Michael Sproul

Fuck Your Corporate T-Shirt

Written by Michael Sproul on April 15, 2016.

Do you wear your company’s branded t-shirt to work? If you do, here’s some advice, free of charge.


Seriously, just fucking stop. You’re being played, by THE MAN. While it might seem great that you get free clothes and no longer have to waste your precious brain cycles on meaningless fashion choices, you’re sacrificing your individuality for the benefit of a corporation that doesn’t give a shit about you.

Ok, maybe they do care about you, and their motto is something sweet like “don’t be evil” or “don’t fuck the customer”. Even if it is and you concede that capitalism is a necessary part of modernity, no corporation deserves your undying love and blind trust. Wearing a corporate shirt is nothing like wearing a shirt for your favourite band or artist, because you can love art, but you can’t love a revenue-stream for a bunch of middle-aged white men.

One of the perks of working in tech is that you don’t have to wear a suit, but if you wear the company shirt and rock it at Wynyard, aren’t you even more of a slave to your job than those squares who work in banks? All the counter-cultural cred you built up watching Silicon Valley and Mr Robot disappears the instant that comfy cotton sack slides over your head.

If wearing a company shirt provides you with a sense of community, it’s misdirected. You can still feel united with your colleagues without looking the same as them. Buy a bunch of cheap shirts from an op-shop and show your affection at lunch, drinks and in your interactions at work.

Perhaps this article has rubbed you up the wrong way. It’s supposed to. But I’m not here to declare war on people, I want a war of ideas. We’ve all got to pay rent, and if that involves inserting ads for fake vomit into Google maps and sending marketing spam in bulk, then so be it. You shouldn’t surrender your individuality and free thought though, because without them, does anything of value remain?

Tagged: capitalism, tech, rant