The 90’s are back! And it’s reclaiming the T-Shirt

Fashion does circles. This is something that I’ve been told time and time again.

Something that is currently in fashion, will soon be out of fashion and then it’ll be back in fashion.

One thing that has been in style for years but is making a huge comeback in recent times is the humble T-Shirt.

By this, I mean that casual T-Shirts seem have taken over the runways of some of the biggest labels, including the likes of Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. Unlike recent times, the T-Shirts aren’t in-your-face, loud designs. Instead, it seems that fashions favorite T-Shirts these days are more sophisticated.

Take, for example, Vetements. The brand has recently released their popular yellow and red DHL T-Shirts for their Spring 2016 collection. What’s more, they completely sold out of these T-Shirts – even with a $330 (£250) price tag!

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Since the release, knockoffs were being sold on sites such as Ebay for a much more cost-effective £10.

Since then, they’ve gone on to add American T-Shirt manufacturer Hanes to their growing list of collaborators. Even Gucci is getting in on the act by showing off logo tees in their recent resort collection.

It seems that this trend isn’t just limited to the runway either. One of the most popular trends this summer is slip dresses that are styled on a basic T-Shirt. Justin Bieber T-Shirts are also selling as part of his tour merchandise at Barneys in New York.

T-Shirts haven’t always been a coveted garment inside a woman’s wardrobe. The modern day T-Shirt has an unfashionable great grandfather: a men’s underwear staple from the early 1900’s. By the 1950’s, T-Shirts with university and rock band logos had made their way into the mainstream – helping to grow the popularity of T-Shirts in general.

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The reason for this resurgence isn’t fully known, however, it’s believed that the cyclical nature of the fashion industry has impacted this. Labels are believed to be offering more consumer-friendly clothing by adding practical and mass-produced clothing to their lineup.

“We’re seeing a return to the sensibility of the ’90’s, which was the last time logo mania was everywhere,” Stephanie Solomon, the fashion director at Lord and Taylor, recently said in an interview. “It was also a time when there was an upheaval in fashion, [simlar to] now with the changing of the guard with Demna Gvasalia at Vetements and Balenciaga and Alessandro Michele at Gucci. Part of the fashion uniform then was the logo tee and showing belief in the brand’s values by wearing it. Today, everyone’s reasserting their brand fidelities.”

The T-Shirt, for many, is a gateway item as it opens up the demographics for each brand. “These T-Shirts are usually the most inexpensive thing in designer collections,” Solomon added. “[Women are] buying into the brand at their opening price point. The customer is making a statement that she’s aligned with the brand.”

The best part about the trend: You probably have some form of it in your closet already! “The trend has no age boundaries – it resonates at all age groups – and price isn’t necessarily going to be a restriction.” It’s a piece of timeless fashion that’s now being claimed by high-end designers, yet it’s completely accessible to everyone.

What could possibly be better than that?

One trend that never seems to go away though is creating your own unique T-Shirts. This gives you the freedom to create high-street style designs that are completely unique – meaning that you won’t see anyone else wearing them as you walk down the high street.

If you’re looking for T-Shirt printing in the UK, then Garment Printing is the perfect choice, they offer excellent personalisation techniques, excellent pricing and super fast delivery on all of their orders.

So if you’re looking to get your own T-Shirts knocked up for the summer (or the autumn, winter or spring) then head on over to their website and start creating your own custom T-Shirts quickly and easily.

Business in The Spotlight – TT Store

This month our business in the Spotlight is The TT store.  We spoke to Gary Bigwood who told us about the name, brand, printing techniques and he shares his tips on starting a T-shirt Company.

  1. Please tell us a bit about your brand and company.

A passion for old cars and motorbikes was the inspiration behind The TT Store. Visits with my son to Brooklands Motor Museum in Surrey sparked the idea – however it took another 10 years before I started the business last year. A couple of years ago I’d been art directing and producing, (my day job), the first Help for Heroes catalogue and thought I need to get on with The TT Store – so the plans took almost a year to get going. I’ve been asked why The TT Store name, its an obvious reference to ‘tourist trophy’ however the influence was ‘Thomson & Taylor’ who were a motor-racing and engineering company based at Brooklands in the 1930’s. They developed and prepared many land speed record cars between the two world wars, Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird being one. They could easily be described as the ‘McLaren’ of their day.

  1. How did you come up with the T-shirt Designs?

We’re trying to recapture the advertising style of the mid 20th century and the 1950’s in particular. It really was a golden era with illustration styles that capture all that optimism after World War 2, prior to photography taking over in the early 1960’s. In many cases our retro designs need to be multicolour printed, so consistent quick turn around coupled with quality printing is essential.

