MerchFriends Forms To Advocate For Indies, Initiate Band Shirt Day

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Joining venues, record stores and other independent, music-related business in banding together to support each other and foster cooperation is a group of indie merchandisers who have formed a new, 501(c)6 nonprofit made up of screen printers, vinyl manufacturers and fulfillment houses.

MerchFriends will serve as a forum for merch companies and affiliated businesses from around the globe to learn and discuss best practices, source goods, share success stories and address challenges, fostering community communication through recurring webinars and live events.

Led by Hello Merch co-founder Sam Means (The Format), MerchFriends’ mission is to unite independent merchandise makers to support and sustain the industry and artists that they serve.

Early partners include Rough Trade, Bandsintown, Night Owls, Easy Partners, Hamster Labs, Awesome Merch, Ambient Inks, Sound Merch, Second City Prints, Hello Merch, Hello Screen Printing, and WASTOIDS.


MerchFriends will launch Band Shirt Day (BSD) on September 16, establishing an annual celebration dedicated to band tees, an iconic merch staple since the 1950s. Band Shirt Day will offer artists, labels, and merchandisers a day to proclaim their love of band shirts while raising funds for charities of their choosing. Further details about exclusive merch and live event celebrations to come.

Music Merch sales account for a significant portion of artists’ touring revenue, with the iconic “Band T-shirt” serving as the backbone of the industry. Although business has begun to rebound with the return of live concerts, the independent music merchandise industry continues to face challenges. Printers and vinyl manufacturers continue to face capacity constraints, forcing production and timeline delays. MerchFriends aims to address this issue head-on.

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve had conversations with so many peers about how we can all genuinely help each other out and this project was born out of those talks,” explains Means. “Merch Friends will serve as a support network for independent creators, embracing the DIY spirit but also honoring that we can do it ourselves together if we share the things we’ve learned along the way.”

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