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We tend to think of promotional clothing as belonging to an organisation, whether that’s a company like McDonalds which has made its uniform famous (or infamous) around the globe, or a rock group like Guns N’ Roses, who’ve turned the tour T-shirt into a lucrative merchandising item that’s as sought after as their albums (and a lot more regularly available!) but there are other ways to use printed clothing like T-shirts and polo-shirts, to spread a wider and more general message.

For example, the Dereham chapter of the Business Network International attended their most recent meeting in T-shirts bearing the slogan: I refuse to participate in the recession. BNI groups meet regularly to share ideas and encourage each other in business.  One member said, “We’ve never been busier and our biggest challenge is getting the message out. The network is spreading out about what we can do. The idea of the T-shirts is about making people aware that it is not all doom and gloom. We think the recession is optional and we choose not to be part of it!”

Other messages that have developed a global significance after being emblazoned on T-shirts include Free Tibet, seen on Johnny Depp and Lily Allen, as well as Tour de France cyclist Cadel Evans, who wore a Free Tibet T-shirt under the prestigious yellow jersey preserved for leaders of the Tour de France, during a stage of the 2008 race.

While companies have their own messages to express, it’s always worth thinking about whether linking your business or group to a wider message can bring you rewards – Here to Help emblazoned on your uniform or polo-shirts can give you an identity in terms of service and professionalism that is bigger than your own organisation, for example.

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