  1. Any tips for increasing brand awareness within this area of business?

Send out samples to bloggers, editors and celebrities; go to events and take a stand at shows, do Postcard drops, (local papers etc). This will enable you to assess what sells, plus you need time to look around at the opposition too – so don’t go alone. Attending shows gives you valuable feedback on your designs as well. Get some really good help on social media, put together a campaign and build that email list because happy customers will always come back and buy again – however they need prompting so a regular newsletter with new products and discount codes come in handy.

  1. What printing technique to do you recommend for T-shirts?

I wanted to go down the retro route so silk screen was best for me. Many of the shirts will have a tough life so the print must be the best, and you still can’t beat a well printed silk screen printed T-shirt, (in my opinion).

Garment Printing offer lots of other printing techniques print-on-demand, DTG which could be a great way to go. Particularly for the early days of a start-up as it’ll ensure you don’t overstock and they’ll even send out your orders.

  1. Any tips for those looking to start their own t-shirt brand?

Don’t give up your day job, it has to be a passion and you’ll need to work hard, evenings and weekends. Don’t get too many printed, start with short runs or even print on demand, margins are less but the important thing is to find out what sells. Try ebay and other sites, as a good deal of them will click through to your site and possibly leave email details. When doing your business plan put aside a decent amount for advertising and promotion and of course social media. Go to events and do your homework. Produce a business plan, and when ready book a stand at a suitable show with a limited number of designs. Look professional and have one person dedicated to discussing the product armed with an ipad for email data capture.

The TT-Store have extended some Christmas Cheer, they are offering Garment Printing clients a 15% discount on their range of classic gifts.

Visit their store http://thettstore.co.uk/, and enter the promo code GP15 at the checkout.

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Five Unusual Christmas Gifts

Every year it’s the same thing – the silly Christmas socks, the glittery pens and dodgy bath sets that you suspect might have been recycled from a birthday the year before. If you want to make Christmas a bit more exciting this year, why not consider a gift that is a little out of the ordinary?

Unique and unusual Christmas gifts always go down well during the festive period. Crazy colours, personalisation and other little quirks are what turn a regular present into an unusual one. If you’re stuck on what to buy your friends this year, check out these five unusual Christmas gifts and ditch those silly socks forever.

  1. Personalised Crockery

Mugs are a favourite gift for friends and family but why not make it a little more special this year with a personalised Christmas cup?

Personalisation is an easy way to make something usually quite boring into something exciting and is the perfect gift for anyone of any age. Whether it’s a quote or their initials, you can give them a fun and unusual Christmas gift they’ll use for years to come.

  1. Digital Media Cases

For the tech lover in your life you might want to opt for a practical present with an unusual touch in the form of a laptop, tablet or smart phone case. You might be surprised to know that you can get digital media cases embroidered and printed on to, but it’s actually a really unique and personal way to show someone just how much you care.

  1. Animated toys

Looking for something silly, inexpensive and incredibly unusual for your relatives? Then look no further. This quirky animated Santa is all singing, all dancing and makes a great novelty gift for anyone who wants to add a bit of Christmas cheer to their home.

  1. Power Banks

Another unusual Christmas gift with a techie theme is the personalised power bank. Our busy, social lifestyles mean that we’re always using our phones when we’re out and about but unfortunately, this can take a serious toll on battery life. These lightweight, portable chargers are becoming incredibly popular because they easily fit into your bag or your pocket.

So why not give your loved ones an extra special surprise this year and personalise their power?

  1. Personalised Undies

For the man or lady in your life, why not consider a set of customised briefs or boxer shorts? Personalise a set of undies with embroidery or print to create an unusual Christmas gift that says ‘I love you’. Whether you choose to create just one pair or a whole set, you can make Christmas extra fun and extra special this year with personalisation.

To get any of these items personalised, contact us for a quick quote – http://www.garmentprinting.co.uk/contact/

Recycling Old T-shirts

It’s tempting when looking at an old t-shirt to simply throw it out and be done with it. After all, there’s no possible way you’d want to wear that old rag again. And sure, there is a very strong chance you may not want to wear that t-shirt again, but is that still any reason to throw out a perfectly good piece of material? After all, there’s a good chance you may find a way to recycle an old t-shirt instead. Indeed, recycling an old t-shirt may allow you to extend the life of it by a few years or more.

