Indie Rock Band The 1975 Is Printing New T-shirts on Its Old T-shirts to Minimize Waste
You'd think that a band's goal would be to make as many T-shirts as humanly possible in the hope that more fans become walking advertisements. But, British indie rockers the 1975 are trading in maximalist marketing for environmental conservation, even if it's at the expense of their own merchandising efforts. The band, which recently recorded a song with Swedish environmental action wunderkind Greta Thunberg, is printing T-shirts advertising its new album "Notes On a Conditional Form" directly on top of its old T-shirts from past albums and tours.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, rock n' roll.
Frontman Matty Healy posted a video on Instagram debuting the shirts, which are printed on T-shirts from the band's 2013 debut album and its subsequent tour.
(Apologies for Healy's salty language.)
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OK! So here is the first drop! We are not making new shirts for now. Unsustainable. SO, AND I’M SO FUCKING INTO THIS. This run is all old shirts (first album, early tours etc) that we had kept and have reprinted as your NOACF shirts. You will also be able to bring any old 1975 shirt or ANY bands you love shirts to Reading festival and have the same print done over the top there and then 🥾🌍 EDIT: Reprinting is FREE if you bring your own 1975 shirt at both LEEDS and READING!
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What's even cooler is that fans who want to update their own wardrobe can bring their outdated 1975 shirts to be reprinted at the upcoming Reading Festival for free. (Yes, this means that fans basically get new band merch for free. At a major festival. You read that correctly.)
The band is also printing on top of other bands' shirts, as there's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. (Remember the Oasis/Blur feud? Nirvana/Pearl Jam? Mozart/Salieri?)
Bands frequently post on social media about merch sales following tours. It's incredibly rare for a band to sell out of every single item, so there will always be a few stragglers in the van or tour bus when they get back home. So, what The 1975 is doing is something that other bands can join in on, too.
Frank Carter, of Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, commented, "“This is genius. Well played. Time to get in the loft and dig out my old ones," according to NME.
Aside from the environmental effort here, which is awesome, there are a few points to be made about dictating fashion trends.
If someone just did this in their garage and sold them outside of the arena before a show, they probably wouldn't sell a single one. But, since it's coming from the band itself, overlaid logos are suddenly trendy, aesthetically daring and worthy of "omg need one nowwwww" comments. Basically, the way fashion works is that if someone who the public has deemed a tastemaker likes it, it's good. But, that's nothing new.
But, the way artists and bands are bucking the historical trends of T-shirt sales is pretty innovative. Fellow Brits While She Sleeps created a shirt printed with a message urging fans to buy merchandise due to the fact that, in the age of digital streaming, bands' revenue comes from merch sales, not listens. The T-shirt came to be after posting a statement on its social media pages.
T-shirts do more than just tell you to listen to a band. They can tell you to listen to a band while supporting artists on a grassroots level and be conscious of waste creation, too.
That's something the music world and the sports world now have in common.
Who says the jocks and the band kids can't get along?