Welcome to our new series, Product Of The Month (POTM) where we dive into a product every fortnight taking you back to its roots, evolution through time and more. We hope that by the end of this series, you will get a deeper appreciation of the common things we use everyday. So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy the ride!
In our first instalment, we’re going to look at T-Shirts. One of the most basic essentials that can be found in every wardrobe. Despite its status as an apparel staple, the t-shirt is relatively “young” in terms of history.
Modern-day T-shirts first came into existence in the late 19th century. Originally created as underwear for men *editor: yes. you didn't read that wrong!* and were commonly made from cotton, linen or wool. T-Shirts only started being mass-produced in the early 20th century. One of the first companies that produced t-shirts commercially was Hanes, founded in 1901.
There were in fact predecessors stemming back to the Middle Ages, T-shaped shirts made of woven cotton or linen provided a layer between the body and the garments worn over top to protect the skin. More importantly, they were easy to wash. Why? People back then didn't shower as often.
Fast forward to the present, t-shirts now serve as a medium that can carry or convey a myriad of messaging; from cultural movements to corporate branding, to self-expression - you get the drift. What further contributes to its wide appeal is the fact that t-shirts can be casual, high fashion, unassuming or completely disruptive, depending on how you wear them.