Ello is selling T-shirts to help keep the lights on

Remember the other day when all of your startup bro T-shirts were dirty? Wasn’t that the worst day? You know, if you’d bought Ello’s new T-shirt, you wouldn’t have been in the same predicament.

The new clothing line that nobody knew they wanted is available through a partnership between Threadless and the new social network that nobody knew they wanted. The shirts are actually sort of cute, maybe just irony cute, but whatever.

Ello

Ello’s T-shirt collection will rotate twice a month and be curated by user @nopattern, who also created the first limited edition design. While the limited edition options might not stick around forever, the regular black or white Ello logo shirt will stay on sale for $25; presumably as long as Ello keeps kicking, which is anyone’s guess. The limited edition tees will set you back $35, so like, know that.

Ello developer Justin Gitlin (@cacheflow) posted the shirt to his account with a bit of commentary on the social network’s intentions, which are noble enough, at least when rendered in a kind of nostalgic monospaced typeface.

“Instead of being creepy and selling your personal data like other networks do, we’re releasing limited edition wearable art as a way to help us sustain our efforts. The “free” nature of other social platforms requires that we give up our privacy and personal information to corporations in return for a service. 

Gitlin calls the shirt store “one way to show your support” for ad-free Ello, which plans to provide premium paid features to stay off the beaten revenue path. Selling T-shirts won’t get Ello too far as a well-funded Facebook alternative, but you have to admit it’s sort of endearing and quaint, like a bake sale or a lemonade stand. 

Is an Ello shirt the anti-startup bro shirt? Is Ello just bro-shirt-2.0? And, like, what is Ello, anyway

All we know is that Ello is an actual, literal flat circle—and maybe that’s all we can know for now.

Photo via Ello

Taylor Hatmaker

Taylor Hatmaker

Taylor Hatmaker has reported on the tech industry for nearly a decade, covering privacy and government. Most recently, she was the Debug editor of the Daily Dot. Prior to that, she was a staff writer and deputy editor at ReadWrite, a tech and business reporter for Yahoo News, and the senior editor of Tecca. Her editorial interests include censorship, digital activism, LGBTQ issues, and futurist consumer tech.