Who We Are and How We Got Here
TS Designs is a custom t-shirt manufacturer and printer focused on creating domestic and sustainably made shirts for environmentally and socially conscious businesses and organizations.
It wasn’t always that way. Tom Sineath (now retired) founded TS Designs in 1978 and Eric Henry joined him two years later. As a small, manual screen printing operation, TS Designs thrived with over 100 employees and customers such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, and GAP. This all changed in 1993 when NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) was passed. Customer after customer transitioned their accounts to Mexico in order to take advantage of lower costs. It affected the entire US apparel industry, as most of these manufacturers went out of business. (In fact, today, overseas manufacturing operations make 98% of the clothing we purchase here in the United States!)
Rather than giving up, TS Designs was introduced to the triple-bottom-line business model, focused on three equally important bottom lines: People, the Planet, and Profits. This helped them to create a new sustainable business strategy, and tap into a market that has the same values.
TS Designs demonstrates the journey of People + Planet by committing to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. Triple bottom line accomplishments include:
- B Corporation Certification: Obtained B Corp status in North Carolina (in 2015, the second company to do so, and today there are over 75 B Corps in NC!).
- Research and Development: Developed a truly Dirt to Shirt™ tee with all made-in-the-USA manufacturing supply chains; innovated garment dyeing techniques encompassing reactive and natural dyes; promotes natural fibers such as cotton and hemp; developed the eco-friendly print process REHANCE, which has a super-soft no print feel.
- Where Your Clothing: Consistently strives for the importance of transparency of supply chain and putting the farmer first, TS Designs has developed a system, whereyourclothing.com, that allows the consumer to know all the steps in the supply chain of the t-shirts, from the farmers who grow the cotton to the folks who sew the cloth together. Just scan the QR code in the pad printed neck label of each shirt.
- Textile Exchange Member: A community of brands, suppliers and companies who come together to create a more sustainable and responsible fiber and materials industry.
Today under the leadership of CEO and President Eric Henry, TS Designs sets the bar for corporate responsibility by cultivating responsible clothing with completely transparent supply chains. Eric Henry is recognized widely for championing sustainability and supporting local farmers and mill workers. Eric says, “We have set out to make the highest quality and most sustainable t-shirts in the marketplace.”
TS Designs works with brands who want to provide their customers with responsibly made clothing that’s easy on the environment.
Ask us how we can help you on your company’s sustainability journey!