Shirting the Issue

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Hey, how ’bout those 2017 Super Bowl Champion Atlanta Falcons!


…Then, well, hm…. what to do with all those pre-made shirts?

This was a question I saw on Twitter today, posed by New England Patriots star and multi-media content creator Martellus Bennett.
Many answered and there were various reactions. As you may know —  in what’s become something of a joke — the clothing gets sent by charitable organizations to  places in developing countries where clothing is in need. (And there are many such places. That’s a thing which we don’t stop and think about too much: people needing clothes…)
 And hey, for real – 100% nice gesture. Better than just throwing it  away.
But, here’s my question:  if companies just waited for the winner to be known, couldn’t they avoid wasting the time, energy and resources used in making several thousand dud shirts (and who knows what other merchandise that may or may not be recyclable…)? Not to mention, couldn’t they save the associated costs of marketing and shipping to outlets and all that?
And couldn’t they then take that saved cash + donate that to a non-profit  in Africa or Asia or wherever instead?
Cash is almost always better than “in kind” gifts in the developing world , isn’t it?  More flexible in its use, easier to receive, etc?
Or, hey, if you prefer, keep it local. Companies could donate that saved money to a local shelter so they can buy winter clothes. Or baby clothes or backpacks or food or books  or whatever the heck is needed…
Of course, there’s a glitch in this plan.
This new method would mean Americans …..
…..might have to wait  a few weeks to get our  official “Super Bowl Champions” stuff!
Friends, I am as impatient as the next first world person. I am as wired for on-demand as anyone else.

And we there is no way to deny we have a problem. We have seriously become a nation where manufacturers -intentionally and several times a year- use up resources to make tens of thousands of pieces of clothing they KNOW won’t be used,  just so customers won’t have to wait a few days to get a souvenir t-shirt to go along with the 20 other shirts they probably already own.

And why?
If the shirt is a commemorative item, it’s not going to stop being accurate a month later. It’s still a memory of the event. The Patriots arent going to “unwin” the 2017 Super Bowl. (Sorry, Roger Goddell…)
And do we really need to go to work the next day reppin’ the team that won? Most of us work where our sports loyalties are like those of everyone else in the place or, if not, we’ve probably made our loyalties clear in that special, obnoxious contrarian way that makes sports great.
So do we really need a  shirt to advertise our happiness with a win….the day after the win?
Look, I’m seriously not judging anyone. Nor  do I judge donations companies and non-profits make now. I just feel like this thing needs some re-thinking for the future.
Because ultimately, we’re talking about a nice gesture necessitated by a rather embarassing, bratty kind of mindset.
We should be more conscious of what we’re doing with the resources we’re blessed enough as a country to have.
Thanks for reading,

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