Category Archives: Comfort

T-shirts in the News: Wear Your Way to Comfort and Recovery

A recent story about T-shirts in the news made us feel really good about our company. The story was about a teenager with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And of course you may wonder about how such a story could make us feel good, but bear with us, the story was about comfort. His response to his cancer made us feel good about our dedication to it.

A fashionable and athletic teen, our new comfort hero created a clothing line to help him (and others in his position) keep his dignity through his chemo.

The clothing line is called ComfPort and it combines style and comfort with functionality. The T-shirts have a pocket that unbuttons and gives unfettered access to a cancer patient’s port, the surgically planted catheter that connects to a main vein and is used to distribute chemotherapy drugs and draw blood. You can read the whole story here.

We will rarely write about another clothing company, but this one’s mission is just too good to ignore. His Kickstarter campaign states, “Fashion forward clothing that is designed for cancer patients and their supporters. 1 shirt purchased = 1 donated to a cancer patient! ” In this product, fashion and dignity work hand-in-hand to promote healing and comfort – both for those with cancer and those who love them.

smiley_faceFeeling comfortable is an important part of the healing process. Imagine having to take off and put on your shirt dozens of times each day. This is not a comfortable process under the best circumstances, now add the discomfort of jostling a port in your chest and you can see our hero’s dilemma.

Emotional and tactile comfort here are the keys to making it all work. From the moment we are born until the end of our days, our tactile senses feed our brains information about our environment. When our brains receive messages about comfort, happiness (and maybe even recovery) ensues.

Comfort Colors t-shirts may not help you recover from cancer, but they are known to be very comfortable, which may just be the first step toward your comfort and happiness.






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What it means to have your roots in Vermont

If you are in Vermont and it is still below zero when you read this blog post, you might think you are either completely nuts, part timber wolf, or the most hardy of souls. To remain here in the northern tundra of New England during such a winter is a true testament to your depth of character.

We have had a good old fashioned cold snap here in Vermont this winter. If you are the rugged, salt-of-the-earth type, you are relishing your resilience right about now. We Vermonters tend to think of ourselves as befitting the stereotype. We are resourceful, determined, unflappable, indomitable, optimistic, independent, witty, tough, and above all entrepreneurial.

We have our roots here in Vermont. These New England proverbs hold a ring of truth for us:
“Wishing isn’t doing.”
“The world is your cow. But you have to do the milking.”
“The hardest work is to do nothing.”
“The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.”

pieWe take particular pride in what we make and what we do. We strive to be the very best. You might think of it as Yankee ingenuity on steroids, but really it is more of a stubborn kind of survival instinct. We quash cabin fever with creativity.

Here are two great examples of what we’re talking about, both happen to have their origins in Greensboro, the current epicenter of awesome, about an hour’s drive from Northfield, the home of Comfort Colors. The Vermont cheesemaker, Jasper Hill, recently won a “best in the world” award at the annual World Cheese Awards in London. Its Bayley Hazen Blue sweeping the other 2,600 entries in the competition. Jasper Hill also won two “super gold awards for its sheep’s milk cheeses.” And for those of us who cannot live on cheese alone, Hill Farmstead Brewery makes the world’s best beer. This award was given by by RateBeer, a beer peer review site – the world’s largest and most popular. (Source:

Like our neighbors, we take great pride and comfort in our roots. And like them, we also try to keep a little bit of a sense of humor about it.

To the European, a Yankee is an American.
To an American, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To a New Englander, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
To a Vermonter, a Yankee is someone who eats apple pie for breakfast.
And to a Vermonter who eats apple pie for breakfast
a Yankee is someone who eats it with a knife.
~An old Yankee joke



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Top Ten List for the Importance of Making Lists

If you are anything like me, your inbox, Facebook, and Twitter news feeds are  jammed with lists: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Thoughts for Good, 10 Things You can Do Right Now to Grow Your Small Business, 15 Ways to be Happier in 2015. The list goes on and on.

