Archive for the ‘Choosing Eco’ Category

Something Sportsprint is very good at already is recycling boxes- cardboard boxes that garments arrive in are used for our shipping. This started for cost-cutting purposes, but it has the double-whammy of being very sustainable.

Sportsprint also buys boxes from a resale company who sells overstock or messed up boxes, so we often deliver our shirts in boxes that have names from other companies. One deliverer particularly noticed this when he dropped off huge Kahlua boxes at a school. Then he had to explain it wasn’t actually a Kahlua delivery. Everybody’s favorite boxes seem to be the ones that just had LARD written across them. I’ll have to take pictures of the next batch of funny boxes.

It’s green! And funny even.

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A Green Summer

Our blog is now back in action but under new direction for awhile. My name is Brittany Bernacchi, and I’ll be working on the Greening of Sportsprint this summer (so I will be your go-to blogger for the next couple months). I am a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, and I am double majoring in biology and psychology. I found Sportsprint through an internship program at Washington University, and I was quickly drawn to their mission of making their company more sustainable. Even though I am not studying sustainability in school, environmental awareness has always been an interest of mine and has become increasingly more important to me in recent years. I’ve always been a green advocate and avid recycler, so I’m excited to be a part of a bigger scale environmental effort!

My primary goal this summer is to prepare Sportsprint for Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Certification. This is a relatively new certification: there are currently only nine facilities in the United States who are certified SGP printers. However, many facilities are pending certification, and Sportsprint will hopefully be one of them by the end of the summer. Some of certification’s requirements include creating a Sustainability Committee, developing a Sustainability Policy, and implementing sustainable workplace practices. For more information about SGP Certification and specifics about achieving SGP Certification, please see the SHP Partnership website: https://www.sgppartnership.org/index.php

My first few days here will be spent absorbing as much information as possible, as well as making contacts for the rest of the summer. I will keep you updated with our company’s efforts to green our operation, and I look forward our progress this summer. Please feel free to contact me via this blog or my email address (brittbernacchi@gmail.com) if you have any questions or input for me or my project. Go green or go home!

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Robin Smith from Channel 4 news came by our store last week to find out about our green apparel options at Sportsprint! They’re doing a segment on Going Green every Thursday at 6pm, so they wanted to talk about green clothing options. Check out the clip here:


(the coolest part is that her assistant called me out of the blue to ask if they could come and do a story on us in 2 days.. didn’t even send a press release or nothin.)

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Well I really gotta hand it to our team here at Sportsprint. I know a lot of them still think I’m crazy, but at least they don’t think it’s crazy to be green. While I’m sure there were (and still are) some admitted skeptics, overall our bunch of committed folks has really done a stellar job with reducing waste, recycling all we can, and being conscientious about what we’re doing.

But I really put them to the test last week. Our building was completely flooded in the wake of Ike and Gustav and all those other crazy natural disasters our country seems to be having. (global warming, anyone?) It was devastating. Imagine walking into a 20,000 sq ft building that not only holds all of our screen printing and embroidery equipment, but our inventory of blank goods, finished customer goods, racks of samples, office furniture, file cabinets, and computers, and seeing that the carpet is soaking wet, there are puddles of water throughout the plant, and there’s a layer of dirt over most of the floors. Nightmare, right? Well we have to remind ourselves of what others are dealing with in disasters and be grateful that we didn’t lose even more. But it still sucks. Well chalk another catastrophe up to what our company has weathered in our 35 years of business! We survived a fire in 1990 (which burned a brand new warehouse, printshop and showroom down to the ground), a massive wind and hailstorm that blew part of our roof off of our current building a few years ago, and now a flood.

So how did we deal?

Well, our team pulled together and pulled the carpet up and got it out of here (too bad wet carpet can’t be recycled). Then we had to disinfect everything to prevent mold and mildew. Especially on the drywall. But instead of using bleach, which contains chlorine and is a notorious eco no-no, we went for the green version of bleach – hydrogen peroxide! And its antimicrobial, antibacterial properties went to work while our team went to work removing the baseboards near the drywall and spraying everything down with hydrogen peroxide. After that we cleaned with Simple Green cleaning solution. And the next step is a good powerful steam clean.

So yeah, the floodwater came and went. But our commitment to minimizing our impact hasn’t.

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When it comes to products, the 3 R’s {Reduce – Reuse – Recycle} can help to determine how eco-friendly it is.

  • Reduce the impact of the material the product is made from.
  • Buy high-quality products that can be re-used easily and often.
  • Recycle the scraps created from the manufacturing process.

Ask these questions about the product:

  1. What type of material is the product made from?
    • Is it recycled?
    • Is it from a fast-renewing resource?
    • Is it produced LITE*-ly? (*with Low Impact to the Environment)
  2. What is the product’s lifecycle?
    • Will it bio-degrade easily?
    • Is it durable enough to be re-used over and over again?
    • Is it recyclable?
  3. How does the supplier reduce its impact on the environment?
    • Does the supplier aim to reduce its carbon footprint?

 Determining the “green”ness of a product can be a grey area. You’ll need to decide which components are most important to you. For example, using a local supplier is more eco-friendly than shipping in from another continent, but the organic cotton grown in Turkey and Pakistan puts less toxic chemicals into our ecosystems than conventionally-grown cotton in the U.S.

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