Riotstopper T shirts: stop a riot in your pants or T shirt

Dark Blue T shirt 140gsm thin cotton made in UKT shirts are coming back to the shopping pages soon. This is how they were presented on a previous version of the web site. The order buttons still work and we have stock of dark blue cotton shirts, small, with a 38"or 96.5cm chest and some thin thermal shirts. The order form is hosted on another web site.

Since this page was written 

A study by Nottingham Uni for David Niaper Ltd has shown that it's environmentally better to buy British [archive link]

Model wearing a polyster-viscous T shrit made in the UK"

British-made cotton T shirts from Unbranded Apparel are use 140gsm cotton fabric from India, dyed cut and made into T shirts in Leicester.

The selling point is not that they are from an advertised brand, but that they are from an un-advertised firm that pays UK rates for making the T shirts and so don't have a margin to pay for advertising. Instead the money goes on the costs of employing people in the UK like taxes and national insurance.

Just size 36" and 42" left

Vintage British-made T shirts made of viscose and polyester are only £12 including UK postage. The colour is slightly less bleached than illustrated. Made at the former Manchester Hosiery factory in Hinckley, using a tubular knitting machine to avoid the need for side-seams, and an off-white synthetic yarn.

Check your size by measuring a T-shirt that fits you, flat, sleeve-to-sleeve.
Chest measurement is a circumference - double the flat measurement:
46cm or 18" flat = 36" chest circumference (" is shorthand for inches)
48cm or 19" flat = 38" T shirt size
51cm or 20" flat = 40" T shirt size
53cm or 21" flat = 42" T shirt size
56cm or 22" flat = 44" T shirt size
Thermal T shirts are sold for wearing more tightly, so the S / M / L labels are one size smaller than the ones for cotton T shirts above.

Reasons to feel better in this shirt than an advertised brand:

ConsumerismTaxWorking ConditionsJobsWasteCottonWashing costsStyle GuideEthical Comparison: the ultimate ethical T shirtLike on facebookTen pound ethical T shirt price comparison.

British-made T shirts help pay UK taxes, employ people in the UK, and promote a fair price which has no great margin for advertising. The more globalised system of buying cheaply and spending a huge markup on advertising to the most vulnerable - people who usually can't afford good clothes- is shown below. Hence the name Riotstopper for this T shirt. If you were taught at school that clothes aren't made in the UK any more or that this doesn't matter, you were taught wrong! Other people agree. Pantstopoverty now has a new web site about the problem.

Over-priced and over-advertised sweat shirts in use during  London riots in West Norwood Over-advertised sweat shirt or T shirts made in sweat-shop working conditions, with no taxes paid towards a welfare state in the UK

The empty Vacancies noticeboard that used to be on the door of Manchester Hosiery's factory when it was still running

Model in a Manchester Hosiery T shirt and pants looks at something like a paper - maybe job vacancies













Looking for vacancies:
UK government has not been good to industry

ConsumerismTaxWorking ConditionsJobsWasteCottonWashing costsStyle Guide

Over-advertising of T shirts & consumerism

Shirts in the photos just above are highly advertised, well distributed & well displayed to people who can't afford them. The system is to buy the T shirts cheaply & sell for several times more, spending the difference on advertising to increase consumerism. This has been named by a recent parliamentary commission as one of the factors that increases the danger of riots. It is a habit that began when the pound was over-valued & cheap container shipping had just become possible in the 1980s

Riotstopper T shirts can't work in a system that advertises to those who can't afford, such as unemployed dads with bad education who get pestered by children, as someone says in a video below. At £4 wholesale including VAT & delivery, these T shirts at this price don't pay for high street shop; certainly not for Footlocker marketing department.

Tax paid while making T shirts

Shirts in the photos just above were part of a riot that costs a lot to UK taxpayers in prison probation and the rest. Companies that buy and sell internationally are better placed to avoid tax. Even if they want to pay the maximum, most of their supply chain is in fast-growing economies in the far east. The industry has just published a report trying to justify fashion's contribution to the economy, but the report is a fig leaf. It is not seriously convincing.

Riotstopper T shirts are woven and made near Leicester, out of yarn made in Europe and the UK. More of these links in the supply chain pay taxes towards public services.

Working conditions making T shirts. It's pretentious to call a simple thing "ethical" but people look for that so Ethical is word to mention.

Working conditions in UK textiles are similar to working conditions for the people who buy them in the UK, which seems fair. The worst case of illegally bad working conditions, recorded by a BBC undercover reporter, showed staff talking about social security & free access to doctors. These conditions are beyond the boasts of fairtrade T shirt manufactures in the far east, which are summarised at the bottom of the riotstopper-t-shirts.htm page. Something in our education here in the UK makes us think that a fairtrade T shirt is a better ethical choice than a UK-made one, but that something is just wrong or open to a bit of challenge and discussion.

