So, woot sent me a new shirt as well, and I finally had some time tonight to look at the new one, and compare it to the old.
For starters, here is a design by one of my favorite designers, Walmazan, on one of the old blanks:
Here is a new design, on the new blanks, covering that first tee and another tee:
Can't see the old shirt blanks under it? Well, neither could I. There sure is a bit more cloth here....
Why, underneath was not only the Walmazan tee, but a copy of a recently reckoned classic! If you look at the edges, it is certainly clear (despite my fuzzy photo) that there is a noticeable size difference between the two.
Here is that Walmazan tee, AA blank, on this Jester:
Here is the new design, and new blank on this same Jester:
The Anvil blank droops over my pockets and feels a bit bigger and a little scratchier. I haven't had a chance to wash the new blank yet, so it might just be a thing with it needing a rinse. I thought about posting a picture of my hands to show how dried and cracked they are, but it doesn't really show up on my camera phone. The thing is, the blank does feel the same as the AA blank would to me when I pulled a shirt out of a woot package. I'll give it a wash tomorrow and do a comparison shot to see what the design looks like after the first wash and evaluate how it feels on my over-sensitive skin.
However, the issue really isn't the fact that the shirt was scratchy or uncomfortable, it was the fact that it was American made. I do have shirts in my closet from other manufacturer's that aren't based in a America, but they are mostly comprised of touristy-shirts from places I've visited over the years or give-aways from Sci-Fi conventions. I stopped buying t-shirts at music concerts because as much as I would like a band, the shirts would always end up feeling sub-par and would fall apart after a few washes, and were invariably imported blanks.
I'm still not comfortable with the change, so to speak. I want to support the artists who print here, and I still like woot in general, despite the shirt blank change. I get that they have to do what they have to do to stay viable and out of the red, but I just feel like the transition could have been handled better.
I haven't had a chance to sift through the rest of this thread, so I don't know if other people have said stuff that I am saying, or about to say. It's been mentioned that woot staff has been "testing" the Anvil blanks for a few years now, unless I'm mistaken. I took that to mean that maybe they had staff specific things printed up, maybe things such as the Monkey Games shirts that we saw last summer which were color coded for teams were on Anvil blanks.
It isn't a secret the financial problems that AA has been having and the reputation of the head of said company. Other people have touched on the union and working conditions stuff, so I don't know if I could really add much there except for my own, unrelated to the textile industry, opinion of unions based on experience. That said, I think I get an idea of why woot made the change, and why it may have been in the backs of their minds that they may have to eventually change the blanks that they used.
I think that the transition could have been much smoother, but that's easy for me to say from the comfort of my living room. People have been comparing the handling to Netflix, and I think that is unfair. Hastings response to the outrage was to send out an email that will likely be used in business classes for years to come as an example of how not to treat your customers. Sure, there have been snarky comments from a couple staffers, but there's a part of me that expects that from woot. In a way, it's more genuine than some cooked up, elitist sounding response. I'd rather have llandar snarking than a business major attempting to obfuscate his way through a response.
I don't know that we'll ever get a concrete response on why the suddeness of the change, but at least I get the sense that they are trying over there at Woot HQ to make it easier on us, because they know how vocal we can get around here. If they weren't trying, I don't think that there would have been a one of us to get a copy or two of the new blanks simply so we could review them.
For right now, I'll give the new blanks a try, but in a sparing way. I will be a bit more selective of what I nab. However, I don't want the Woot staff to have to hit the unemployment line because people stop purchasing en masse.
In the long run, buying a shirt here means I get to help an artist financially by grabbing their awesome designs, and keep people like llandar employed, and therefore prevented from being set loose in the wild where untold havoc could arise.