When we first started producing t-shirts in 2007 it was quite an easy process: find a screen printer, find an ok Shirt, print the BERLIN LOVES YOU logo (back then designed on Microsoft Word) onto the shirt, boom! the first batch of 50 shirts was done – and sold out in less than a week.
What now? People loved the shirts – especially original born and raised Berliners who were abroad or missing their city/sending shirts to relatives from our beloved city. We decided to produce the next batch in a run of more than 1,000 t-shirts. Once again, quite simple: find a suitable shirt, print on it and boom! Ready to go again (with a delivery time of 6 weeks).
While people still loved these shirts, we got lots of feedback on how the perfect t-shirt should be – the fabric, the cut, the look. We started buying shirts from American Apparel, Hugo Boss, Urban Outfitters, Small Brands, Hand made ones etc. and then tested them on our fans by asking what about them they liked, and combined different styles and different shirts to find what we would call the perfect shirt. Then, in 2009, we came up with BERLIN LOVES YOU’s first collection of shirts. Our own fabric, cut, label, and colors.
We had a pretty good idea on what people liked and what they didn’t, so we were making orders for 3,000+ shirts in black, white, and a light blue one. The light blue – for guys only – ended up not being sold. Too many times people simply did not like it (even though we loved it).
Another problem was that something went wrong with the production in Asia. What we did not know back then is that if you send them a style and cut you want they simply go to their database of cuts and pick a similar one and produce that for you – often in Asian sizes instead of European. Now, in 2014, we are still sitting on some of the black female S shirts which would be considered XXS in Germany but in Asia are normal S sizes. Either way we were able to sell most of the other shirts.
2011 was the year of our third collection. Having learned a lot from previous batches, we concentrated on the colors black and gray and had sizes which fitted BERLIN LOVES YOU’s fans. By then, times had changed, people had changed, demands and beliefs had changed. We started thinking about what we would call the perfect shirt.
We wanted the t-shirt that you can’t throw away, the one you have kept for years, the one you use for sleeping and for going out. The one you wear Christmas morning and only lend to your significant other when they need something to wear.
So how does this shirt look and feel? It’s soft, it’s durable, and will last for years while keeping its shape. For that it has to be made out of the highest quality materials and have the perfect cut.
Once again we started buying, wearing and testing many shirts. One thing that was clear from the beginning is that the shirt would be made of 100% organic cotton, using water based colors for the print.
We started working with a tailor from Berlin to create (in our opinion) the perfect cut and exact patterns. This whole process took six months of shipping samples back and forth from India where the shirts would be sewed together in a fair and ethical environment, taking the utmost care to ensure we weren’t funding child labor or exploiting people in the process.
While writing this, these exact shirts are on a big container ship close to Hamburg where they will soon arrive and then get their final stamp of quality – our BERLIN LOVES YOU logo – printed across them by a printer in Germany.
From today on (almost one year after beginning this project) these shirts will be ready for you to buy in selected stores in Berlin and online (with 24-hour shipping if ordered before noon on weekdays).
We know they’re just shirts but we can assure you that a lot of thought and a lot more love went into these ones than your other ones and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Give one a try and if you don’t like it, send it back – no questions asked.
Here is a sneak peak of our t-shirt photo shoot from March 2014. We’ve made a small campaign for the launch of this shirt entitled: One City. One Shirt. Constant Change. We’ll let you know more about it soon!
Thank you for being curious to find out more about the BERLIN LOVES YOU shirt. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions! Philip.
Get the shirt: shop.berlinlovesyou.com