A little while back, I reviewed the Creator t-shirt. A very popular item within the blank clothing industry and, without going into detail, my conclusion was wholly positive. As a consequence, I was delighted at the prospect of getting to grips with a different version of the garment.
More than that, in truth. The RE-Creator intrigued me insofar as the wisdom of messing with a classic is always questionable. So, here we go, my review of the Stanley Stella RE-Creator t-shirt. It’s a relatively short piece, but answers all the relevant questions. Concise and comprehensive is always a good way to go, in my humble opinion. Is the RE-creator an imaginative re-interpretation of an iconic tee or a recycling wrong turn? Read on, we’ll soon see. By the way, there are a mix of images, some Stanley Stella stock pictures and some my own amateur efforts of a sample shirt.
Fabric of the RE-Creator T-Shirt.
Before we carry on, I ought to explain the essential difference between the RE-creator t-shirt and its illustrious namesake. Pretty easy to spot, the clue is in the style name, but not necessarily exactly how you would expect. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see the word ‘recycled’ in the list of materials used to manufacture an item of clothing. Especially with blank t-shirts, where recycling is really taking hold. It usually refers to a certain amount of polyester content which comes from recycling plastic bottles. However, that’s not the case with the RE-creator tee.
We’re still firmly in the land of cotton here. The difference is the source. Whereas the original Creator is made entirely from raw organic cotton, the RE-creator t-shirt is made from a 50/50 blend of recycled open end cotton and organic raw open end cotton. Basically, that means in-house organic cutting waste is used to make something useful instead of simply being thrown away. The idea of which really appeals to me because I have an innate dislike of waste in my day to day life. A dislike that extends to the wider world. And it’s not a viewpoint based on some save the planet sustainability obsession. Far from it. Whilst eco-friendliness rings plenty of bells with me, not wasting stuff is plain and simple common sense. Waste is to be avoided, whether it be the food in your fridge or the economics of maintaining a responsible and profitable production chain.
Colours in the RE-Creator T-Shirt.
This t-shirt is currently only available in three colours. Not a staggering variety, but all of them are attractive in a subtle, understated way. And they have mainstream appeal.
It’s not that pertinent to my review of the Stanley Stella RE-Creator t-shirt, but I think the names are lovely. Re-black, Re-navy and Re-white are clever little touches and reflective of the thought that’s gone into the concept behind the tee.
As I intimated, the colours themselves are somehow delicate. They possess an echoey, organic air. The black is more charcoal, navy rather muted, and the white a creamy, natural shade. It’s worth pointing out that I found the colours in real life matched my expectations from looking at them online. That said, this can be a somewhat subjective thing because it obviously depends on your individual screen and settings.
RE-Creator Fit, Feel, Performance and Printing.
Alright, let’s get down to business. This is where we explore the detail if you’re considering the RE-Creator for your next print run or buying it undecorated. You need to know some basics, right? How it fits, what it feels like, how it performs in the wash and what professional printers think about it when they’ve loaded the screen printing carousel. Not a problem, that’s the whole point of this review of the Stanley Stella RE-Creator t-shirt.
The fitting of the RE-creator is described as medium and that’s accurate. The shirt is comfortable on the shoulders and sleeves whilst having some room in the body. Once again, the neck is a nicely balanced fit. I’ve mentioned before that the collar on t-shirts is a personal bugbear for me. You would think it a fairly straightforward matter to get the design of a collar on a tee to be neither too tight nor too loose. Yet it’s something which seems to elude so many t-shirt manufacturers. Thankfully, Stanley Stella have got it right again with the RE-Creator.
Sizes are also accurate when compared to the manufacturer specification sheet. Those shown above are of a Large and pretty much match what I would expect for this size in the chest and length for a medium fitting t-shirt.
As with the original tee, there is a pleasant weight to the RE-creator t-shirt. To be specific, 180 GSM (grams per square metre). Versatile and easy wearing, far from flimsy, but not too heavy.
The Stanley and Stella product sheet describes the RE-Creator as having a ‘slightly rougher fabric characteristic’, presumably in relation to the Creator. A statement that strictly speaking is true, but may possibly be a little misleading. The RE-Creator is in no way rough. It’s soft without being silky and it’s slightly stretchy. A stretchiness that I’ve not previously experienced in a cotton tee. Something I’m guessing that is a result of the innovative use of recycled cotton. Whatever the reason, it’s a quality that’s decidedly seductive. You enjoy touching and wearing it.
As just mentioned, the RE-Creator feels good on your back. And it still feels good after several spins round the washing machine. In plain terms, it washes well, dries quickly and retains shape. I noticed some small shrinkage, but nothing out of the ordinary. My sample shirt has been worn and washed for several months now and it’s still in very good condition. It’s certainly taken enough punishment for me to have confidence in the overall quality and standard of manufacture.
Printing the Re-Creator T-Shirt.
An essential element in this review of the Stanley Stella RE-Creator t-shirt is its suitability for printing. An area where I’m happy to defer to the experts. After all, Fifth Column have printed more t-shirts than I’ve had hot dinners (or am ever likely to have). So, I asked the guys in the print shop. I’m happy to report that they’re very pleased with the results of printing RE-Creator t-shirts. For information, they use water based inks on the light colour and plastisol ink on the dark tees. They’ve avoided using discharge inks in accordance with the manufacturer’s printing guidelines.
Rating the RE-Creator T-Shirt.
Okay, time for a rating. Is this a seriously good shirt and does it get five stars. Well, the answer to both questions is yes. My review of the Stanley Stella RE-Creator t-shirt is a resounding stamp of approval. The RE-Creator is high quality and a highly ethical choice, especially when you consider the recycling side of the manufacture.
However, I ought to point out one thing which I think is important. This struck me as a tee with rather different characteristics to the Creator, despite the similarity in name and origin of the core design. The way it feels and wears are not quite the same. Hard to put my finger on exactly what, but if pushed I’d put it down to the texture and hang of the material differing. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing in itself, simply something of which you should be aware if you’re anticipating an exact replica.
Click on the style name below to visit the RE-Creator product page:
Reviewed by Frankie (freelance reviewer) for Fifth Column.