Lists are everywhere! You might have a Google Doc of To Do lists open right now. Or you might do things the old-fashioned way and use paper and pen (many business coaches recommend both). Your smartphone, your fitness app, your brain are all set up to help you get through your day by making lists.

To_Do_ListThe most successful small business people I know make lists. They keep little notebooks in their pockets and check things off.  Who knows, they may even give themselves little smiley faces when they check things off their list. (I love the idea of Kevin Camisa giving himself smiley faces for his accomplishments!) Smiley faces or no, the fact is lists work.

Here’s why:

  1. Lists help relieve stress. Write it down on paper and let it go. This will give you a sense of moving forward and of releasing worry. You don’t have to fret about it anymore, it’s on your list!
  2. Lists help you achieve your short term goals. If you keep track of them, they are much easier to achieve!
  3. A good list will outline small steps you need to take in order to get where you want to go. “Studies have shown that people who write things down tend to get things done.” (
  4. Lists give you direction. If you start to feel lost, just refer to your list.
  5. Lists make your long term goals more approachable. See #2. The act of simply writing them down makes them real. See #3. Creating a list of small actions you must take that lead to your long term goals will give you a clearer picture of the steps to get there.

Here is my favorite list of top 10 tips for making lists (from Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines):

  1. Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small
  2. Always carry a notebook
  3. Find a list method that works for you. Doodles, bullet-points, charts what suits you best?
  4. Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day
  5. Mark off every completed task – you’ll find making each tick very satisfying
  6. Make your goals measurable so you know if your plans are working
  7. Set far off, outlandish goals. What do you want to have achieved by 2020? How about 2050?
  8. Include personal goals in your lists, not just business
  9. Share your goals with others. You can help motivate each other further
  10. Celebrate your successes then make new lists of new goal (

Branson (or his writer, but maybe it was actually him, he strikes me as his own list maker) wrote this top 10 list in relation to New Year’s Resolutions. “I have always lived my life by making lists. These vary from lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen. I also have lists of topics to blog about, lists of tweets to send, and lists of upcoming plans.

Each day I work through these lists, and it is by ticking off each task that my ideas take shape and plans move forward. As the new year gets started, lots of you will be busy making resolutions. If you want to stick to them, I suggest making them into lists.” (

FastCompany put together a great little video for making To Do lists. Put watching this video at the top of your list.

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Can you can make it on your own in the apparel decorating business?

Independence and innovation are the foundations of American ingenuity. Self-reliance and a can-do attitude are not only the foundations of our country, they are the traits that make us strong. But working in a vacuum like this is not all it’s cracked up to be. Getting started in the apparel decorating business can be a lonely endeavor.

teamworkSure you’ve got the know-how and the entrepreneurial spirit, but what happens when you have a new idea and just need a sounding board? What happens when you’re so excited about a new piece that you just have to tell someone? What happens when you wonder ‘is this any good’?

We are so often taught that we must carry our own load, it has become second nature to us. But as society changes and we spend more time in isolation from peers and family, our creativity and even our success can start to lag. Recent studies in both business and psychology show that we work better in groups.

When we have a chance to engage with others who support or even challenge our ideas, we are happier, more productive and find greater fulfillment and success.

IQ forum tells us:

When others are invested in your success, you tend to not want to let them down. Sharing ideas, increasing efficiency, broadening the knowledge base all enhance productivity, but they also tend to be happier and have more fun.

Even our own V.P. Kevin Camisa got started in the apparel decorating business at his mother’s dining room table. She may have wanted to serve dinner there, but she was invested in Kevin’s success. Though your mom may not be the very best business advisor for your small business, it is always advisable to get others involved and excited about your work.

You don’t have to go it alone. Find a friend, a partner or mentor. SCORE, for example is a nonprofit organization of retired executives who are giving back to the community by offering free advice to small business. They help “small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.” They are all over the country and they have been doing it for nearly fifty years.

