I do stand corrected though on the double tag existing as early as 1994/95. I even found one in my own store so that's my bad. I've just always associated them with being much later, but I guess by that what I actually was thinking was the combination of double tag/non USA made. Because even the 1994 ones you linked that had double tags were all still made in the USA. And yeah of course there's always bizarre crossover of old blanks being used for printing things from many years later. I see high school graduation shirts in thrift stores all the time with Screen Stars white tags, and they're from the class of 2012 or whatever. So there's certainly a precedent for old stock being used by printers. My argument is that it doesn't go back the other way, though.
And in my trying to crack the code for this I'm wondering why a true 1993 double tag (and more specifically, one that isn't 100% USA-made) with undeniable provenance to that year is so hard to find. And I think maybe it could tie into NAFTA which went into effect January 1st, 1994. That seems to be the red letter date in history where the shift starts really going into effect. You begin to see more "Fabric made in USA, assembled in Mexico" at first. And then later, USA was taken out of the equation all together and they started making them all together elsewhere. And it also seems like it could be specific to the style of shirt where it was made and when the production locale shifted. For instance, those blanks are interesting. Now, I've seen packs of shirts or socks like that in stores to this day that have many years old copyright dates on the package but they're brand new, because the companies aren't really bound to update that as much as they are obligated to be correct about the country of manufacture. And also like I said, that single tag with the small Hanes in the upper left corner could have moved production elsewhere sooner than their other styles. Or it could have been produced later and the copyright on the packaging lagged behind. It's hard to say. So for the sake of this conversation, let's keep it to the styles that were produced as blanks for screen printing specifically.
For sure the long tag, Hanes Heavyweight, Beefy Tee were all being made all throughout the 90s and in the Beefy Tee case, much beyond. So that makes it super difficult to pin down what was being produced when, where and for how long. But if we just focus on the country of manufacture and specifically in regards to Hanes Beefy Tee, I think it makes more sense. Like the NAFTA thing in 94 which saw an uptick in t-shirts being assembled/manufactured outside the USA, there was also a couple of initiatives and bills that sent production out of the US and to these new countries. And this is the most compelling evidence for me for this tag and figuring out the production year of the blank. Here is the Wikipedia article about the Caribbean Basin Trade & Partnership Act, which allowed for duty free import of garments to the US that were produced in those countries provided that the fabric was sourced from yarns made in the US (hence Assembled in Haiti, Honduras, etc. but not Made In) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean ... ership_Act
You'll notice that three of the countries that benefitted from this bill which was signed into effect in October of 2000, are Haiti, Jamaica and Honduras. And that lines up with when, based on eBay searches by the year, you start to see more and more of these shirts being manufactured in those countries. It's not a perfect science because not everyone includes country in their listings but it's as close as we're going to get I think.
Search results for [year] Hanes Haiti shirt, removing clearly non-vintage shirts
1993-1996 - 0 results
1997 - 1 result (the three pack of blanks)
1998 - 1 result (unverified year on shirt, no picture of tag)
1999 - 1 result (but for a 2002 shirt)
2000 - 2 results (one made in Haiti, one assembled in Haiti)
2001 - a few results, most had no pictures of tags, but no more than 5 total.
2002 - 11 Made/Assembled in Haiti
2003 - 5 Made in Haiti
2004-2011 - 15-50 results, up until they go tag-less but are still producing in Haiti
Like I said, there's no perfect science to this and it's a lot of conjecture unless we get a definitive word from someone at Hanes for when they started making shirts in Haiti specifically. But given how these garment manufacturers generally moved their industry around tied into the various laws that were passed on free trade or duty free import/export, it's not difficult to surmise to some extent when these shifts took place. The Caribbean Basin Act was 2000, but they also passed something called HOPE around 2008 which seemed to further extended the benefit for Haiti to be able to not only assemble, but manufacture from all native elements and still get the duty free benefit. So I think this is probably why you start to see "Made in Haiti" a lot more after ~2008 after this bill passes since they were no longer obligated to source yarn from the US to assemble.
Check out this article about the Haiti production and the HOPE bill's effects, which goes into some detail and also has a quote from the vice president of government and trade relations for Hanes, which the article which was written in 2010 says "Hanes Brands, Inc., which has operated in Haiti for 10 years." Which lines up again with the Caribbean Basin Act being put in place in 2000 and Hanes shifting focus over there to reduce costs. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0216/ ... uy-Haitian
This is all kinda complicated and confusing but I do think I've stumbled onto something that could potentially answer the question to as certain a degree as possible without speaking to someone from Hanes directly. And for sure again, I'm not accusing you of misrepresenting or knowingly claiming the shirt is something that it's not. We're all resellers, we have no idea where these shirts come from, we can use deductive reasoning and our experience and try to read the tea leaves, but we've all been wrong at one time or another. Or we find a tag on a shirt with a date on it that pre-dates any of the previously known examples, it happens all the time. But I do believe, based on what I've been able to find through eBay and Google searches and trade articles that Hanes didn't do much production on the Beefy Tee line out of the US pre-1994 at the earliest. And more specifically I can't find any compelling evidence that they were producing anything in Haiti before 1997, but really more likely 2000 when it comes to this particular line.
As to where the shirt came from, who knows. Could very well have been an art school screen printing project for someone and that's why there's no other examples out there because it was a one off. And the print quality isn't great in general so someone who was just learning would seem to make sense. Plus it's only two colors which is highly reduced from the original era's official print. So it definitely wasn't produced by someone with access to original vector art or anything like that, parking lot bootleg would be possible but again I think the Haiti issue calls that into question. Because in general those would have been printed on way cheaper blanks (Pakistan, etc), and I can't find any other examples of a Haiti shirt anywhere until you get to 4 years later, and 7 years later if we're looking for Beefy Tee specifically. It's a bit of a conundrum for me. I think the fact that neither of us have ever seen another of this lends credence to the possibility that it was something that was made for fun or for a project or as a test for someone that either had access to equipment or was learning the trade. I don't think it was created to trick anyone into thinking it was older than it was, because as you said, other prints would have been more convincing and easier to pull off. Plus removing the tag would have eliminated a lot of questions about the era of the print all together. But my best guess based on what I've come up with is that if the screen printing project hypothesis holds water, that it was done post-2000 but more likely post-2008 when full-on "Made in Haiti" tags became much more prevalent. But again, it's all a guess honestly, albeit a somewhat educated one to some extent.
In any case, let me know what you think about all of this, it's a lot to parse out. But I've enjoyed doing the research because I find it all fascinating and I hope you know that I respect what you do and know for sure that you're not knowingly selling bootlegs or repops. The guy who started this original thread is a joke and you summarily proved yourself to be 100% correct and upstanding with regard to the Showco shirts. So I hope you don't think I'm trying to do a "gotcha" on you. I just am genuinely interested in cracking this case, whether I'm right or wrong is irrelevant to me because there's nothing in it for me regardless. I'd just love for all of us to have a better understanding out of this somehow. Genuinely appreciate the response and happy to discuss further if you like. Thanks
I came across this hanes blue tag with Jamaica 1990.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-Vtg-1990-T ... Swo4pYgutA
This now makes me wonder about the El Salvador Giant tags you see on the 1994 Metallica repops and when those are actually from. I've avoided those for this reason.
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