The most-hyped fashion house of 2020 might be the US Postal Service gift shop.
In a show of solidarity for the beleaguered government agency, people are snapping up USPS-themed crop-tops, tote bags, and dog costumes. So many have nabbed their own Earth Day tee that orders are backlogged into September.
The USPS isn’t the only federal agency in the merch game
Dozens of agencies sell their own “branded” wares:
- The DEA offers everything from Under Armour-branded “tactical stealth beanies” to a baby bottle and bib set.
- The CIA runs a gift shop with “top secret” BBQ sauce ($12.99), neckties, onesies, and emergency “burn bags.”
- The Library of Congress peddles book-shaped dish sets and unhappy kitty pendants.
- NASA has licensed out its logo — for free — to the likes of Coach.
But splurging on a DEA baby bib is not going to fund a drug bust
Profits from most government merch stores are funneled into agencies’ employee associations.
At the CIA, the Employee Activity Association — a group that funds perks like gym memberships and concert tickets — gets that sweet, sweet barbecue sauce money.