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The 1975 use old t-shirts to make new album merch

By | Published on Monday 19 August 2019

The 1975

The 1975 have announced that they will not be producing any new t-shirts for upcoming new album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, as the process is “unsustainable” environmentally. Instead, they’re printing over unsold stock from previous albums and tours, and inviting fans to have their own old t-shirts refreshed with new artwork.

Frontman Matt Healy announced on Instagram that merch sold at upcoming live shows would be “old shirts (first album, early tours etc) that we had kept and have reprinted as your ‘NOACF’ shirts”.

“You will also be able to bring any old 1975 shirt or ANY bands you love shirts to Reading [and Leeds] festival and have the same print done over the top there”, he added.

Of course, Kendall and Kyle Jenner previously ran into legal trouble when they printed over the top of other band’s old t-shirts. Although The 1975 will just be defacing them rather than selling them online, which is where the Jenners slipped up.

The 1975 are promoting more sustainable merch after teaming up with environmental activist Greta Thunberg for the first track released from the new album. The band have already committed to donate all proceeds from the track to environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

In an interview for a new BBC Introducing podcast launching next month, the band’s manager Jamie Oborne says that The 1975 were not the first band Thunberg attempted to team up with.

“[She is] the most important person in the world to give a platform to”, he says. “Other artists didn’t want to do it – it’s madness. Bigger artists than The 1975. We weren’t even going to release [the track] until the album came out, that was never the plan. [But] after we met her in Stockholm and recorded it, we agreed it just wasn’t a statement that could wait six months to come out. It felt like that would’ve made it a vanity exercise”.

Of course, for this to really work, people should be trying to consume The 1975’s music in the most environmentally friendly way too. They are headlining the Reading and Leeds festivals this weekend, and – on top of that t-shirt re-printing malarkey – those events have an assortment of initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. Given theirs is an industry that isn’t always super friendly to the planet, maybe that’s a good place to start.

And what about listening to 1975 records? Because, you know, just listening to music can be a pretty negative thing environmentally speaking as well. Maybe, running with their t-shirt idea, The 1975 could help here too by using the old Sellotape trick and only making ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ available on second hand cassettes bought at car boot sales.