Meanwhile the factory that made Riotstopper T shirts has been trading since 1906 and would have been discovered by now it it was doing anything so blatantly illegal. Riotstopper T shirts have a price which is easy to justify as paying for reasonable working conditions, reducing the temptation to shoplift that applies to the mainstream brands like Nike.

Jobs making T shirts

The vacancies board on the left is the one outside the factory that makes these T-shirts. If you buy advertised T-shirt brands rather than locally-made ones, the prospects for factories like this are to manage a shrinking market, or to close. The last few people left working in a factory are often very capable and likely to get other jobs, so if the factory closes these other jobs will be denied to potential rioters. Meanwhile the factory space often goes for housing development.

If local production becomes trendy, starting with your purchase of a T shirt, then more people get a chance to try the work and find out if they're good at it or they like it. Somehow this is linked to rioting. The last similar riots in Tottenham in the early 1980s happened at another time of very high youth unemployment. Then as now most of the rioters were young. So a good jobs market has something to do with helping people grow-out of rioting earlier. Jobs are also the subject raised at public meetings about causes of riots. Lastly there is a very positive thing about a range of different kinds of jobs that helps everyone by giving more people a chance to find something they're good at. This is a quote from a textbook on making clothes:
"production people are smart in a different way; it's spatial, mechanical and kinetic ...the best production people are often high school dropouts, who perform poorly at interviews"

Scroll up for the blue T shirt order form
Scroll down for an ethical T shirt price comparison

Ethical T shirts price comparison:

The figures are sllightly wrong

  • >£01.00 Used T shirts @ charity shops are rare; prices random.
  • >£01.66 £5 for 3 childrens' VAT-exempt T shirts in M&S. If you are small and wear them tight, you might fit-in. Small wholesale prices begin about this level too.
  • >£02.50 Value T shirt @ largest supermarket sites or Primark. I am wearing a Primark value T shirt as I type this and have to say that it is a good value T shirt. If the only ethic was fairness to the consumer, Primark basic T shirts would be the ultimate ethical fashion, and for all I know some of the people who make it are paid the same as people who make expensive brands. On the other hand it doesn't have the feel-good qualities that some people pay extra for.
  • >£06.00 M&S plain Blue Harbour T shirt (most are £12)
  • =£10.00 this British-made thermal T shirt £10 (That figure might be wrong in hindsight: maybe £15-25 unless it's made in a large batch, in which case it probably needs a shop to sell it in and that adds costs)
  • =£10.00 Primark upmarket thermal T shirt (reduced in child sizes; postage parking or travel and shopping time not included).
  • <£12.00 Advertised brand T shirt at full price,
  • <£12.00 Organic cotton T shirts - some go up to £14 or more. A lot are from Continental made in Turkey which has an EU free trade deal. Sometimes marketed as ethical T shirts.
  • <£12.00 Fairtrade T shirts, sometimes marketed as ethical T shirts. Pants to Poverty used to charge £15 for a womens' vest.
  • <£12.00 Screen-printed T shirts at Primark or M&S; cheapest shirt at ASOS (most £14+)
  • <£19.99 Logo-branded T shirt at an inner-city sportswear shop (£54.99 for a hoodie)
    You will see the hoodie, which is not for sale on this site, in two photos on this page; advertising to marginal people seems to get more reward and more cross want-to-bes than advertising M&S to the mainstream. It's similar with shy girls who hope the latest fashion will get them noticed, or dodgy folk like me who would need the right clothes to get into a northern nightclub.

Government-funded fashion?
What T shirts make you feel good?

Riotstopper T shirts, and British-made clothing

Advertised Brand T shirts

Value T shirts

Fairtrade T shirts example


UK minimum wage or more; less for interns but these are rare in down-to-earth trades. Not often known. The larger factories are very regimented but provide clearer info. Not often known. The larger factories are very regimented but provide clearer info. 3rd world minimum wage + premium divided by democratic vote.

Riot-starting or Riot-stopping

Taxes are paid at more stages of the supply chain to an economy which needs to re-balance. Sustains jobs in a vanishing industry & potentially allows jobs to be created. People who are good at technical jobs can do well - not all the jobs require a good education and people who are good at them often did badly at school.

One example is Rosebank Slippers, which employed people just north of Manchester until the receiver closed them and scrapped the machines at the end of 2011. They sold wholesale for £5 compared to trainers at £50.

Buys cheaply, sells expensively behind very good well-lit displays in every high street showing the unemployed what they can't afford: a good way to provoke a riot.

The margin goes on advertising to the same unemployed people to suggest that branded goods are the norm. A recent UK government report calls this wealth creation.

Advertised brands distract attention from the neighbourly habit of buying local products in the part of the world where you live: if Nike and Adidas are more cool; Rosebank slippers sell less..

Clothes people on all incomes. The only catch is that if you are only able to afford value brands, you become self- conscious and want to buy an Adidas hoodie to go with them.

Benefits to workers can happen because of a trickle-down effect leading for demand for education & development. Or not. Without condoms, pensions & education, population will tend to keep increasing and workers will remain poor. No tariff system exists to encourage trade with countries that have pensions or secondary schools, or even democracy.