‘Many hands make light work’ is not just a wonderful sentiment from the Bible, it’s a ubiquitous truism that has positive ramifications throughout business and society. We certainly experience it here with our team at Comfort Colors and with our customers and community.

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Proper Commemoration for 9-11and T-Shirts

September 11th seems like the right day to consider commemorations. People are posting all over the Internet “Never forget”. And of course we will never forget. Anyone in America over the age of 13 (maybe 14 to be fair to little kids) will never forget.

Is a quick comment on social media the right way to remember such an event in our history? How about a plaque or a bumper sticker? Or a T-shirt?

SONY DSCThere are literally hundreds of thousands of 9-11 commemorative T-shirts out there. Maybe millions. But does a T-shirt dignify our painful memories of this history? Some people commemorate their wedding or their family reunion with a t-shirt. Other people remember their championships or their friend battling cancer. But is a T-shirt the right thing here?

We like to monitor T-shirts in the news. They can stir up a remarkable amount of controversy. Kids are suspended from school, teachers are reprimanded, celebrities are castigated for the choices they make regarding the messages their T-shirts convey (granted, some people make some really bad choices in this area). But that’s just the dark side of the coin.

If the shirt on your back is a symbol of the sentiments in your heart, then yes, the t-shirt seems the perfect commemoration for this day. But in the end, whether you choose a T-shirt, a moment of silence, or an elaborate ceremony of remembrance, the right way to remember is really up to you.

We found these images pretty poignant.



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T-shirts and Greek Life – What a Rush…

SONY DSCMany of our customers are sorority or fraternity members. And there is something wonderful about the connection between Comfort Colors T-shirts and Greek Life.

The National Panhellenic Conference is the association in charge of sororities; North-American Interfraternity Conference heads fraternities. Both formal regulatory bodies have created very specific codes and social mores for membership.

Here are some stats about Greek life from University of Missouri-Kansas City:

  • Nationally, 71% of all fraternity and sorority member graduate, while only 50% of non-members graduate.
  • The All fraternity and sorority GPA is higher than the overall collegiate GPA.
  • Since 1910, 85% of the Supreme Court Justices have been fraternity or sorority members.
  • 85% of the Fortune 500 key executives are fraternity or sorority members.
  • Of the nation’s 50 largest corporations, 43 are headed by fraternity or sorority members.
  • 76% of Who’s Who in America are fraternity or sorority members.
  • All but two Presidents since 1825 have been fraternity or sorority members.
  • 70% of the U.S. Presidents’ cabinet members since 1900 have been fraternity or sorority members.
  • 76% of U.S. Senators are fraternity or sorority members. (

Impressive stats, though we are pretty sure we have not yet had a President who belonged to a sorority.

We wanted to know about the history of rushing. This information was not as easy to find as you might imagine, though we did find some juicy tidbits from the Alpha Delta Phi Society at Brown:

Harvard, the first American college and prototype for the entire American college system, was patterned after the colleges of England. Harvard copied every English custom it was possible to copy: the dormitory (or commons) system of living, the classical curriculum, the degree requirements, and the strict student discipline. (

So we asked a Brit about rushing. Of course he replied “A gentleman never rushes, he saunters.” The Brown website explained it this way:

Every freshman class was subjected to extensive hazing, of a degree of brutality which can be described as barbaric. Severe injuries were common, and occasionally a boy was killed. Naturally, the freshmen fought back, and gradually arose formalized class battle, some of which raged for days. These class fights were called “rushing.” This may be the origin of the fraternity word “rush.”

The result of these class battles was that each class was united against every other class, and the classes were united against the faculty – the authority figures who enforced the rules. The spirit of camaraderie among the students was a driving force toward the creation of the more dedicated, more devoted, and more idealistic personal friendships in those smaller groups which would be called fraternities.