Naturally such prudent reclamation of old garments requires a little thought and creativity. To help jolt your mind and get you thinking of such things, here are a few ideas on recycling old t-shirts to help get you started.

  • Kids’ Hand Me Downs

This is a classic, and as old as wearing clothes itself. If you have or are expecting a young child, or any other young family member, it’s a very simple matter of simply passing on your old t-shirts to them. Simply resize and refit so that it’s not quite as baggy on them, and voila! You’ve not only saved perfectly serviceable clothing, but also a few pounds on new clothes as well. Most kids don’t care that it’s old – they’re simply thrilled to have something new to wear.

  • Dogs’ Toys

Cut your old-shirts into thin strips, and then tie them up tight into a thick braided rope, with two large knots on the end for a good grip. Now you have a perfectly good toy for your dog to get their teeth into. Adding extra strands to the braid makes the rope tougher, which will provide for a longer lifespan.

  • Wall Art

If one of your t-shirts has a particularly appealing image on it that you don’t really want to get rid of, then you can just as easily cut out the picture in question and mount it onto a frame. Feel free to hang your new picture up anyway you think would suit it best.

  • Quilts

If you have a lot of t-shirts to be getting rid of, you may have enough material on you to try this way of recycling old t-shirts. Gather up the most visually distinctive of the pile and start stitching together your own patchwork quilt. This can be especially fun if the t-shirts in question are particularly connected to memorable events, as the quilt itself can be used to express many different memories.

  • Cloth Bags

Sew up the bottom hem of the t-shirt, and you immediately have a bag. These are not only very useful in themselves, but they’re also very environmentally friendly. Unlike plastic, most clothes do eventually degrade after time.

  • Pillow Covers

Another way you can reuse t-shirts with a particularly distinctive or beloved design is to remake them into pillow cases. Such pillow cases are also very soft against the skin, which makes them great for general comfort.

  • Headbands and Wristbands

One last way you can recycle an old t-shirt is to take several of them, cut them into strips and wrap them into a band. Use different colours to produce a more varied pattern, or else similar colours and patterns if you want to maintain a set theme. Then simply sew the ends to form a single strap to tie it together, and you now have a new headband. Do the same on a smaller scale, and you also have new wristbands as well. Why not make a matching set of these and give them to friends as a self-made friendship bracelet?

A Guide to starting your own Urban Streetwear Brand

The urban streetwear scene is a crowded place with a lot of copycat designers out there. If you’re serious about creating a unique brand but aren’t sure where to start, follow our start-up guide for some tips on how to survive in a saturated market.

Don’t rush into it

First things first – do not rush your ideas. Figure out exactly what you want to sell, where you want to sell it and consider how profitable you want your business to be. Garments cost money, printing costs money and shipping costs money, so make sure to do your sums and look around for the best deals before you even consider getting to work on your designs.

There are a lot of different designers out there, so you’ll also want to consider initial ways you can help yourself stand out from the crowd. Creating designs that mean something to you are important but when creating a streetwear brand you need to think with your head, not your heart.

Find a reliable printer

Next, you’ll want to find a reliable printing company that can cater to your needs. Finding a good quality printer before you get too far into the design process will help you work out an approximate initial cost for your ideas. You’ll want to know that the prints are high quality and that both shorter and larger runs can be catered to, so that you can start off small and adjust your requirements as you grow.

Ask yourself – are you looking to embroider your designs, print them or both? You may not have completely decided upon your preferred method just yet, so ensure that the company you choose allows you to experiment with a range of different printing and embroidery techniques. The more choice you have, the more complex you can make your apparel and the wider the range will be that you can offer.

Ask yourself: What do you want to say?

Following on from the head and heart debate, you’ll next want to focus on your message. Try to tap into a market that isn’t there yet but that you think should be and build your brand message from this. There are many niche areas to explore within urban streetwear but if you are aiming for something completely unique you need to head into uncharted territory.

A strong message is incredibility important with streetwear. Whether it’s political, cultural, social or personal you should aim to create something that evokes a reaction. From the name of your brand, to the designs and marketing, you need to show people that you are a fierce and fiery company with bags of attitude.

Not a designer? Draft in some outside help

There is nothing more detrimental to an urban streetwear brand than bad design. Not everyone who wants to start an urban clothing brand has the necessary design skills to craft the apparel artwork – and that’s okay.

However, going it alone and creating a substandard design does not make business sense and will not help your start-up company to flourish. If you don’t have any graphic designer friends to help you out, you can find a freelancer online. Prices vary depending on a freelancers experience but there’s something out there for everyone.