Reduces problems in a list of countries that the fair trade foundation called 3rd world decades ago - some of them now boasting space programs but without universal

  • pensions
  • education
  • health services
  • votes
  • human rights

Overpopulation is normal in such countries, as in Victorian Britain, because women have less power & large families help look after parents in old age. Fairtrade does not address this problem as a system of tariffs against bad governments would do.

Security of factory work

British employment law applies but is easy to get-around. Declining interest in UK-made goods from customers is the main problem with factories closing or working short-time.

Workers are free to join a union. Community is an unusually good one but other unions's standard of help is not reported and the large ones use no-win no-fee lawyers on commission.

Not always known. There is probably a corporate social responsibility statement. Some UK companies have joined to co-ordinate the kinds of ethical claims they make.

Taxpayers subsidise this through a Foreign Office but are not allowed to see the detail.

Not always known. Larger shops will have a corporate social responsibility statement, but it's hard for them to know where the clothing comes from. The most organised buyers have quality inspectors but only for quality of T shirt, not life. Freedom to join a union. Presumably some countries have unions as bad as the ones in the UK.

Freedom to vote on how the fair trade premium is spent - for example on health insurance, plumbing or a teacher.


Difficult, but stable employment pays for somewhere. Housing benefit and other benefits are available otherwise. Some large employers provide barracks. Some smaller employers ones let workers sleep in the workshop overnight. At best the wage pays for reasonable housing in the area "The factory site includes a housing colony for over
1800 workers with parks"


NHS, including people who's work status doesn't allow them the benefits above. Bad geriatric services. Charity hospitals, family back-up to pay private. Charity hospitals, family back-up to pay private. "four bed hospital for staff" [presumably not future or ex-staff]


UK universal schooling to secondary level; part-subsidised further education. Technical colleges like London College of Fashion do not let clothing workers use the library! Primary.
A few countries in which cheap clothes are made have free secondary schools as well.
"subsidised school" [presumably for children of current staff only]


Not usually needed as rights outside the factory gate just are; they are the same as the rights of people who buy the T shirt. There are rare cases of fast fashion suppliers to Next or Primark being worse employers than is legal, but the NHS benefits and schooling for staff remain. Democracy, universal benefits, human rights. No. Conventional wisdom from those paid to certify and those who pay them; those who commission PR and journalists who report it is that only life in the factory is worth reporting and not life outside.As for life inside the factory, Amnesty International cannot work in China so how can a whistle blower?
The Foreign and Commonwealth office subsidises a trade association for companies with a corporate responsibility statement. Resources are not available to taxpayers.
Expensive but possible for a few clothing factories because their products sell at a premium. More common for food & commodities than made-up clothing.


The yarn is finer than cotton - about 10 denier - and sometimes puckers a little when tumble dried. It's softer against the skin than the grades of cotton used for T shirts, but a bit unfamiliar - more like underwear. Factory inspectors are good at keeping the cut and detail good. Fabrics are probably 250g /M2 or 260. If there is any way of reducing the seam allowance or the thickness of material to save money, it will be done so the T shirts might only last a year or so. Given the price, that isn't a problem for most buyers but tends to cost in landfill. Thin clothes are also harder to recycle. Often made on similar equipment to quality brands.
what is ethical fashion? - large scan of a British-made polyester viscose T shirt wrapped in a 1970s style bag marked made in england

A government report says about £3m a year subsidy for London Fashion Week out of regional development money, which is meant to help people like the 2011 England Rioters, trickles-down. It's obviously not true, and designed to conceal a diversion of regional development money to towards people who devise clothing brands, rather than people who need jobs. People like the marketing department at Footlocker, or their niche upmarket colleagues who market brands like Terra Plana or Monsoon.

 "3.3.4 Marketing
Given the importance of brand in the fashion industry, it is important to consider the promotional activities that retailers, in particular, undertake in order to boost sales. Spending on marketing contributes to GVA through the creation of jobs and potential to boost profits. Included in our definition of marketing were advertising, PR, event organisation and the work of modelling agencies.

[...] we are able to approximate the amount that fashion retailers, fashion wholesalers and fashion manufacturers spend on advertising and PR (for more detailed information regarding the methodology and data sources see Appendix B). Overall, we estimate that fashion advertising and related activities create an extra £241 million of GVA. Of this, £184 million is related to the promotion of clothing and footwear, with the remaining £57 million linked to other products. Chart 3.6 summarises the breakdown of the results by product."


Person interviewed about looting and London riots:

"They're taking £110 off you for a pair of trainers! They're saying on the constant thing: That You Must Have. You tell that to a little kid when he's got his little plastic trainers, and he's taking his shoes off and he's all burned up and his feet's stinking..."

"So you're blaming the riots on the marketing department of Footlocker for what happened in London?"

"That's the way this whole... this whole country works: you know what I mean? It works on a madness." [evidence above]