“The Police Need Legitimacy” T-Shirt Project

We are developing a crowd-sourcing campaign to sell t-shirts
The Police Need Legitimacy t-shirt

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath:

[L]egitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to fell like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another….

[W]hen the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.

The concept of law enforcement and legitimacy is discuss further in an earlier blog entry: NYPD Needs Legitimacy.

“The Police Need Legitimacy” t-shirts will be:
  • Grown in the USA with organic cotton
  • Made in North Carolina
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks

New York Times op-doc:
Black Panthers

In May 2013 NPR’s Planet Money started a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made.

Planet Money T-Shirt Kickstarter campaign

They used Kickstarter because it helped them answer a very important question: How many t-shirts should they make? And, for that matter, were there even enough people who wanted a Planet Money t-shirt to make the project viable?

Using labor from places such as Bangladesh and Columbia each t-shirt costed about $12.42.

T-Shirt costs

We will be making our own “The Police Need Legitimacy” t-shirt using as many high-quality local inputs as possible to demonstrate the Economic Impact Rating. Our efforts will be featured in a documentary called I Could Be….

One of the major problems that keeps garment manufacturing overseas and out of the United States is “fast fashion.” An explain in a video on Online MBA:

‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers….

The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard.

Fast Fashion is also toxic; a Greenpeace Detox campaign report found residues of a variety of hazardous chemicals in clothing made by 20 global fashion brands.

In another article on Zady, Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashionis quoted as saying:

We are buying new consumer products based on rapid changes in fashion that are engineered by corporations. This requires being dissatisfied with things we just bought and being seduced by the idea of instant gratification and novelty. It’s like we’re turning into children.

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