Focus on your marketing

Finally, you’ll want to dedicate a serious amount of time marketing your brand. Designing your streetwear and marketing your company go side by side because you’ll want to drum up some positive responses and a good following for your product launch.

If you’re on a small budget, focus on harnessing the power of social media to promote your brand. Follow influential streetwear designers and apparel lovers on Twitter, research the best Instagram hashtags to use on your photos and if you have the budget for it, pay for sponsored advertising on sites such as Facebook. By interlinking and weaving your brand into different sites, you can create a strong message about who you are and what you stand for.

Remember…

Most importantly of all, always keep a clear head no matter where you go with your brand and try not to get distracted from your end goal. If you can combine great business sense with a passion for urban streetwear, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful urban brand. We are here for all your printing needs – http://www.garmentprinting.co.uk

How Crowdfunding is Changing the World of Fashion?

Crowdfunding is changing the world of fashion as it allows start-ups to collect small contributions from a large group of people in exchange for products, gratitude or equity.

The fashion industry is so competitive for budding designers who want to break into the industry making it almost impossible for start-ups to gain financial aid which is why Crowdfunding was created. This new initiative has given fashion designers the once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their master designs and receive funding.

Entrepreneurs use their networks of family, friends and acquaintances to spread the word about their fashion ventures, as well as using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which are platforms that allow start-ups to reach very large audiences of donors.

One of the advantages of using crowdfunding platforms is that it allows freelance designers to gain a huge customer base even if they do not have any connections in the industry. This has had a huge impact especially on the creation of various t-shirt designs.

Crowdfunding gives companies the ability to cut their costs

Crowdfunding has changed the fashion industry in a number of significant ways. As well as the emergence of funding given to independent designers, crowdfunding platforms also offer established companies the opportunity to gather feedback from consumers through a voting or liking system. Based on the results, companies can choose to only produce their most popular selling designs.

Buyers are the decision makers

Crowdfunding has also given more flexibility in the fashion industry whereby the power shifts to the buyers and no longer is the responsibility of the designers. A number of designs will be submitted onto crowdfunding websites and interested investors can back the project. If the funding goal is reached, these backers will receive samples of these designs. Therefore, potential buyers have the freedom to choose what they want instead of going to a shop and pick up a generic piece.

Many high street fashion retailers currently choose around 10 styles, and try to estimate the demand for products based on wholesale orders or the past seasons sales  performance  and then produce thousands of pieces abroad in countries like China and India. These mass-produced pieces are presented to consumers at inflated prices to account for probable markdowns as time and excess supply devalue them.

If you run a startup and would like some promotional good for your company contact us. 

Benefits of custom totes for festivals

Are you going to an event this summer? If the answer is yes then you want to walk around with a rucksack or a big bulky handbag. Why not invest in something lighter to carry such as custom totes for those holidays and trips out.

If you are going to music gigs and festivals this summer custom totes are the ideal choice. Here are some reasons why you should buy custom totes for festivals:

Custom totes for festivals are memorable

When you attend festivals, gigs and other events and items are given away most people think of pens, Frisbee’s, T-shirts and key rings, but custom totes are less common which makes them more unique. People are less likely to own so many tote bags that they won’t appreciate another one. Selecting an item that is memorable can be an excellent way of remembering a festival featuring your favourite bands.

Totes Can Be Used to Hold Water Bottles or Snacks

No one wants to wait in long queues for food and drink when their favourite bands are playing. If you buy custom totes for festivals you can put some light snacks and drinks in so you don’t have to miss your favourite acts.

Environmental Sensibility

Purchasing custom totes for festivals helps in the reduction of the over 300 billion plastic bags used as wraps globally. Research shows that grocery bags are detrimental to soil structure and agricultural activities because of their non-biodegradable nature. Plastic bags also reduce air quality when burnt making customers who invest in a tote bags more environmentally friendly. You can also reuse it for your weekly shop to the supermarket instead of paying for plastic bags and its more steardy for carrying bottles.

Make a decision on custom totes for festivals

You should is decide which size custom tote bag would be great for festivals. While small bags are ideal for an evening outing, medium sized bags should be preferred for carrying to work or college. Larger tote bags should be preferred for travelling purposes. Make sure you choose a bag and logo to suit your convenience. Tote bags are normally made larger than other bags which mean that it lets you carry a lot more stuff.

If you are looking to buy custom tote bags for festivals or other events visit Garment Printing who are leading personalised and customised clothing and accessory company who sells trendy bags at affordable prices. Call 0844 588 9808 or 0207 101 9315 to order to date or click here to get a quote.