I already have a category on this blog called "If I Could Change the World." Tonight I am adding one called "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." In my newsletter, the Seybold Report, we report on what is going on with the Post Office in this country these days as what happens to it has direct and material effects on the publishing industry, most notably on magazine publishers, but all aspects of the graphics art industry are affected.
Mostly, lately, we have been reporting on how broke the Post Office is and why and how bonehead ideas like stopping Saturday delivery are going to make things worse and not better and hurt the entire country's economy in the process.
So, imagine my surprise when the general news started reporting yesterday about how the Post Office is planning to offer a line of clothing! Seriously? They don't have enough logo-laden tchotchkes lining the counters, falling off cheap shelving, hanging off the walls in the local post offices already? And when is the last time you saw someone walk out of the post office with some of that stuff?
Well, I could not find the official press release on the USPS.com Web site. It's not, as I write this, on the list of official releases. But, I did find a USPS press release about this on the Wahconah Group Web site--the company planning to make the clothing. The following is a quotation from that release:Neither snow, nor rain nor gloom of night has taken on a different meaning at the U.S. Postal Service with plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories under the brand name, “Rain Heat & Snow.”
The Postal Service’s unofficial motto, Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, serves as a backdrop for a licensing agreement the organization has signed with Cleveland-based fashion apparel company Wahconah Group, Inc. The agreement leverages Postal Service intellectual property by introducing the Rain Heat & Snow brand of apparel and accessory products.
“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” said Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ also known as wearable electronics.”
“The Wahconah Group is excited to be working with the U.S. Postal Service in launching this all-weather line of clothing, said Chief Executive Officer Isaac Crawford. The products will build on the rich American history of this iconic brand, creating specialized apparel for consumers, at affordable prices, delivering something new and exciting that retailers can offer their customers.”
Hmm, seems the Post Office think it might make some money by selling its logos and the look and feel of its uniforms for use by this company. Truly, you can't make this stuff up: "put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion..."
What the Post Office needs to put its time, energy, effort, and imagination into full-time, 100% is putting its services on the cutting edge of functionality. Period. And that is all I have to say about this other than to say I will be writing my Congressional representatives to make sure they hear from a concerned taxpayer about this.