We will compare two online print-on-demand platforms for creatives, Threadless and Redbubble, by looking at their differences as well as their similarities. Let’s start with some fasic facts about both platforms.
Threadless, with its 22-year tenure as an e-commerce T-shirt company in Chicago, has evolved into a print-on-demand digital platform that supports an online community of artists across the globe. Many of its artist’s T-shirts have slogans that support causes like social injustice. They’ve partnered with 200,000 artists to bring their original art to a worldwide audience.
Redbubble began in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006. Founder Martin Hosking wanted to give independent creatives a meaningful new way to sell their art, so he started a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on user-submitted artwork. Their mission is to bring more creativity into the world. It’s connected over 700,000 of artists and designers with millions of fans worldwide.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Artist Shops
Threadless Artist Shops are designed to help artists succeed in selling their own customized art for free. Individual artists can easily set up their own fully customized e-commerce stores with branding, storefronts, and departments.
They can also set their own prices and get access to customer information for remarketing opportunities. This enables artists to create and sell their own one-off, print-on-demand designs on apparel, home decor items, and accessories to customers worldwide.
All the hassles of shipping, inventory, manufacturing, and customer care are handled by Threadless. This gives artists more time to do what they’re good at: creating their designs.
Threadless Artist Shops operate like a closed system. The navigation system keeps you in the Artist’s Shop, whereas the Redbubble system clarifies that you’re browsing the whole website.
Threadless users can choose preferred colors for an item in the shop and block the colors they don’t like. A wider range of colors like aqua, berry, neon, and crimson is also offered by Threadless.
On Redbubble, it’s quick and easy for creatives to get started with their online shop. They can upload their designs for 70 different products. Then customers find their shop and buy their cool designs.
Products are produced to order and shipped globally to the customer, who’ll get it wrapped in funky white paper with black designs and Redbubble’s logo on it. Finally, the artist gets paid.
Artists have complete control over what they earn, and Redbubble’s anti-piracy watermark feature protects their designs from theft. There’s 24/7 support for customers, and Redbubble does all the marketing for artists
Threadless vs Redbubble: Product Quality
When it comes to Threadless vs Redbubble quality, it’s even Stevens. Both use the same fabric provider, Bella+Canvas, a wholesale blank clothing distributor whose high quality, super lightweight, eco-friendly cotton is perfect for printing those awesome, original designs.
However, Threadless offers a wider color range than Redbubble.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Marketing and Prices
In the Redbubble and Threadless match up, Redbubble leads in the marketing field. It does the marketing for the artists. Customers have a better chance of finding and buying their favorite artist’s products. Redbubble has a wide range of products to sell and offers daily discounts. The site receives high traffic, which Redbubble uses for its retargeting ads.
However, Threadless artists are expected to do their own marketing. Moreover, Threadless has a limited range of products, so here Redbubble has the advantage to attract more sales.
Pricing for goods is similar, although Redbubble has special offers and different discounts every day. It sometimes slash prices by up to 20%. HAlthough Threadless doesn’t do this, it sometimes provides the creator with a voucher to use for special offers.
In Redbubble’s shop, men and women’s Classic T-shirts cost $21.26.
While Threadless’s shop charges $19.95 for a unisex Classic T-shirt. So we can see that prices are quite similar with Threadless often offering slightly cheaper products.
These prices are the default, and artists have full control over setting prices.
- Redbubble has a default setting of a 20% markup.
- Threadless has a default setting of a 33% markup.
For Threadless creatives, the base cost is cheaper than Redbubble so they pocket more profits.
Threadless and Redbubble’s prices and perks are close in other areas, too. For example, shipping charges to Australia are:
- Redbubble is $4.42.
- Threadless is $9.95, but orders over $45.00 are shipped free of charge.
- Redbubble offers students a discount of 15% on their purchases.
- Threadless offers students a discount of 25% on their purchases.
- Threadless pays its artists mid-month, every month.
- Redbubble only sends money above $20.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Intellectual Property
Redbubble connects its artists with their favorite brands to create artwork for fans. This officially licensed Fan Art Merch is only sold at Redbubble shops. You can buy these unique items and put money in the artist’s pockets.
Artist protection is taken seriously by Redbubble, so it has developed a protection tool that scans Redbubble shops and the marketplace to identify stolen artwork. Then it generates a copyright notice to request the infringing art to be taken down.
The Threadless website and its contents, features, and functionality are protected in the United States and internationally by copyright, trade secret, and/or other intellectual property and proprietary laws.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Sustainability
Both Threadless and Redbubble agree that print-on-demand is number one on the list for sustainability. It means that goods don’t exist until they’re ordered. This eliminates filling warehouses full of items that might not get used.
The carbon footprint is lessened when goods are environmentally friendly and sourced locally.
Additionally, both follow the Adherence to the Fair Labor Association (FLA) practices. This means that all third-party printers and manufacturers participating in the market ensure safe and humane working conditions, minimize environmental impact, and treat their employees with respect and dignity.
Threadless vendors are certified by WRAP, a Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. Redbubble supports the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Values
Redbubble pins its values on “The Five C’s.”
At the heart of Redbubble’s values is its commitment to the artists and their creativity and to bring more creativity to the world. Their values enable such an endeavor.
Threadless’ mission is to give creative minds of the world more opportunities to create and sell great art.
Their values are:
- Be an artist.
- Never stop growing.
- Make it real.
- Elevate our communities. 100% of the proceeds go to a variety of charitable organizations.
Threadless vs Redbubble: Outreach
Proceeds from Threadless sales support the following programs:
- Racial Injustice
- Mental Health Awareness
- Humanitarian Aid
- Suicide Prevention
- Human Rights
- Environmental Programs
- Animal Welfare
Redbubble outreach projects include:
- Mask Donations: For every mask sold in 2020, Redbubble donated one blank mask to ‘Heart to Heart,’ an international organization that strengthens communities by improving health access, providing humanitarian development, and administering crisis relief to them.
- Community Collective is an employee initiative to bring compassion to local communities. They’ve partnered with organizations that focus on:
- Environmental issues
- Domestic Violence
- Burrito Project SF is a community-supported group that helps make hundreds of burritos for the hungry and homeless in San Francisco.
- The Big Umbrella feeds Australian people affected by man rights abuses, exploitation, forced labor, and poverty.
The Threadless vs Redbubble debate is difficult as they share a similar mission: Threadless is an online print-on-demand community of artists and designers, whereas Redbubble is essentially a print-on-demand marketing platform for designers and artists.
Ultimately, whichever suits your needs as a customer or artists best is the one you should pick.