classroom!

Tags: art, k-12, networking, social, technology, threadless.com

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How cool is that? I'll have to remember to tell my students--have you seen any X-rated shirts? or are most family friendly?
Some of the content might be considered edgy in terms of humour but there is no swearing or pictures of "naughty bits"

I have bought some school related shirts like:
Hypotamoose
Shakespeare
Bird Brain

I'm not doing the nerdy Maths/Science teacher stereotype any favours but I can't help myself.
Every now and then they have a $US5 Tshirt sale and I trawl through what's on offer and they deliver to Hong Kong for a reasonable sum.
The content is all good. Some innuendo, but nothing inappropriate. Plus, this was my response from one of the threadless team members...

Hi Andrew,

Thank you so much for your kind email and for featuring Threadless on your blog! This is an awesome article! Since you talk about bringing Threadless into the classroom in your blog, I wanted to let you know that we have taken the idea to inspire students one step future and have launched a program called Threadless 101, where the regular Threadless design challenge is scaled down for teachers to use in the classroom! I think you'll enjoy reading about it and hopefully blogging about it even more. Please feel free to read up on it in the attached introductory letter and check it out here: http://www.threadless.com/artists. Please feel free to email me anytime with questions!

I hope to hear from you soon!

My best,
Mimi

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