I have a largish number of indentical, idiosyncratic t-shirts with a number of... odd features. How to best unload them?
Sorry this is kinda stupidly long but it is a weird-ish situation.
Years ago while I was working for a think-tank whose work included alternative industrial materials, I came across a little bit in a book about "the oldest name for hemp" (NSFW - erowid link with cannabis botanical illustrations - but halfway down this page
, the Chinese characters in black on red - this was the specific reference). At the same time I was thinking and reading about hemp a lot
To make a long story slightly shorter, I had the bright idea to print these characters on a hemp t-shirt and sell it. It ended up being a lot more complicated than I expected, with one thing and another I eventually sold them all but didn't quite break even.
One wrinkle remained: when I was getting the first (and as it turned out, only) print run up, I had a significant number (over a hundred) of shirts printed on just a standard 100% cotton t-shirt (a nice solid shirt but nothing exceptional). I had very little luck moving these (I was marketing mainly to hemp type stores).
I gave up on the "business," chalked it up as a learning experience, and moved on... except I still, over a decade later, have dozens, and dozens, and dozens of these printed cotton shirts in a couple of plastic crates in the basement. My wife gently noted their continued presence (which predates our marriage) the other day.
I could bag and bin them. It would be easiest, I'm tempted just to be rid of them - grab out a lifetimes supply for myself (say 15) and chuck the rest. But though over a decade old they have been kept dry and boxed up. I still wear them. Other than some being a bit dusty there is nothing wrong with them. And honestly they're lovely for what they are. It seems so wasteful.
From time to time I'd get motivated and sell a couple on eBay. Only good feedback, but it's a pain and not worth the money. I tried doing batches but there appears to be about 1-3 customers per month out there for this product, whether I offer one or a dozen.
I feel weird donating them to charity. There is no explanation or tags on the shirts. I commissioned a Chinese artist to do the caligraphy. I trust he did it right but the design I chose was what he described as a very modern, personal style. Some native speakers I polled could identify easily what it represented, some didn't (but seemed to concur when given the translation), I didn't work that hard to figure out how "readable" it was. It definitely doesn't look like the sort of traditional "like you'd see on a tattoo" type characters as in the picture I linked above. Even so, I'd basically be giving unwitting people tons of t-shirts that said "weed" on them in Chinese. It just seems questionable. Am I being stupid about this?
One other thing about them is they are only in L and XL sizes.
I wouldn't mind recouping a bit on them but selling them piecemeal seems like too much work (unless I had some really maintenance free way of doing so) and selling them in bulk seems really unlikely. I'm looking for alternative ideas to the obvious (eBay, Craigslist, donation to charity) or a good enough argument to convince me that giving a ton of weird obtuse arty unlabeled cannabis-theme t-shirts to charity isn't that weird of a thing to do... Anybody out there brighter or more inventive than me?