Community Safety & Anti-Hate Policies

At Threadless, we always strive to Elevate Our Community. This ongoing effort is an integral part of our principles and beliefs, which you can read more about on our Diversity & Inclusion page. We are a diverse group of people with a common love of unique art. In order to create a safer space for our community of artists and those who support them, Threadless maintains a living document of policies addressing content that goes against the objective of uplifting disadvantaged, vulnerable, and underrepresented populations. In order to use our site, we ask that you follow not just the letter, but the spirit of the following rules:

Don’t be a bully.

We like humor, but when a design “punches down,” or makes a joke at the expense of a more vulnerable person or group, it strays from joking to bullying. Before creating a design with humor, caricatures, or stereotypes related to a group, ask yourself: Am I part of this group? Am I qualified to make this joke? Might this hurt a person’s feelings, or foster negative attitudes against them from others? Designs found by Threadless to be offensive in this manner will not be permitted.

  • Attacking or advocating against individuals or groups based on traits susceptible to individual or institutional violence will not be permitted. These traits may include but are not limited to financial vulnerability, housing vulnerability, national origin, immigration status, race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender presentation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, and physical or mental health or ability.
  • Alternatively, humor that “punches up” at historically oppressive and privileged groups can be an important element of standing up to oppression. Designs playing on these groups are less likely to be contrary to Threadless values, and may still be featured on the marketplace.

Keep others safe.

Violence occurs in many forms. Threadless is dedicated to ensuring a peaceful future for artists to share. Do not distribute any content that may harm a vulnerable individual or group, whether that harm is physical, emotional, or material.

  • Health looks different for everyone, but attitudes that may contribute to the physical ailment of others are prohibited (e.g. mask and vaccine opposition or misinformation).
  • Every person deserves the freedom to live as their authentic self. Widely discredited and harmful attempts to prevent that should not be encouraged by anyone. Content advocating practices such as “conversion therapy” or “detransitioning” are prohibited.
  • Skepticism towards established scientific or historical consensus (e.g. genocide denial), social and political conspiracy theories, and skewed pieces of information lacking context have all been used to foster hatred and violence towards vulnerable groups and individuals. Any such content, as it may result in harmful misinformation, will not be permitted.
  • When moderating sexual content Threadless aspires to a model of sex-positivity, with a desire to spotlight the LGBTQ+ community, non-traditional relationships, safer sex, and consent. As sexual assault and abuse continue to devastate individuals and communities, Threadless expects designs to encourage enthusiastic consent. Any design found to be advocating for or neglecting the gravity of sexual abuse will be removed.

Celebrate all bodies.

At Threadless, we believe that art can and should be used to uplift all bodies. That means Black and Brown bodies, transgender bodies, nonbinary bodies, gender nonconforming and intersex bodies, disabled bodies, and bodies of every shape and size.

  • As a company, we will endeavor to create product templates that empower diverse populations and individuals to express themselves. In turn, we encourage artists to publish designs that spotlight diversity and foster positive attitudes towards less normative body types.
  • We will disallow any designs that may foster negative attitudes or stereotypes based on diverse bodies.

Stand against oppression.

Art has a long history as a tool of unity and liberation, a tradition that we intend to continue. Designs that uphold oppressive attitudes or organizations are antithetical to the mission of Threadless and will be actioned against.

  • Threadless acknowledges forced childbirth’s use as a method of individual control and social subjugation, and unequivocally supports the right of all pregnant people to choose to terminate their own pregnancies for their own reasons. No design discouraging or maligning abortive or contraceptive choice will be accepted.
  • With modern police organizations having roots in “slave patrols” and a centuries-long history of contributing to for-profit incarceration, along with decades enforcing wars on drug use and poverty, these groups have been a consistent force for violence, bigotry, and rule through fear. Submissions that support these organizations without acknowledging their problematic history or need for change will not be permitted (e.g. “Thin Blue Line” designs).
  • When images, phrases, or other media become vehicles of liberation for historically oppressed groups, attempts to counter that media or present it with less than appropriate gravity can undermine its mission. Threadless will remove any designs found to be harmful in this fashion (e.g. “All Lives Matter” designs).
  • Threadless strongly stands against human atrocities including but not limited to slavery, genocide, and colonialism. We will not host designs celebrating human atrocities, nor parties that have encouraged or been responsible for them.

Respect Creativity & Intellectual Property.

At Threadless, we embrace artistic evolution and inspiration from any source. However, we require all participating artists to ensure their work is born from genuine creativity and respects intellectual property rights.

  • To ensure the best possible experience for our community, we place an emphasis on creative originality. While there are no limits on design submissions, we reserve the right to remove designs that appear to be generated in bulk using artificial intelligence tools without demonstrating artistic intent.
  • Regardless of how you create your art, you are responsible for respecting intellectual property rights. Ensure any AI tools you use grant you commercialization rights. When uploading AI-assisted art to Threadless, you confirm that you have full rights to monetize your work.
  • Threadless thrives on the originality and talent of our artist community. While we welcome exploration of tools and techniques, the use of AI-generated imagery should only be intended to complement your artistic journey, not replace it. For AI-utilizing artists, we encourage focusing its role as a starting point rather than the main contributor to your final design. Your final design should primarily be the result of your own creative efforts and artistic skill.
  • If you’re using AI to create your design, please include an explanation of the tool(s) you used in your product description. Threadless reserves the right to remove designs created via AI that do not disclose the tools used.
  • Recognizing the ever-changing digital landscape, this policy is subject to future adaptations. Our unwavering focus will remain on safeguarding artists and the originality of their work while fostering creativity in light of emerging technologies and tools.

When assessing enforcement of these rules, we may consider a number of factors including but not limited to severity of infringement and potential or realized effect of the content on others. Breach of these policies may result in consequences such as removal of designs, verbal discouragement, and permanent user removal from the platform.