Made-to-order is making a difference in traditional retail and taking a step towards sustainable and responsible fashion production. When choosing made-to-order third-party printing services like the one Stefanos Dimoulas Dance Shop uses, products get printed only when a customer buys them.
In traditional made-to-sell retail stores, products are made in large quantities and often exceed market demand. Around 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills, making it a major contributor to environmental damage.
By choosing print-on-demand, you give customers a more sustainable fashion choice as well as more product choices—no more settling for mass-produced apparel. Instead, you can create products with a personal touch.
It doesn’t matter if you want to create a t-shirt, phone case, or a pair of leggings—the color selection is wide and design options endless.
Since we fulfill our products only when a customer buys them and we produce less waste than traditional made-to-sell retail stores, our closet’s clean. Our products are created using the made-to-order production approach. We warehouse only the products customers actually want and don’t throw our leftover stock into landfills.
We’re learning to reduce the amount of waste we produce, so we’re working on improving our packaging—as of February 2020, the company Stefanos Dimoulas Dance Shop works with has saved more than 12 US tons (11,028 kg) of plastic. It also donates damaged and returned products to local charities.
The company we work with has facilities on both US coasts—in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California—to route orders where they can fulfill and ship as fast as possible.
There’s a fulfillment center in Mexico and one in Latvia for the European orders as well. To improve order fulfillment in Europe, they’ve opened a new facility in Spain.
We’re constantly looking into new ways to make the best of our resources and reduce the CO2 produced when transporting orders, therefore we’ve partnered with a company that opened fulfillment centers close to the customers.
We want to give our customers reliable, quality products that are also kind to the planet.
We currently offer options that are eco-friendly. Our eco-friendly product collection is growing along with the needs of our environmentally-conscious customers.
One of our goals for 2020 is to expand our eco-friendly product catalog. We’re also working on optimizing our cut & sew production line to reduce the leftover fabric scraps.
Each product we add to our catalog is thoroughly tested to ensure high quality. To make sure the products last long, we do durability, wash, and wear tests.
We offer a variety of garments, most from our W.R.A.P. certified supplier who uses solar energy, limits water use, and recycles waste by-products to make sure their products can sport the eco-friendly tag. We trust our suppliers to deliver high-quality products that’ll last many washes, keeping the colors vibrant and elasticity great. On top of that, we conduct our own quality checks when launching every new product to ensure print quality and material durability.
Most of the printers we use in production are energy-efficient: they use less electricity, water, and chemicals than standard industry printers.
The main printing method we use is DTG (direct-to-garment), a more sustainable choice over other apparel printing methods, like screen printing.
DTG works with inkjet technology: the water-based ink is sprayed onto the garment, helping the ink soak in better. DTG has no color count, and this printing method works well even for the most elaborate designs. For our paper prints, like framed posters, we use Epson ink that has a low environmental impact.
We dispose of our inks according to supplier guidelines to avoid harming the environment. To give you the best quality, the company Stefanos Dimoulas Dance Shop works with is constantly upgrading their printers and have already invested $39.8M in printing equipment!
Our journey toward sustainability starts with the people of the companies we work with—the core of everything. We encourage responsible thinking and work on creating a positive environment around us.
We use LED lamps and recycle paper, plastic, batteries, and electronics. The break rooms of our work partners have sustainable kitchen supplies, and the cleaning products in their facilities are eco-friendly. We try to process as many documents as we can electronically to reduce paper use. Our work partners organize walking and cycling challenges to promote greener commuting alternatives.
Since people are the core of the company, we encourage both personal and professional growth. We’re keen on learning and supporting one another, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, and other characteristics.
At Stefanos Dimoulas Dance Shop we work with partners who cultivate a startup culture and growth-oriented environment where every employee is valued. Their employees have access to in-house libraries, internal training sessions, professional development courses, and opportunities to attend conferences. They make sure the team always gets honest, coherent feedback, and support.