Who would have thought that one touches so many moral and philosophical concepts when running a webshop? This is both fascinating and challenging. Over the last 4 years we have come to the following conclusions regarding the most frequent or most important feedback from our followers and customers. The only thing that makes sense as a company of our size is to provide full transparency about our products, about ourselves and about our marketing activities. But even if we had the resources, we wouldn't have a PR department that would do the "beautiful shine" thing. We believe that certain information must be freely available and accesable without any considerable hurdles.
Who comes up with such a thing?
This site and its social media channels are run by two people - a philosopher and a graphic designer. No agency is hired to provide customer service or content creation. If you get in touch with us, then always directly with one of us. The products are printed and shipped by our production partner either in the USA (Charlotte, NC) or in Latvia (Riga). Markus studied philosophy, psychology and ancient history in Bamberg (Germany) for 6 years and graduated as Magister Artium. After several years as an employee in several online marketing agencies, he went into business for himself in 2018 and since then has run his own websites, social media sites and webshops. Alex has been working as a freelance graphic designer since 2013 and takes over the necessary additional half of the business, i.e. the implementation of the graphic work. The two met in 2018 to work together on this project.
Why are we doing this?
We've always had a basic need not to starve. In addition, the urge for freedom - understood as the availability of one's own time - seems to be important. The fact that this very freedom is accompanied by an enormous degree of responsibility is not meant to mean liberal gossip, but to point to an existential condition.
Is philosophy finally dead if it is printed on T-shirts?
No, on the contrary, we also get feedback from professors and lecturers around the globe who like our designs. If you don't have a sense of humour, you don't have a philosophy. In a superordinate sense, our products can also be understood as advertising for philosophy as such.
Are you politically oriented?
Yes, like every thinking person we are politically oriented. The human being, understood as a zoon politicon (ζῷον πολιτικόν) - i.e. as a social, community-building being - has a duty towards the community to fulfil. Here, however, we distinguish between ourselves as private individuals and the business entity we represent. We would therefore like to emphasize that no funds or product services flow into political parties, foundations, associations or the like. We act independently and are therefore not bound to any investor or third party.
A word about the pricing?
Our prices may be higher than those of our competitors who offer different designs and products. We can assure you that from the fourth quarter of 2019 - after a change of production partner - we will guarantee impeccable quality. This applies both to the printing and to the quality of the fabrics used. Of course, you can also buy a T-shirt at a discount store at a much lower price, but this is exactly where the difference lies. We do not produce our products in advance and therefore do not have a stock of finished printed articles. On the one hand, this makes ecological sense because we do not produce things that do not sell at the end of the day and may have to be destroyed. On the other hand, it also makes economic sense because there are no storage costs. The difference to the wholesale trade is, however, that with this approach we do not get any quantity discounts on the purchase. In addition, we would like to point out that the price includes more than just a T-shirt or the other products offered, but also the value of the idea, the work performance in printing, packaging and shipping and the customer service on our part. If you find our designs cheaper on other marketplaces and platforms, we cannot guarantee the delivered quality.
Where's the money going?
We are currently reinvesting profit in the growth of our brand. Also to be considered are the taxes to be paid as well as the costs for a website and other digital services. Otherwise, the unavoidable private expenses such as rents and living expenses of the owners will be paid. No company cars or other luxury goods are financed with it or cross-financed by tax advantages.
We welcome change
There is a dedicated goal to always offer the most sustainable and fairest product. Our product selection will be measured by this and - according to the business and social circumstances - constantly change. The guidelines of our suppliers already meet the requirements of the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA).
What about paid advertising?
We believe that our customers' and followers' information should belong only to them and that everyone should be able to manage their personal information and its use intelligently and conveniently. If you do not want to see our advertisements on Facebook and Instagram, please visit this page and follow the instructions: https://the-philosophers-shirt.com/pages/opt-out-fb-ads
Can I join you?
We are basically interested in cooperation and are very grateful for any feedback from our customers and followers. For criticism, wishes, suggestions and special productions please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you planning next?
As more and more news arrives asking for an introduction to philosophy or a book recommendation, a blog will be set up starting in 2020. It will include explanations of philosophical memes as well as reviews and book recommendations.