Wednesday, July 9, 2008

When did you make the decision to go organic?

1. When did you make the decision to go organic?
The vision for Partybots has always been underlined with being environmentally and socially aware while providing original artwork. During the company's earlier years our printing production was being overseen by a good friend. I was constantly asking about soy based printing inks and other methods. When I brought my production in-house I made sure to use every eco-friendly printing method on the market. This includes soy based printing solvents, biodegradable platen glue, recycling of materials, reduced spoilage, 100% post consumer recycled paper, etc... Organic apparel had not hit the wholesale market quite yet, and some of the alternative fabrics were being priced at insanely high prices. There was a wide spread launch of organic apparel in 2007 that opened the doors to organic apparel on a much broader level. It became available due to increased demand and several leading competing wholesale companies. This is only one step in the vast chain of organic and eco-friendly apparel. Production and growing play huge roles in the sustainable of apparel companies. Partybots hit the floor running with the launch of Alternative Apparel's line in 2007. It was the next most logically step in our company's history.

2. How much did you have to raise the average T-shirt price as a result of going organic and how did sales fluctuate during that time?
The organic and eco-friendly market has been growing so rapidly every year that there has not been an established average price. As the years go on I can proudly say that my artwork has improved dramatically along with the quality of printing. With both those being said, plus offering organic and eco-friendly apparel, an average of $30 is a fair price. Just feeling the softness of the fabric for the first time sells 8 out of 10 of my customers. I personally keep my retail price very close to what the blank shirts are retailed. Due to overall awareness of organics and eco-friendly apparel my sales have been growing at a healthy rate. As demand grows so will competition which will push the limits of quality and over-all sustainability and/or it will lower the price. My hope is that the price remains to further finance the growth of the industry as a whole and keep it away from being just another fade. While that happens, I want to see quality and over-all sustainability to get better when it comes to growing, dying, sewing, shipping and other facets of apparel production. Sales for Partybots has increased with the rest of the sustainable apparel industry.

3. Overall how has the organic switch effected your bottom line sales?
Overall it has been a give and take. Telling our story and letting our customers know what we are doing to be sustainable has helped grow and made our apparel line more appealing. The take is that; using alternative products are priced much higher. While our sales have increased so has the cost associated with the materials involved. As demand moves forward, and sales increase our bottom line will be truly effected by volume. Being sustainable has allowed retailers like select Whole Foods Markets to sell our apparel which has increased our volume. All these elements play their key roles in regards to the bottom line.

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