Born in Europe out of the material used for underwear and popularized by the American Army personnel in the first half of the 20thcentury, T-shirt as a style of shirt has come a long way. Still young in the rank of the attires, world over, today t-shirts have connotations associated with youth and informal dressing. In order to keep this trend up and moving, popular global t-shirt brands like Nike, Puma, Reebok, Espirit, United Color Benetton etc have been employing several strategies. Apart from the big brands, due to the cultural significance t-shirts hold, there are several local brands today that have cropped up to cater to the new age youth with their sense of liberation and individualism of the globalised world. Some of the bigger names like Inkfruit and Tantra have consolidated their places but their are zillions of other sites selling t-shirts online.
Founded in the January of 2000, Nirvana Tshirts was started with the ideology of promoting Indian goods and the thought behind their t-shirt lines was “Let’s get liberated”. The sanctions against India post the Pokhran Test by the west struck Raj Bhandare and culminated into ‘Nirvana’, brand of t-shirts, as a form of protest against all the injustice perpetrated against India at that point of time.
While that was the thought behind Nirvana, Kunal Panchal decided to create a twofold effect with his t-shirt brand. In 2010, Kunal Panchal established Hetuvibe in Mumbai selling funky t-shirts designed by budding designers by also providing them a platform to sell their creation. He started out with just Rs 50,000 to offer youngsters personalised t-shirts and to cater to bulk orders from colleges and corporate companies at attractive prices. Alma Mater is a bulk t-shirt ordering website co-founded by the popular Varun Agarwal who has also authored the book, How I braved Anu Aunty and co-founded a million dollar company.
With Indian brand Hung Shoe, it is all about customization. Launched in August 2011, Hung Shoe t-shirt designs are available exclusively on its web site in ten unique categories – ranging from ‘mush tees’ to ‘weird tees’. The customer chooses a design and a color for the t-shirt which is printed and shipped to the customer at no extra cost. Hung Shoe also caters to the brand merchandise segment by designing customized t-shirts for other brands as well. As for brand Entropy started in October 2011, all their t-shirts are hand designed, which makes it impossible for any two of their t-shirts to be identical. Entropy designs are random as every t-shirt hand designed.
On the other hand, CaptainKYSO a 2012 newbie places emphasis on community building and crowd sourcing selling one distinctive, limited edition, make-people-jealous t-shirt design every day. Each design is crowd-sourced from an international artist or t-shirt designer. The brand prints licensed original and exclusive designs from designers from more than 20 countries as diverse as US, UK, Spain, Germany, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Russia.
Apart from these, here's a list of other companies that sell t-shirts online:
With so many brands and more coming up with newer ideas everyday in this space, we thought it prudent to bring together a list of all these companies. It'd be interesting to see how many of these stand the test of time and sell through the rough waters. Do add more companies in the comments section and we're sure there are many many more!
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