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 || 55 handling this chore by email can reduce your paper, envelope, and postage expen- ditures. Reuse: There are plenty of ways you can reuse shop items. For starters, if you print with plastisol ink, make sure you are card- ing the ink in your screens completely after the print run. That ink can go back into the bucket and be reused. Plus, it makes it easier to reclaim the screens. The plas- tic bags that wrap a case of shirts in a box make great trash can liners. And I think every shop uses misprinted or defective shirts as test shirts for registration or rags for cleanup. One idea that I thought was interesting was how one shop carefully disassembled shirt boxes from suppliers and turned them inside out. They then reassembled them but printed their shop logo on the outside for easy and instant branding. Recycle: You already know this one, but do you do it? Recycling is more than just water bottles and soda cans. You can also recycle your shop's paper, plastic, card- board, batteries, hydraulic fluid, metal, light bulbs, electronics, cell phones, equip- ment, and even break room food waste in a compost bin. A good chunk of what's going in your dumpster can find another home and be made into something else. The cost benefit for this is that you won't have to tip your dumpster as much and you can renegotiate that with your trash service. Also, if you are mixing your ink to form Pantone colors using a system, most of them have a recycle feature. This means that if you mix PMS 202 maroon you can use PMS 186 red to start. On the studies that I've performed, this can save 16–18 percent a month on the base and pigments. That adds up over time and is a good way to decrease the amount of ink inventory on your shelf. It's just sitting there anyway, so put it to use. In your area, check to see if there is a re- cycler that will pick up from your facility. Often, they can provide gaylords, which are large skid-size boxes, to place material in. On a scheduled day, they will come and get your material to recycle. They sell it, so there isn't a cost to you. All you need to do is segregate the waste products properly. Paper, metal, cardboard, and plastic are the top items they look for. CERTIFICATION While building and maintaining a good sustainability program can help drive ef- ficiencies and lower your shop's operating cost, that can be considered a defensive measure. Obtaining a sustainability certifi- cation is an offensive one. It is marketable, which means that all that effort in building your program can be put to good use in get- ting new clients or sales. Getting certified is a process, and mainly requires a good sys- tem with documentation. Once you have earned certification you can get to the marketing. Now, when you print on an organic or eco-friendly blank, you'll marry that with your sustainabil- ity process to offer full-package sustainable decoration. It may seem like a process to turn your shop into a green operation, but saving money on operations while increasing sales through your sustainability program is what makes all that hard work so satisfying. You can do this. All you need to do is start.

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