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Teen cashes in on t-shirt design

With Smithers Pira predicting the digitally printed textiles market to reach £4.2bn in 2023, one art student has capitalised on the simple concept of designing a t-shirt and has reaped a large reward.

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The younger generation have turned to t-shirts to spread a message to the older generation

The study found that clothing, including swimwear, sportswear and haute couture garments, is the largest application sector for inkjet printing. This sector was valued at £1.8bn last year and is predicted to remain at this position through to 2023.

US art student, Shannon O'Connor, made the most of the popular medium of textile printing and designed a t-shirt featuring the phrase: “OK Boomer”.

According to NBC News, teenagers in the US have been using the term to fire back at older generations’ criticisms.

It is essentially Gen Z trying to fight back at the baby boomers of the world, who try to put us down a lot and criticise us. We’ve found our voice and we’re expressing it.” 

The phrase can be found being used as a retort to an outdated statement, or as a way to mock the older generation and those who are felt to be closed-minded.

A play on words, OK Boomer is a direct reference to the Baby Boomer generation – those born from 1946-1964 – who refer to the younger generation, roughly those born after 1995, as Millennials or Gen Z.

Since launching the design, O’Connor has made $25,000 (£19,351) by selling more than 2,000 t-shirt and sweatshirts to teenagers and young adults.

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Let’s get it trending #okboomer

A post shared by Sam Hughes (@god_damn_sam) on

Discussing the inspiration behind the design to the BBC, O’Connor says: “It is essentially Gen Z trying to fight back at the baby boomers of the world, who try to put us down a lot and criticise us. We’ve found our voice and we’re expressing it.

“It’s a comeback to say, ‘We’re going to prove you wrong and do great things despite what you may think of us’. We have a lot of understanding of political and social issues in a different light to the boomers. Times have changed a lot.”

Nine students at Centreville High School in Virginia have also taken to customising t-shirts to spread the same message.

Each student wore a t-shirt featuring blue and white tap which formed a single letter. Together, the letters made up the term. Wearing the shirts, the group stood in a line for a yearbook photo, spelling out OK Boomer.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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