Covid-19 is Eviscerating The Atlanta Screen Printing Industry. Can the T Shirt Industry Survive?

Covid-19 is Eviscerating The Atlanta Screen Printing Industry. Can the T Shirt Industry Survive?

T Shirt & Hoodie Industry Insiders Say Everything Is Imploding.

You’ve heard the horror stories. Almost everyone has been laid off or out of work because of the current pandemic. For those of us in the Atlanta screen printing industry its become very frustrating. The daily logistics of a screen printer is time sensitive at all times. Being an truly on demand business, printers often use couriers to pickup supplies from warehouses for rush jobs or to same day deliver completed works. Customers have a wide range of print jobs so different materials are used. Some of those are Hoodies, T Shirts, water based inks, plastisol, hemp garments, and etc…

The screen printing industry is an intricate collection of niche businesses.

This creates a ecosystem of wholesalers that are service specific, supporting one yet important part of the screen printing industry. The printing industry is not an financial ecosystem that can tolerate flux.

– Stacey
Alphabroder Screen Printing Apparel Warehouse In Norcross Georgia
Alphabroder Apparel Warehouse in Norcross, Georgia

Last week Alphabroder and S&S Activewear opted to shut their doors to couriers and would allow only FedEX and UPS for shipping t shirts. This week we heard Alphabroder has closed five of its warehouses indefinitely. Already reeling, the screen printing industry now has same day printing and rush jobs snatched away from them. Local supply is available only via USPS, UPS, and FedEX which don’t meet sensitive time fames. How can metro Atlanta area printers hope to fulfill any orders with their local suppliers completely shutting down? Many Atlanta printing businesses have opted to lay off their employees or shut down rather than confront this logistical nightmare. One cannot blame them. A clear path forward is very hard to see at this time.

Atlanta Printer Couriers
Atlanta Printer Couriers depended on its t-shirt printing clients. Now an Alphabroder decision has cut them off from their clientele.

Pete Louis, over at Atlanta Printer Couriers, has seen his delivery business totally cut off from his customer base. Talking with Pete earlier he explained to me that both Alphabroder and S&S view the couriers as customers so they will not open the warehouse to them doing the lockdown. So for the foreseeable future he will not be able to operate his business. Who knows how many other couriers were affected. I don’t think Alphabroder initiated this step to be malicious but with doctors and scientists stating the coronavirus pandemic will last to at least August the future looks really bleak. Businesses and citizens simply cannot financially survive a protracted outbreak without assistance.

How can the T Shirt industry survive?

These times require a wise and decisive approach to achieving stability. Although there are a lot of gloom and doom projections lately a new economy will emerge and those that survive will reap the golden rewards. This industry insider believes the new economy will thrive online. People and organizations everywhere will need the same services but safety will require transactions to be less tangible and more digital. Relationships between consumer and businesses will become more abstract.

To spearhead this new initiative IS Studio created an opportunity with its sister company Wearvie and you! The brainchild of IS Studio founder, Chris Bates, Wearvie is a graphic t-shirt selling platform that resells shirts custom designed by various artists. Anyone could submit a design for sale and some will be accepted. Once a tee is sold IS splits the profits with the original artist. IS handles everything. We create the silk screen, screen print the tshirt, and ship it to the customer. You collect a payout you can audit.

This is a wise consideration for Atlanta artists because screen printers have the capacity to design, produce, and ship clothing directly to the consumers that buy them. Of all the industry screen printers are built to be self sufficient but oftentimes never are. The Atlanta screen printing industry is dependent on volumes of orders by customers with different needs to survive. Wearvie would change that. As shirt sells increase and demand becomes exponential IS will off load some of the production to other Atlanta printers while Wearvie increases advertising and pushes shirts that are selling. Novel idea, right?

T Shirts screen printing on the auto machine at IS Studio in Atlanta

So how can you be a part of this? Submit your idea or design to artwork@wearvie.com. The artwork must be 300 DPI and submitted as a jpeg, png, or Adobe photoshop file. Once received you’ll get a email confirmation receipt from Wearvie. Lastly add the Wearvie email to your contacts so you can receive any further communications in regards to their submission.

We’re interested in different t shirt designs related to many different subjects. Politics lifestyle, funny shirts, controversial, and faith based designs are all welcome. Let’s beat this cornoavirus one custom t-shirt or hoodie at a time.

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