This explains why fraternity recruitment is called Rush, but what of the sororal aspect of recruitment? The kind of rush described above does not seem very feminine.

The Adelphean Society at Wesleyan was the first established women’s society (1851). Wikipedia’s description of early sororities does not include any mention of battles: “Sororities had, from the beginning, the difficult objective of proving the viability of coeducational studies. That women could perform academically as well as or better than men while maintaining the Victorian ideals of womanhood was a tall order. Sororities created high academic standards and monitored the social activities of their members from their inception.”

While recruitment practices vary from campus to campus, and these days you can even hire a Sorority Rush Coach, it sure doesn’t sound like fisticuffs to us. Why is it still called Rush Week? says it is because of the quick decisions that are made, often based on appearance. But there must be more to it than that. Is it the bum’s rush women who are not selected feel? Is the sugar rush they feel when they are? Is it just tradition?

Regardless of its origins, we are glad these talented students can find some comfort in our shirts.


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Fourth of July Facts – Who Knew?

Fourth_of_July_FireworksIt’s our Nation’s birthday. What other holiday could be more patriotic? Picnics, parades, soldiers, salutes, Shriners…you name it. We love it. We know how fun this day can be. But there are some things about the Fourth of July we did not know. Here are just a few:

    • Yankee Doodle was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.” (
    • July is National Hot Dog Month. “Every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each.” ( The Fourth of July is peak hot dog consumption day.
    • Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Munroe died on July 4.
    • July 4th was not an official holiday until 1870! It was not a paid holiday until 1938!
    • Benjamin Franklin did not want the Bald Eagle to be our national symbol. “He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.” (

The biggest Fourth of July unknown for many people is the date. We should probably be celebrating on the 2nd rather than the 4th of July.

Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Britain on July 2, 1776, when it approved a resolution and delegates from New York were given permission to make it a unanimous vote.

John Adams thought July 2 would be marked as a national holiday for generations to come…After voting on independence on July 2, the Continental Congress needed to draft a document explaining the move to the public. It had been proposed in draft form by the Committee of Five (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson) and it took two days for the Congress to agree on the edits.

Once the Congress approved the actual Declaration on Independence document on July 4, it ordered that it be sent to a printer named John Dunlap. About 200 copies of the Dunlap Broadside were printed, with John Hancock’s name printed at the bottom. Today, 26 copies remain.

That is why the Declaration has the words, “IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776,” at its top, because that is the day the approved last version was signed in Philadelphia.

The declaration was not read publicly until the 8th of July. Maybe we should celebrate Independence Week instead of just Independence Day? Regardless of the date mix up, John Adams did make an amazing prophecy in a letter to his wife Abigail about the occasion:

 “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (

We absolutely love the notion of being transported with Enthusiasm and hope that you too will be transported with Enthusiasm on this wonderful American holiday. Have a great Fourth!


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June 19th is World Sauntering Day

For Comfort Colors, a company based entirely on comfort and the pleasures of the weekend, World Sauntering Day is just about the best holiday we’ve ever heard of. Who knew such a day existed? We do now and we’re going to celebrate by sauntering right into summer and t-shirt season.

June 19 is world sauntering daySaunter is a terrific verb. It means to walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort. Saunter is also a terrific noun that describes a leisurely stroll. Other wonderful words with similar saunterly connotations include amble, dawdle, drift, meander, sashay, glide, wander, ramble, promenade, roam, lollygag, traipse, and mosey.

World Sauntering Day’s Facebook page describes sauntering this way: “It is simply to walk slowly, preferably with a joyful disposition. Sauntering has been spoken of most notably by many of the naturalist writers in history including Henry David Thoreau and John Burroughs.” When you saunter, you saunter in good company indeed!

