How to Grow a $5,000 T-Shirt in Only 3 Years

The classic tee is a staple in everybody’s wardrobe. Everyone has at least one, they’re easy to wear, and tend to be one of the most affordable items in your closet. At Grey Rock, we carry t-shirts from several of our suppliers, with the average cost to our customer hitting around $40. We often hear “$40 for a t-shirt? No way!” or variations thereof. It opens a discussion about the resources and labour that go into each and every shirt, and the associated costs. Someone, somewhere created the design for your favourite t-shirt, worked to grow the crop and harvest the fibre or dyes, cut and sewed the fabric to the appropriate dimensions and with quality craftsmanship, and transported the final product to a location convenient to you so you could find this now favourite tee and bring it home. Every person along this chain deserves fair wages and safe working conditions, which means that your t-shirt might cost a bit more than it would have otherwise.

The team behind the How To Make Everything YouTube channel decided that they wanted to find out what it would take to DIY a t-shirt; from growing the cotton & dyes, to weaving the yarn into fabric, to designing, cutting, sewing, dying and printing. Spoiler alert: it took them over 3 years and $5000 to do so! Check out their video and learn about the labour that goes into your t-shirts!