Displaying items by tag: colorado

Over the past few months, we have witnessed the mounting impacts of the coronavirus. This global pandemic has forced many businesses to shut their doors, which is bad news for many small companies. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis recently established a COVID-19 relief fund to help small businesses and other organizations during this trying time. At Out of the Blue, we wanted to do our part in supporting local communities as well. We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve officially launched an online shop to generate funds for the Colorado coronavirus relief fund.

How OTB Is Supporting Local Communities

In this trying time, it’s imperative that we all chip in and do our part for the greater good. At Out of the Blue, we knew that we could leverage our services to raise funds for this important COVID-19 relief fund. We can easily create virtual apparel stores for our clients and we decided to use that to our advantage. Our team has developed an online storefront to raise those crucial funds and give Colorado residents another opportunity to help our state’s recovery from this global crisis.

Through this virtual store, we are currently selling “Colorado Strong” t-shirts in a wide range of sizes. A portion of the proceeds from that virtual store will go directly to the Colorado COVID-19 relief fund. We’ve sweetened the deal even further, by providing a FREE silicone wristband with every t-shirt purchase. When you purchase one of these shirts, you’re supporting local communities while simultaneously receiving terrific merchandise. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially those who need the financial support.

What Will The Proceeds Accomplish?

The guidelines of the Colorado COVID-19 relief fund are very specific and very generous simultaneously. As mentioned above, a portion of the proceeds from this online shop will go directly to the relief fund. Those proceeds will then be used to support state-wide initiatives across three major categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts.

The funds will be utilized efficiently to support things like making medical equipment, food services, small business support, childhood education, health services, and much more. Nonprofits, local governments, school districts, and small businesses in Colorado can receive financial support through this coronavirus relief fund. All they have to do is submit a grant application before the deadlines. In a short span of time, they’ll receive the funds they need to get through this crisis.

Every Little Bit Helps

At Out of the Blue, we are incredibly proud to be supporting local communities through this relief fund. We’re all living in a very uncertain time right now and people all across Colorado need your support. While there are plenty of ways to lend a helping hand, the state-wide “stay-at-home” order makes it difficult to show your support. Our virtual storefront can make that social responsibility a little bit easier for you.

Are you interested in showing your support for local Colorado communities? Then make the most of this situation with Out of the Blue! Head over to our virtual storefront today and show off your state pride with a “Colorado Strong” t-shirt.

Published in Out of the Blue
Monday, 16 July 2018 16:41

Shop Dogs: Muttley

They don’t call a dog “mans best friend” for nothing. There are many social and emotional benefits for a person to own a dog, especially having the opportunity to work alongside your dog each day. Meet Muttley. He is one of the shop dogs here at Out of the Blue. He is Blue’s family dog, and his companionship with all of us here is priceless. Although he is small, he adds abundant joy by welcoming everyone into the facility. He loves kids, knows all the distribution drivers, and gladly welcomes clients when they come to pick up their merchandise. He just turned 3 back in March, and he is the 3rd shop dog we have had.

Blue’s first dog that he would bring to work was named Slappy. He too was adored by the Grimes family and the OTB family. We had Slappy for a long time, and he had a great life. Unfortunately he died of cancer when he was around five years old. Then there was Gator, the shop dog. We had Gator for two years, until a car hit him in front of Blue’s house. Leaving Blue’s family, and the shop, with another serious void.

Blue and his wife adopted Muttley a week after Gator’s untimely death to help move on from Gator’s passing. The adoption agency said that Muttley was a Labrador, Pointer mix. But we think he is probably a Lab/Pit mix. Muttley was only 5 weeks old when he was adopted; he was rescued from New Mexico. The adoption place is called All Aboard Animal Rescue. They were actually clients of ours before the adoption took place, and they remain valued customers and friends to this day. Muttley was discovered on All Aboard Animal Rescue’s Facebook page, and he was adopted shortly after. If you are looking to adopt a best friend you can visit All Aboard’s website at http://aaanimalrescue.org/.

Blue’s wife has a cousin that trains guard dogs and he is the owner of Top Dog Protection. He takes on dogs that are too aggressive to remain with their current families and trains them to be guard dogs. He also has various obedience level training options for family dogs. Muttley got his training there beginning when he was eight weeks old. It was a month long program. We traded our screen-printing services for his dog training services. Muttley came back to us a superstar dog. He was perfectly house trained, obedient, and well read. If you are interested their services you can visit their website at https://www.denversecuritydogs.com/.