This unique holiday was originally started at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. Mackinac Island is a resort island on Lake Huron at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac (people from Michigan automatically make their left hand into the mitten-shaped map of Michigan to point out exactly where in the state this is). A “summer colony” accessible only by ferry, the island prohibits the use of motor vehicles. Bicycles, horse-and-buggy, and sauntering are the primary modes of transportation on Mackinac.

It is worth noting that the Grand Hotel’s front porch is the longest front porch on record. Plenty of room for sauntering and probably rocking chairs. This is precisely the kind of comfort Comfort Colors is all about.

In some places World Sauntering Day is celebrated on August 28th, But why wait? The weekend is nearly upon us!

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Mom and Pop Shops on Memorial Day: Small Business Remembered

We love Memorial Day. We love that it is also called Decoration Day (decoration, after all, is part of the foundation of our business). It is just so incredibly American. Parades that combine honored veterans, marching bands, floats, candy and Shriners driving crazy clown cars just make us feel proud and all patriotic. Of course we are patriotic year-round, the Memorial Day Parades just add a little sparkle to our zealousness.

Memorial Day This year as we honor the veterans who have made it possible for us to celebrate, we’d like to send a salute to small business – particularly Mom and Pop shops and cottage industry (some of their number are among those marching in the parade) . These businesses are some of the hardest-working and most deserving contributors to our national economy. President Obama idealized them this way: “What you share is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tireless work ethic and a simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal. Businesses like yours are the engines of job growth in America.” Republican Nominee Mitt Romney also called small business “America’s engine of job growth.”* We could not agree more.

The Small Business Administration defines ‘small business’ this way: a business that is “independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field.” In 2009, the SBA recognized more than 5 million small businesses in the U.S.. 54% of these businesses have 1-4 employees; 87% of them have less than 20. It goes on to define a retail small business as one whose annual receipts do not exceed $5.0 to $21.0 million. Our focus is a little smaller – we are thinking about the 54% with 1-4 employees. Many of these are the family-owned Mom-and-Pops and cottage industries.

Investopia defines the ‘Ma and Pa Shop’ (in the Northeast, we call it Mom and Pop): “A colloquial term for a small, independent, family-owned business. Unlike franchises and large corporations, which have multiple operations in various locations, ma and pa shops usually have a single location that often occupies a physically small space. The “shop” could be any type of business, from an auto repair shop to a bookstore to a restaurant.” (

Cottage industries can be even smaller – they are home-based, rather than factory-based. This is where our VP, Kevin Camisa started in the shirt business (at his mother’s dining room table). This is also where many of our customers do their work, not in Kevin’s mother’s dining room, but in their own homes.

This weekend as we celebrate so much that is great in our country, we send a shout out to the custodians of our national entrepreneurial spirit, small business!

*quoted here:


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Easter, Passover, and the Oldest Comfort in the World

The Spring holidays have got us thinking about family and remembrance. While neither Easter no Passover is a big T-shirt holiday, both are about bringing us back into the fold. At their core, they are both colorful celebrations of renewal, celebrations of life and celebrations of spring.

In both traditions, the egg has symbolic importance. In many traditions the egg symbolizes rebirth and hope – the essence of Spring. Its symbolism at Passover and Easter is a bit more involved.

brown_eggsAt Passover:
The Roasted Egg (Beitzah) is symbolic of the festival sacrifice made in biblical times. On Passover, an additional sacrifice (the Paschal lamb) was offered as well. The egg is also a traditional symbol of mourning, and has been interpreted by some as a symbolic mourning for the loss of the Temple. Since the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 C.E., neither the festival sacrifice nor the special passover sacrifice could be offered. It is also a symbol of spring – the season in which Passover is always celebrated. In many households, it is customary to use a brown egg on the seder plate. The egg should be baked or roasted if possible.

colorful_easter_eggsAt Easter:
The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration. (

Whether your eggs are boiled and painted or roasted and brown as you celebrate this spring, we wish you comfort and peace this holiday. Happy Passover. Happy Easter.

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