I’ve been a bit jealous of the D&D tee subscription deal that Amazon runs in the States. I’ve also been a bit cautious of leaping on any other because I’m not that much of a capitalist that I need a new tee every month.
The rabbit hole this led me down is the question, “Is ink vegan?”
Let me explain the path I’ve taken. You sometimes get people offering freebies or content as a blogger, and there’s generally a catch. I declined several offers of tees until ShirtStak came along.
ShirtStak caught my attention because they’re all about geeks and gamers. I like their designs.
More importantly, perhaps, ShirtStak also seems to share the concern that undiluted capitalism might be at odds with thoughtful geekery.
The company prints tees on 175GSM and “Fair Wear” certified organic cotton. The printing is done (and these designs are not transfers that’ll crack or flake off) with vegan ink.
Not all ink is vegan, which must be a concern for tattoos and potentially a bit biopunk to consider some of us might be walking around enhanced with animal parts. The non-vegan components of ink can include beetle shellac for colour, gelatine rendered from hooves and animal fat glycerin.
Action is necessary to save the planet. It’s no longer enough merely to reduce our consumption, and ShirtStak plants trees for every 10 t-shirts they sell.
One geek’s review of ShirtStak
So, I said “yes” and selected a tee that mashes up the cult hit Among Us with Friends because that’s a hilarious idea. What if Pheobe was an alien?
Like a noob, I forgot to screengrab the design to review later, so I found myself searching for it on the internet. Sure enough, I found it on eBay, where it’s more expensive.
That’s the thing about subscription models. Yes, they’re a financial commitment, and I’m in two minds about that, but the overall balance of cost and quality tends to improve.
I’ve only had one delivery from ShirtStak but have tested it to destruction before penning this review. Those Imposters have been through a brutal set of washes.
The photograph here of a wrinkled tee shown here is straight off the clothes horse. I think it’s the most challenging time, the worst time for the tee, to be inspected. ShirtStak passes with flying (and not fading) colours here.
Vegan ink, it turns out, is as strong as horses.
It’s also worth commenting on how the t-shirt got me. It comes in a box and is not balled up in a plastic bag. It’s a green tick from me whenever I can recycle the packaging.
How does ShirtStak work?
ShirtStak starts with its target market; geeks. Then, a few days before the next tee is due in the post, the platform asks you to pick from one of three tees based on your perceived tastes and their stocks.
In other words, ShirtStak isn’t entirely on autopilot, but it does run on rails. You can’t pick option four; there is no option four.
If you don’t pick, then you’re sent a tee anyway. However, this is another green tick from me; if you don’t like the design or don’t want the tee, you’re refunded when you send it back.
It’s not the case that ShirtStak keeps on sending you tees until you cave and accept one.
I’m pleased with the design (even though it doesn’t appear exclusive) and impressed with the quality.
I’d only consider a subscription model if it was rooted in environmental concerns, and ShirtStak seems to do that.
Yes, I have some things on subscription at Amazon, but I’m keen not to push that dominance even higher and support a small company instead.
ShirtStak gets two thumbs up from me.
- Check out ShirtStak
Disclaimer: My tee was sent to me for free to review.
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