This has gone on for centuries and still does (cash for clothes). People collecting old clothes and repaired them and reselling them. The period I have in mind was the early 1800’s in the East End of London. It was mainly the Jewish community which did this.
Here is a constructon worker relaxing on a steel gerder. In early 20th Century it might have been observed that it was only working men who wore vests or singlets. I would added that working in shirts and waistcoats would have been uncomfortable, removing them would made it easier to work in. There could be other reasons ; the clothes would have been expensive to replace. As seen in the adjacent photo of a steel worker relaxing on the empire state building circa 1931.
Author: Simon Burdge
this blog is about printing and special designing for garments. I have come to believe that designing of printing t-shirts is grossly misunderstood. I hope to offer a few pointers.