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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,
I am new to the forum and the t-shirt business in general and I need some help. I am in the process of ramping up an inspirational t-shirt business which includes the following:

  • Shirts are made out of hemp and organic cotton (I have initially begun getting wholesale from Onno in Colorado for about $8.50 a shirt) This is one of our marketing aspects as the t-shirts are environmentally friendly.
  • Printing has been done locally thus far for about $3.00 per shirt using water-based ink screen printing - they look great!
  • Already have a distribution warehouse set up as we are anticipating this growing at a VERY rapid pace!
My question is this. Ideally, we would like to have the shirts made and printed in the same factory to reduce costs and simplify the process. We have talked about China or South America. We have also heard about community "collectives" in third-world countries that produce this kind of apparel with all of the proceeds they earn going back to the community - we really like this idea because we want to be ethically and environmentally friendly in every regard! We don't want to get involved with ANY sweatshops. So, can any of you help with regard to how to begin searching for and locating a supplier that can meet these needs. Ideally, we want to lower costs but not at the expense of our integrity! NOTE: Hemp clothing is illegal as it cannot be produced in the U.S., it can only be imported, so this is an issue that we are dealing with.
 

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So you are looking for a mutually beneficial collective that is paid decent wages and can reliably stitch shirts using quality organic bamboo cotton that is grown, sourced and manufactured in an ethical and environmentally friendly way with super high quality for less than $8 a piece shipped to the US?

Please let me know if you find anyone who can do this! Sounds amazing.

What kinds of volume are you currently shifting per month? What volumes do you anticipate shifting?
 

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Richie -
We just began printing a few days ago. Only 12 shirts to see what they looked like. We anticipate printing in the thousands in the next few months as we will soon be selling them online and also looking at having them sold in specialty / boutique kinds of stores. The shirts are made of hemp & organic cotton, not bamboo. Thus, the fabric itself is already grown / cultivated in an environmentally friendly way.
 

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I think you'll need to source your material first, then you can get it sent to a collective to have it stitched.

Others will be able to recommend what volumes are typical for this kind of operation - especially from the material aspect.

I know of one operation that had huge issues getting off the ground. Quality control was not good.

However, since all the labels are the same colour as the shirts, it looks like they are stitched first as white then dyed to suit. So my guess is that that is how it is the most cost efficient way to get rolling.

They are now over the initial problems and doing well.
 

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No collective for them - the cotton is woven and stitched in India by 2 different companies. I assume under standard mill and fabrication conditions for the industry.

Their costs come in about the same price for a combed cotton shirt from one of the major manufacturers. I assume that if you are after anything other than standard combed cotton and under a collective, then your price would raise to between that base cost and what you are now paying
 

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Richie -
We just began printing a few days ago. Only 12 shirts to see what they looked like. We anticipate printing in the thousands in the next few months as we will soon be selling them online and also looking at having them sold in specialty / boutique kinds of stores. The shirts are made of hemp & organic cotton, not bamboo. Thus, the fabric itself is already grown / cultivated in an environmentally friendly way.
55% hemp /45% cotton organic fabric in 20 single is available here in the USA I just checked with my fabric supplier.so t-shirts could be made it here.the big ? is quantity because this is not kind of fabric that you can get in stock must be order by lot of about 2500 yards
 

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Luis - thanks for your response. Since I'm new to the business, I'm not understanding what you mean by yards? If a supplier / printer for hemp / organic cotton is available her, can you please provide me with their info? Thanks so much!!
 

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Luis - thanks for your response. Since I'm new to the business, I'm not understanding what you mean by yards? If a supplier / printer for hemp / organic cotton is available her, can you please provide me with their info? Thanks so much!!
It means that.there is fabric availble here in USA to produce the tshirts but will require a minimun of an order for 2500 pcs.price will be close to the $ 7.50.please Pm if you need more details
luis
 
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