Threadless was created to give designers and artists an opportunity to unleash a little creativity and display it to the masses. Anyone can visit the site, download our templates and submit a design. Then, the designs are voted on. The winning designers receive $2,500 in cash and prizes, huge amounts of notoriety and their design printed and sold on a tee. Threadless has grown to be an extremely strong community of folks with a strong appreciation for the arts. It is now the home to many designer interviews, themed competitions, an active forum, a hugely successful street team, hundreds of pictures of people wearing the tees, a monthly tee shirt club and much more.
Threadless is the originator of the community-generated fashion concept.
Threadless is a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago, Illinois, since 2000. Co-founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart started the company with $1,000 in seed money after entering an Internet t-shirt design contest.
Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online; the designs are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit.
Designers upload their t-shirt designs to the website, where visitors and members of the community score them on a scale of 0 to 5. On occasion, special contests—known as "Loves Threadless"—run in association with various sponsors. These contests set a theme for designs, with a selection of additional prizes being awarded to the chosen winner; special prizes often relate to the sponsor. In mid-2006, Threadless expanded in a more traditional direction, adding shirts designed by selected artists. These designs, known as Threadless Select designs, are not subject to the voting process.
In the open source community, a Threadless t-shirt or design is considered to be crowd sourced because the designer and the company retain all rights to the design. Threadless shirts are run in limited batches. When shirts are sold out, customers can request a reprint. However, reprinting occurs only when there is enough demand, and the decision to reprint is ultimately up to company. New shirts are released on Mondays.