April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 49 says shops need to sit down, either inter- nally with their team or externally with an expert, and compile a list of sustainabil- ity goals. He suggests things like reducing electricity via complex fluorescent lighting or reducing paper use by 10 percent. "Come up with four or five specific and measurable things that you can do that will decrease the impact your shop has on the environment," Pickles says. He stresses how important measurable goals are for a business. Numbers separate you from the greenwashing shops by backing your sus- tainability claims. He adds, "Anyone could say they're green—who's going to say no?" Measure your progress over a six- or twelve-month period, calculate your im- pact, and share it. Atkinson highlights SMART goals; a goal that's specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely or timebound. He de- ters shop owners from creating sweeping goals like "We want to use less energy." In- stead, he says specifics are necessary. Think percentages, like 20 percent less this year and give yourself a time stamp, e.g., by the end of the year. Cindy Yang, EcoDigiTec Sublimation Inc, tells shop owners to think about the decoration method itself. Yang says that sublimation is a considerably environmen- tally-conscious option because it doesn't require the use of chemicals like emulsion, and it doesn't involve steaming or washing garments before or after printing, "further adding to a reduced environmental foot- print as compared to other textile printing systems such as screen printing." Additionally, Olivia Dean, Madiera, says, "If you are an embroiderer, check that your threads are eco-friendly and OEKO- TEX certified," because these options are free of harmful substances. To reduce your carbon footprint, she encourages shops to purchase supplies at a one-stop-shop, min- imizing deliveries and carbon emissions. Turning off equipment when not in use or at the end of each day is an easy way to control energy consumption. ENSURING EFFICIENCY Whether you're making sustainability a core competency of your business or you're just dipping your toes into the green wa- ters, there are ways to go about the pro- cess effectively. Pickles encourages shops to keep the day-to-day operating procedures top of mind. He says, "Think about what impact those things have on every other human walking around on the planet." Atkinson says the hardest part is getting started in the right direction. He adds, "Sustainability is doing things right the first time." Get past the misinformation, take seminars, network, and focus on mea- surables.

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