Saying Goodbye to Blank

TLDR: we have stopped production of new Blank t-shirts. Unprinted Blank teeshave been reduced to $16 (normally $32) until they’re all gone. Cotton Bureau graphic tees will still be available on Blank as long as we have stock. There’s a lot more to the story, so don’t stop reading now.

We talked about making our own t-shirts for years. For years. Ever since we sold our first t-shirt on United Pixelworkers back in 2010 — long before Cotton Bureau was even a twinkle in our eye — and recoiled in horror at how teeny-tiny American Apparel’s women’s tees were, we knew we had to find a better solution, and that maybe, just maybe, someday, somehow, we could be the ones to do it. It just seemed impossible at the time, like we were planning a manned trip to Saturn. Develop an entire t-shirt line…at scale…from scratch…by ourselves? It still seems impossible.

But starting in the summer of 2016, we went for it. We went for it. Thanks to a lot of help (and a big check) from our family at, we started on [ahem] Our Incredible Journey™. We hired the fierce Michelle Sharp, who ended up running the whole damn brand from the beginning almost single-handedly. We met a pattern maker we adore (hi Melanie). We met a lovely family who runs a cut-and-sew factory right here in Pennsylvania (hi Mereille). We met (and committed to) to a much larger fabric mill and factory in South Central Los Angeles (hi Moe). We met a wacky garment industry lifer named Ned (Ned eventually ghosted us, so we’re not gonna say hi to Ned). We made samples…and more samples…and more samples. We held a fit session in New York City. We signed hundreds of you up to be shirt testers. We were a Kickstarter “Project We Love”(and flew out to LA with half the CB team to film the video on-location at our factory with our heroes at Sandwich). Hell, we even had to start over from scratch once. And when we finally, finally started offering Cotton Bureau graphic tees on Blank — led by an incredible roster of strong women designers — 20% of men and 40% (!) of women chose Blank (and still do), despite the fact that they were way more expensive than our standard tees. By many measures, Blank has been a success. We did it! We made our own t-shirts! In the United States! And everyone loves them!! But…there’s always a but.

This is going to sound stone-cold obvious, but manufacturing your own tees is expensive. Very expensive. Like, breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly expensive. To date, we’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Blank. When you’re a tiny (mostly) bootstrapped business in Pittsburgh, PA, that kind of investment can be a propeller…or it can be an anchor. For us, it’s unfortunately been the latter. Blank is a product we’re tremendously proud of — seriously, it’s a great t-shirt — but it’s just not a business we can afford to be in anymore.

So it is with a heavy heart but an incredible amount of pride that we are announcing that we have stopped production of Blank t-shirts. Unprinted Blank tees have been reduced to $16 (normal price $32) until they’re all gone. Cotton Bureau graphic tees will still be available on Blank as long as we have stock (which should be a while).

[Exhales] You probably have some questions.

What? No. Really?? C’mon.

Yeah. WE KNOW…we know. We feel like we just got started! We tried, friends. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

OK so does that mean Blank goes away immediately?

Not at all! Unless someone swoops in and buys Blank from us (nudgenudge see the next question) it’s gonna take us a long time to go through our remaining stock. That said, if you love Blank, buy as many of them as you can now, whether it’s 1 or 10 or 100. No seriously, buy them cuz we need to sell them.

I’m a Purely Hypothetical and Reasonably Wealthy Person Who For The Purposes Of This Fake Question Also Wants To Start Their Own T-Shirt Business, can I buy the brand from you?

We’d love to see Blank live on, so if you’re interested in picking up where we left off, we’ll happily pass the torch to the right partner…for the right price. We have women’s and men’s patterns from XS–5X, ~10,000 shirts in stock, ~13,000 yards of milled-in-the-USA fabric (100% ringspun cotton in black and white and an outrageously soft 50/25/25 tri-blend in five colors), a sweet logo, an internet website, custom packaging, lots of professional product photography, and a factory standing by ready to produce more. If you or someone you know has ever considered getting into the t-shirt business, this is one hell of an opportunity. “Turnkey,” as they say. Email and let’s talk about it.

Can I buy Blank tees in bulk?

Absolutely. We will sell you as many as you wanna buy. Get in touch ( and let’s make a deal.

We still need women’s shirts that fit people of all sizes. Will you find a replacement for your graphic tees?

We’re gonna try like hell. Nothing’s ever going to be as size-inclusive as Blank, but we’ll look around (we already have our eye on a few options). If you have a favorite women’s fit tee — something from Bella+Canvas, Next Level, Alternative Apparel, or a similar wholesale t-shirt brand (not like, the Gap) — let us know on Twitter.

You know how they say “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”? Well look, that’s a silly saying. But we really shot for the moon on this one. We really went for it in a way that we never had before. We’re incredibly proud of what we accomplished with Blank. We hope you are too. Alright, enough with the sad stuff. Wait, nope, not just yet…

One more thing…a message from Blank’s fearless leader Michelle Sharp

“A little over two years ago, if you had told me that I’d soon be in the business of developing and manufacturing apparel (and launching a whole brand to go with it) from scratch, given my experience in the garment industry (surprise, it’s NONE), I’d have shuddered in disbelief. But there I was, with the rest of the tiny Cotton Bureau team, making it up as we went along, just like we’ve always done, and just trying to make this whole thing work so our customers — mostly our lady customers like me — could finally have a t-shirt they loved and that actually FIT them. And we did it! (Look, just because Blank is going away doesn’t mean we didn’t do it.) But we couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to you, our customers and designers, who from the beginning gave us your time and care and feedback in a way that isn’t very common in business. You were brutally honest with us about our early prototypes, and we needed that. To those who backed us on Kickstarter, to those who bought a t-shirt, to those who tested our first tee samples, to those who stuck with us after fit and fabric changes, to our Blank Ambassadors, to the conferences who printed their tees on Blank because they care about size inclusivity, and to anyone who sung our praises on social media and tried their damnedest to spread the word about Blank because our voice wasn’t loud enough…thank you.” xoxo Michelle

We’ll see you around, friends. Now please please please go buy as many Blank tees as your budget will allow. ❤️🙏👕