Printwear

April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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GREEN SOLUTIONS 48 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 It could be that you do care about the environment, but the main drive behind your thoughts of going green comes from a demand in the market or your community. You see an oppor- tunity to fill a gap in customer needs. The aspect of going green turns into "a tool to lure business or get business, which is fine so long as they [shop owners] are authentic in their desires and their procedures that they've put in place to create that perception with their customers," Pickles says. There's also appeal in a financial as- pect. Atkinson says eco-friendly shops use less consumables and energy and source things better, which results in efficiency and money saved. Whether taking the green plunge is for your current and potential custom- ers or the planet, a clear "why" must be answered in order to deliver fully. REDUCING YOUR FOOTPRINT After you've figured out why you want to walk this journey, you need to de- termine how it's all going to come to fruition. A plan needs to be put in place that says, "My shop is going to do X, Y, and Z, and I'm going to make it happen via A, B, and C." Pickles DOES GOING GREEN COST OR SAVE MONEY? P eople often say "going green is costlier." But how true is this statement? Alice Wolf, Madeira, says if shops "go by the adage, 'time is mon- ey,' then they have a point. Going green takes the time to research the goods that fit the criteria of doing no harm to the environment. And if the outcome means purchasing from companies who go through the required measures of applying for documentation and paying fees in order to register with various organizations, then costs may be slightly higher than with compa- nies who lack concern for the environment and working conditions." Cindy Yang, EcoDigiTec Sublimation Inc, says, "Yes, I think that is true, es- pecially when it comes to the material." Yang says that the price of polyester increases by 25–50 percent if it's recycled, and eco-friendly ink increases in price by 75–200 percent. Tom Pickles, Shirt Pickle, says, "I'd say it can be, but I doubt people that say that have any measurables to back that up. And to me when I hear, 'Oh that costs too much. That's too costly. That's too hard,' It sounds to me like, 'That's a different way of doing things that I'm not familiar with, and I'm not going to do it because it costs too much.'" Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting, says, "A lot of people have this false understanding that sustainability costs you money. As a matter of fact, sustainability drops tons of money to your bottom line because it makes you more efficient." He says shops can produce more in the same day with the same overhead and labor because you're using less materials, properly sourcing, and thinking about using energy and resources differently. Overall, he says, it's a total cost-savings program.

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