Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Mutterings: T-shirts, Tshirts, T-shirts...

I've run 13 races this year with at least 3 more to go by end of the year. Thus far I've collected 11 tech t-shirts and 2 cotton/blend t-shirts. By the end of the year I will have 2 more tech shirts and a beanie (the Colder Bolder hands out beanies instead of shirts) I've handed off the shirts that are too large to my husband - He loves tech shirt for bouldering and hiking in the high country - though I always hand them off with a little pang of regret. "Be proud when you wear that - it was a tough race you ran". These silly t-shirts can remind us of a particularly memorable, difficult, or successful race. They're not just t-shirts to me.

But the question is, for those of us who run even more than a few races a year: what can we possible do with all these tech shirts? They're not exactly the type of shirts you just 'wear around' when you're not running, or doing some other sweaty activity.

I've done some searching online to find charitable organizations that take donated t-shirts and distribute them to people in need around the world, and they're difficult to find. Often, if you drop clothing along a race course that clothing will be donated to a shelter - but are tech t-shirts really what people in need of clothing want and can use? It seems that perhaps budding Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, or American inner city running programs for adults and kids could actually use these shirts but that seems to be the extent to their use - because truth be told, they're very good for running, but not much good for anything else.

I guess I'd rather see races return to the days of handing our cotton/blend t-shirt which we can actually wear with pride when we're out and about running errands, taking the kids the soccer games or the playgrounds, having coffee, doing yard work, and just living life. Runners like to wear their badges of glory, aka. race t-shirts. But I'm just not going to be wearing a tech t-shirt to go to the grocery store. So, tech t-shirts seem like a bit of a waste. 

I also find myself with piles of gently used running shoes - they have lots of miles on them but they still have some life left in them. Three shopping bags full of shoes are sitting in my garage waiting to be carted of the the Boulder Running Company to be donated to One World Running which donates running shoes to needy people around the world. So, why not do something like this with t-shirts.

My daughter is a big fan of the PBS kid's show "Sid the Science Kid", and Sid always comes up with some crazy "super-duper-uper-big-idea" at the end of every show. So, here's my super-duper-uper-big idea: Start an organization that collects tech t-shirts to be distributed to running programs around the world.

Stay tuned...


  1. (Just had to laugh, my 5 year old LOVES Sid the science kid...)
    I think that would be a GREAT idea! I too have more than my share of tech shirts that I have sitting in my closet- unworn, and probably will remain unworn. I would love to see them go to someone, somewhere that could use them! If someone comes up with that super-duper-uper-big idea... LET ME KNOW!

  2. I have to laugh, we come across Sid the Science Kid and just get sucked in. . . and we don't have kids! Now we just try hard to flip the station past when we see his muppet like animated face.

    I wear my tech shirts around the house and for errands. The ones I'm thinking of are long sleeve and are warm when I'm just wearing them. . . perfect fall or spring shirts for wearing on errands or when in hubby's car (the heater isn't as great as mine, and he's always hot and I'm always cold).

    I do like the idea of donating the shirts to kids and teens who would need them the most!

  3. What exactly is a "Tech T-Shirt"? I am beginning to collect t-shirts, which I do wear proudly as do my kids, but most of them are cotton t-shirts (actually all but one is).

  4. Great idea. I just donated a bunch to the Goodwill. I typically keep the cotton ones to lounge around the house in.

  5. Icnat_Foster - "Tech" shirts are the made from "technical fabrics" - moisture wicking, light weight, etc.

    I just wonder if donating these shirts to running programs that need gear, more directly benefits the people in need. I'm think about organizations like "Girls Gotta Run" in Africa, and some running programs in the US that work with homeless people just beginning to run.

    And - Lacy Sue - I'll let you know when I have things formulated. This all just came to me this morning ;)

  6. I totally LOVE my tech shirts; no need to buy them when I'm getting so many from my races now & they show the accomplishment too rather than just a Nike swoosh or the UA emblem & they are far more comfy than those drapy, stiff, always two sizes too big unisex cotton t's. The tech shirts are breathable, usually gender specific nowdays & if not, at least they hang nice on the body. I wear them for everything, gym, home, errands, running, cycling...but esp. under my hospital scrubs at work since I don't like that scratchy scrub fabric against my skin & if I sweat, well, they wick it away. My plan is to eventually made a two-sided king sized quilt out of my shirts but right now I'm wearing most of them. I am not a big fan of doing the same races repeatedly so I don't have too many shirt duplicates :o) My cotton ones go straight to my "saving for the quilt" box in my basement as soon as I get home from the race :o)

  7. I honestly HATE cotton race tees with a vengeance, and use my tech tees quite often for running! But not being a tee shirt person in day-to-day apparel, that's all the action any of my race shirts gets, tech or not. I think you have a wonderful idea, and I might even be convinced to let someone pry my race shirts out of my hands for a good cause! I hope to hear more about this from you in the future!

  8. Jen - You will. And the cotton ones will do just fine ;)

  9. this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot! best Bachelorette Party T-Shirts


Any comments that could easily fall under the definition of "Cyber-Bullying" are promptly deleted.

Cyber-Bullying is a crime punishable under Federal Law and in some cases Individual State Laws. By posting a comment to this blog, you acknowledge that you understand and accept these laws and are aware that you will be prosecuted for offenses under the full extent of these laws. By posting a comment to this blog you also agree to waive your anonymity, and any rights associated with that anonymity, by having your computers I.P. Address tracked.

Everyone Seems to be Looking for "Motivation"...

  "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going" ~ Jim Ryun It's January. For many of us that means cold...