A Warehouse Sale in Singapore: the mass production of freedom tshirts

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Recently the parents took me to see one of the huge Robinsons warehouse sales in Singapore out at Expo, where I encountered vast mountains of GIORDANO shirts like never before. For the uninitiated, in Singapore Giordano has long-established itself as the main purveyors of generic low-cost casual wear – with an outlet in practically every other HDB centre. Even I probably have had a few Giordano basics in my childhood wardrobe, because Giordano is so ubiquitous that people sometimes even think they must be a Singaporean company (they’re actually from HK). I don’t know who designs these shirts, but if you just want the cheapest possible basic cotton shirt and have no care for fashion or aesthetics or things with meaningful messages on them, then this is the place for you. You know, a $5 tshirt that basically says “I absolutely do not care whether the words on my shirt makes any sense at all in any context whatsoever because I do not care about the useless practice of wearing shirts to express my individuality and personality”.

[This is also not to be mistaken for Things which are so bad until they’re good again. No, this is not exciting, trendy, or radical clothing. No, these are just generic words printed onto a generic shirt and then sold in staggeringly vast quantities in Singapore]

Now the strange thing about all these Giordano shirts was that… THEY WERE ALL FREEDOM THEMED! Yes, a mountain of FREEDOM shirts in Singapore.

Here are a few of them:

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OKAY… WE ARE FREE TO CHOOSE…
BUT WHY ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE RUNNING?
WHAT ARE THEY RUNNING FROM???

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OK… I’LL TRY TO KEEP CALM…
BUT….. IS THERE REASON NOT TO BE CALM?
IS IT RELATED TO THE “STAYING FREE” PART???

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I DON’t KNOW GIORDANO, WHY DON’T YOU TELL ME?
OR AM I SUPPOSED TO ASK THESE FISHIES?
DO THE FISHIES KNOW FREEDOM?
WHAT IS FREEDOM???
Maybe they had a meeting and then they thought about how Singapore and Singaporeans are always concerned about freedom. Maybe they were chortling to themselves as they designed it, “Oh these Singaporeans! They are so going to love our insightful and subtle commentary on the state of freedom and free speech in Singapore in our new line of freedom shirts!”. Or who knows, maybe the designing of the shirts was done by a hapless designer being forced by the dollar to churn out more and more nonsensical mass produced tshirt designs which the designer knows will never be thought of or valued as a credible creative product and as the poor designer sheds a tear for the demise of his or her creative integrity he or she types into Illustrator: WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN?

I wish I had taken more pictures of all of the designs but the Dingfather pulled me away and told me to stop mocking the freedom shirts by laughing so loudly.