Muttley comes to work with Blue everyday. Larry, Blue’s father in law, also walks him twice a day. Muttley knows everyone that comes through our doors from the employees, to the drivers, to the clients. He truly is our brand ambassador. He loves kids, and hates car rides. During his commute to work he gets nervous and drools, but once he gets to the shop he is back to his happy self. He also likes to play with the other shop dog Frank. Frank belongs to our screen technician Nick Southwell. Muttley and Frank can usually be found wandering around the office or shop floor. They boost moral and make work that much more enjoyable. Be sure to say hello next time you’re at the shop.

Published in Out of the Blue
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 16:18

Recycling Fabrics

As any screen printer can tell you, we all make mistakes. While OTB does have systems and processes in place to minimize mistakes, screen printing is ever-changing. In an effort to remain on the forefront of our industry, OTB works hard to keep up and be knowledgeable about screen printing and garment decorating in general. Sometimes when working to perfect a new printing technique, effect or using new ink(s) and/or substrate, garments are unintentionally “sacrificed”. This can happen in any number of ways, but the most common reasons that a garment is ruined are due to misprints, scorching or general garment flaws like holes, uneven seams and loose stitching. When this happens our team does our best to extend the life of the garment.

Screen printed pieces cannot be recycled and made into new garments because of the ink used in the screen printing process. Once this ink is applied to a fabric, it cannot be removed. Because of this fact, after the garment has been damaged to the point where it can no longer be worn, it often ends up in the dump, left to slowly decompose over centuries. This adds to an enormous problem; that our species is making more trash than we know what to do with. Not only is the amount of space that clothes occupy in the landfill concerning, but as the fabrics decompose they release what is know as landfill gas. The two major gases that compose landfill gas are carbon dioxide and methane. Both of which are major contributors to the runaway green house gas effect.

At Out of the Blue, environmental responsibility is a core value. We strive to use only environmentally friendly products, supplies, and practices. Being that we are in the clothing and textile industry, we feel that we have a responsibility to minimize waste in our operations. In doing so, we hope to reduce landfill mass, provide materials for those who can re-purpose fabrics, and decrease the amount of energy that would otherwise be used to produce new clothes.

We do not waste any fabrics! Every textile is used multiple times in-house until it is ultimately donated. For example, if we have an order for 1,000 shirts and three of the shirts that we receive from the manufacture have a small hole in them, we will send back the garments with holes where they will be recycled by the manufacture into new garments. But what happens if we have a misprint, scorch the shirt, or another manufacturing flaw is found during packaging? We bring in overs on ever order to “fill in” when this happens so we can immediately re-print the garments needed to fill the order. But then we are left with the printed garments that we had to replace. We’ve built a process to re-purpose those garments rather than toss them in the garbage. First they are used as test print shirts. When setting up a new order for production, we need to test the print to be sure it’s set-up correctly. It’s best to test on fabric. That’s where the damaged garments start their afterlife; as test shirts. Eventually those test print shirts will be completely covered in ink inside and out, rendering them useless as test print material moving forward. At that point the shirts are rededicated as rags for cleaning. We also welcome schools, animal shelters, mechanics, and other various third parties who might find use for these rags and donate them. At one point we worked with a rock climbing company that picked up these garments and re-manufactured them into chalk bags for climbers. There were no two pieces alike making for a unique and applicable new recycled product.

It is also worth mentioning that all of our ink is non-toxic and phthalate compliant. We recycle it as well. For example, we may mix two inks together to create a new custom color for a customer. Although we try to mix only what we need, sometimes we have extra. Instead of tossing the ink, we hold onto it for future use when we might need that particular blend again. We can also use it to create a new shade for a future order.

Another way Out of the Blue reduces waste is by printing all of our documents double sided, with the exception of invoices. In doing this we use less paper, and decrease the demand for paper processing.

It is important to OTB that we protect our resources and manufacture/print/decorate in such a way that is not only environmentally friendly, but that also promotes education and awareness about recycling in our industry.

Published in Out of the Blue