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Re: producing, distributing, storing Debian t-shirts

Daniel Pocock dijo [Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 01:53:49PM +0200]:
> Hi all,
> On several occasions people have asked me about Debian t-shirts and the
> polo shirts when I'm going to an event or after seeing a video where I
> am wearing the polo shirt.
> At some events there are opportunities to mass-produce things in
> collaboration with the event team, lowering costs and avoiding the cost
> of shipping into the event.  For example, the FOSSASIA team produced a
> lot of roll-up banners and three Debian banners were included in the
> batch.  Similar deals can lower the cost of t-shirt production,
> especially when the event takes place in a location where costs are lower.
> A few people have expressed concern about the production of t-shirts though:
> (...)

Just my experience here:

Many years ago, my then-couple and me ran a textile printing
small-scale workshop. She still runs it, and she will print DebConf's
shirts this year (as she has repeatedly done - DebConf 6, 7, 9, 10,
13, 14, 15 and 17 shirts all went through her hands :) ). Of course,
back in the day, we printed many shirts related to Free Software
projects. We even made some minor trademark violations which I openly
acknowledge as such (i.e. we printed IIRC 50 shirts with the Firefox
and the Mozilla logos for the Firefox 1.0 release party... Only to
find out later they did have a trademark policy... Oh, we were young
and innocent :-] )

Anyway, beyond the memory trip... T-shirts are *awesome* for
promotion. Good material T-shirts much more so - I still have in very
good condition most of my home-printed shirts... With our production
starting in 2004. I did take a bag of shirts to several conferences
(several local ones, and at least I took a case with probably 50 to
DebConf5 in Helsinki).

Thing is, sadly, I hate manning the sales booth. Selling shirts is a
quick way to make money. If you print in "cheapish" countries such as
mine (Mexico), a very good quality shirt+print would cost around US$3
if my numbers are right. I am *stumped* to find ~US$30 shirts for sale
in the USA; I have bought a couple of debian.ch shirts (which are
great!), but it's hard for me to understand where the price comes
from. Of course, then I remember what is said about .ch...

Anyway, if any of you is interested: We have found for DebConf that if
most often makes a lot of economic sense to print shirts in Mexico and
ship them via the usual courier services; if any of you is interested,
even in relatively short runs of products, I'm sure Gaby will be happy
to provide good work and material (and, of course, I can provide the
contact if needed). You mention "economies of scale" - It does not
really matter. I am not up to date with prices, but they should have
not moved much... The cost for making one silk-screen original (for a
workshop that does _not_ have their own development lab) is about US$5
per color. Shirt prices go down at around the 10, 25 and 50-items, but
beyond there, you won't gain much.

It usually makes no sense, so, to make big print runs and lug / move
around stock. It's best to just print as you go, and that way even
just take "current" designs to each event (plus some bits of stock you
have left over)... If I were to offer you, for very cheap, our shirts
for Sarge or Etch, I don't think you'd be very interested! That would
become lost money.


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