Back in early 2010 we had to pull many late nights of mad rush t-shirt printing in downtown Vancouver as one of the official t-shirt printing shops for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee.
While the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Committee did print and sell a lot of t-shirts, they were way under planned expectations.
Because Nike had brilliantly designed and made their own “official” t-shirt, and it literally flew off shelves.
It far out-sold the official Vancouver 2010 tees.
Nike didn't sell more t-shirts just because of a cooler print, but because of the quality of their t-shirt.
It was much softer, finer and had a better fit than the boxy carded cotton Vancouver 2010 "official" t-shirts.
So everybody wore them proudly around Vancouver restaurants and bars.
Normally in the custom printed t-shirt market, a really nice t-shirt (AKA pieces you actually want to wear)costs almost double what basic carded cotton t-shirts cost, and even those are quite expensive sometimes when you factor in all the printing.
"There had to be a better way... so we found it."
That's when we hatched the plan to start small batch producing our own line of ring-spun t-shirts, and offer them for affordable direct to consumer prices.
So my friend Ivan asked me an obvious question: “do you really think we can take on these billion dollar t-shirt companies and deliver better, more affordable printed t-shirts to end users?”
My answer? "Yes, I think we can."
Here's how we did it...
We set out to launch Supergrif Apparel and offer people what we wanted ourselves — high quality customprinted t-shirts at fair prices.
We knew in order to do that we would have to rethink the way things had been done so far.
The traditional way of getting t-shirts printed for your company, school, live event, merch etc… is to call up your local t-shirt printer, who in turn orders the shirts from national wholesalers who themselves order them in from global t-shirt manufacturers located around the world.
What we decided to do was to vertically integrate the whole process and get into t-shirt manufacturing for ourselves.
By knitting, cutting and sewing the t-shirts as well as screen printing, we basically removed two of the traditional middlemen in the t-shirt industry along with their large mark-ups. (Only the knitting and dying are currently outsourced.)
The finer fabric and ring spun thread allows for arguably the best quality printing possible, and this is why as printers we love to print on this class of t-shirts.
However the way the industry is currently set up and with costs, most organizations cannot afford to order this type of t-shirt quality.
This was the main driver for us: to bring down the cost of premium t-shirts so much that we can always serve every customer with the best possible shirt - no more compromising.
We started Supergrif Apparel as a lower cost alternative in the promotional t-shirt market, circumventing traditional supply channels to bring you the best t-shirt for a fraction of the price.
As a secondary benefit, the type of 100% American sourced 30 Singles Ring Spun Fine Jersey Combed Cotton that we use creates a superior and ideal surface to screen print your logos on.
The prints come out cleaner, sharper.
See chart below: