What about the t-shirt itself? Surely we can at least agree on that, you plead. Absolutely. A t-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt… except when it’s not. A t-shirt is not just a t-shirt when you care about, say, how long it will last or whether it boasts your favorite sports team’s logo or your rival’s, or, in fact, whether it has a genuine copy of your team’s logo as opposed to a shoddy ripoff. You might care where and how the shirt was made. In America? By people being fairly compensated and well-treated? It might matter a lot to you if the t-shirt profits are going to a mega-corporation or a mom-and-pop shop. All of these attributes—and many more—are integral parts of what it is exactly that you are purchasing.
—Nathan Peretic, Better Than Cheap
Great points throughout Nathan’s post. I especially like, “there is no cheaper version of the same thing.” Amen.