Customizing T-Shirts in Billings
Where was your clothing made? How was it made? Do you know the process?
Aspinwall has a huge focus on local, sustainable, and built-to-last. Part of that sustainable effort is understanding where clothing was made, and how it ended up in the store. Every innovation brings the manufacturing process closer to home, the latest is developing a sub-business called Hogan’s Designs to move screen printing into the back of the shop.
What is Hogan’s Designs?
When Derek Aspinwall was about 10 years old, his hockey team gave him the nickname Hogan. Why? Maybe it was because he was strong like Hulk Hogan. Maybe he was hilarious like Hogan’s Heroes. Maybe someone just thought it was a cool nickname. It stuck, and it pops up over the years. Lately, it became the moniker for the screen printing side of Aspinwall’s business.
From the start, Aspinwall has done all of their own design in house. Designs are created through collaboration, and put onto the screen from Derek’s design expertise. All of the classic Aspinwall designs that you know weren’t farmed out to the lowest bidder; even the logo went through a dozen iterations before it was finalized. Take a look below to see some of the earlier examples.
Hogan’s Designs was a natural offshoot of the business, and adding the screen printing to the design side of things was a way that Aspinwall could keep a closer eye on the entire manufacturing process, and ensure that every shirt lived up to the quality necessary to maintain their standards.
Why Not Outsource the Screen Printing?
In the world of t-shirts, there are a ton of options. If you wanted to start a clothing company, you could do so by outsourcing the entire process. You buy a bulk lot of shirts from overseas, you send a logo and have them printed, and then a few months later a truck drops off a pallet of shirts in your driveway. It’s cheap and easy, and there’s no way to control for the quality of the product that you get.
Aspinwall has always maintained two priorities: clothing is made sustainably (much of it is from recycled fabrics), and the shirts are made in the USA. Everything from the cut, fit, and design are created by Aspinwall. They are produced in the USA, and “blank” clothes are sent back to Aspinwall. Now that Hogan’s Designs is up and running, the printing has been moved in house.
Screen printing is quite the process. Choosing the right screens means that now the shirts can have more intricate detail on them (that detail wasn’t available when printing was outsourced). Aspinwall can control the ink that is used, so that only those that won’t wreck up the environment are put onto the shirts and clothes. A variety of inks can be put onto the same shirt, and perhaps most importantly, trial runs can be done.
When a design is created on the computer, it doesn’t always look the same on the clothes. Keeping the printing in house means that a few shirts can be produced, and if they don’t look just right, ink can be adjusted to give them the desired color.
For some it may not matter. But for Aspinwall Mountain Wear, it’s all about maintaining quality. And that means being able to control the entire printing process in house is just a natural step in ensuring you end up with only the best.
Why it Matters to You
So why does any of this matter to you? There are three great reasons why Hogan’s Designs is important in your clothing.
Keeping it Local – We have all heard the value of keeping your money local. Buying from Aspinwall keeps the money here in the US and in Montana.
Limited Editions Available – When you buy from overseas, there is often a minimum order of several hundred. That means until most of them are sold, new designs can’t hit the shelves. Printing in house means that we can do limited edition clothing where only 24 shirts are made, and then the design goes into the archives.
Longer Lasting Clothing – Many shirts will last about a year or two. Aspinwall shirts last 3 to 4 times as long. Printing with Hogan’s Designs means that we can create a higher quality product that will last you for years to come.
Know Where Your Clothing Comes from
We encourage you to understand where your clothing comes from. Before you make a purchase, ask the story behind it. Ask how it was made, where it was made, and how it ended up in Montana. We have a big disconnect with the origin of our clothes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Wearing sustainably produced, made in the USA products means that you don’t have to buy as many clothes and your local economy is the one to benefit.
Ready for some awesome Mountain Wear? We now offer free shipping on many purchases, and many of our styles are discounted in the sale department.