The Women's Institute at Russell Sage College Comma-la T-Shirt

Dozens of members of the Russell Sage College community will watch the swearing-in of the first female vice president of the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 20, wearing locally made T-shirts in honor of “comma-la” and The Women’s Institute. 

The shirts from Troy Cloth & Paper — a woman-co-owned print studio and shop in downtown Troy — are intended as a lighthearted but respectful reminder of the correct pronunciation of the vice president’s name, after members of the media and her political opponents repeatedly mispronounced Kamala Harris’ first name during the 2020 election season. 

The shirts were included in “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” party packs that The Women’s Institute mailed to the first 25 students who signed up for them. They are also available to purchase online from the Troy Cloth & Paper/Women’s Institute merch store. Once purchased online, the shirts can be shipped or picked up at the retail store at 38 Third Street, Troy. 

David Langer, one of the co-owners of Troy Cloth and Paper and its sister business Troy Shirt Co., said that the Troy Cloth & Paper/Women’s Institute merch store went live on Jan. 6 and he already had several orders by Jan. 7. 

Langer is an RPI grad who stayed in Troy to open a business. He has hired several Sage and RPI students and values collaborations with the local colleges on custom projects like the Women’s Institute T-shirt. 

“We primarily cater to education, small business, start ups, non-profits, all people who have good ideas,” Langer said.  

Other Russell Sage College-themed items available from Troy Cloth & Paper include a limited edition poster marking the centennial of women’s suffrage, produced in partnership with the Russell Sage College Alumnae Association, and a limited-edition print of Bush Memorial Center and Sage Hall, live printed during the first Troy Night Out of 2016, Sage’s centennial year. Troy Cloth & Paper also offers a wide selection of clothing, totes, cards and prints celebrating Troy and upstate New York.  

Troy Cloth & Paper merchandise is printed with eco-friendly ink on environmentally friendly materials, said Langer. “We try to keep a very clean footprint in Troy. That’s a big value for our company.”

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