Thread-less has many amazing t-shirts-all created by ordinary people!
There are ongoing t-shirt design contests that determine which shirts would sell best so that Thread-less can pick shirt designs to buy. These contests are judged by the other members on Thread-less. This is the best way to do this, as they are the ones buying the t-shirts.
There are 2 main contests: design and slogan. The slogan contest is where you write a slogan that is under 65 characters in length and if your slogan gets picked, you win $100 in cash and a $100 gift certificate to Thread-less.com.
The other contest- the design contest where you create a t-shirt design that has no more than 5 colors in it. If your design is picked, then you win $1500 in cash, a $200 12 club membership (more on the 12 club later), and a $300 gift certificate to Thread-less.com.
Every now and then, they have other short-term contests in the designs. These have the same rewards as the ongoing contests, but are specialized. One was about fast-food. When submitting for one of these, use the regular form, but check for the contest you want to enter.
The 12 Club that I mentioned before costs $200 to get in. You receive 1 limited-edition t-shirt each month for 12 months- hence the 12 in 12 Club. I believe that most people in this club are winners of the design contests.
There is also the Street Team. Everyone on Thread-less is a member of the Street Team. This is a rewards system. You get points for certain things and the points can be cashed in for money off or free t-shirts. Every Street Team point equals $1.50. You get 1 point when you put up a picture of yourself wearing one of the t-shirts. You get 10 points if your picture is used as the product picture. You get 2 points every time you refer someone to the site or to a particular shirt and that referral results in a sale. So if you play your cards right and get lucky, you will never have to pay for a shirt and you will make money to boot! I tried doing this, but I failed miserably.
If you slogan or design is picked, Thread-less gets a copyright in your name with Thread-less as a holder to the copyright. This means that you still own the design, but that Thread-less is paying you for the right to use it. It is like the rights to writing.
Part of your duty to the threadless site is to rate other people’s work. the slogans have 2 ratings, OMG Stupid, and I’d Wear It. The designs have 5 ratings, 1 as the worst, and 5 as the best. You should also put up blogs once in a while so that other people won’t think that you are stuck up and not rate your submissions-or worse, give them a bad rating which will make your design or slogan loose for sure.
One last piece of advice: don’t write slogans that are meant for the Hot Topic crowd, these don’t go over well.