Guaranteed Quantities 2.0: Damages

Jesse MacKenzie
August 16th, 2017


This is a follow up to our Guaranteed Quantities blog post. Reading back through it, we realized that we’ve never formally or publicly dug into damages and explained what they are, how they happen, and how we handle them.


The reason Guaranteed Quantities is so important is because of damages; sometimes shirts don’t make it perfectly from the factory to your doorstep. Screen printing is a lot like taking the SAT in pen, there’s no undo button and erasers are pretty useless. Seemingly countless things can go wrong with a print, and even though damages aren’t super fun to talk about, we think it’s important that we don’t pretend that they don’t exist or that we are perfect (no matter how hard we try). A damage simply refers to a shirt that does not meet our (very high) standards for any reason and cannot be shipped in the order. Let’s dig into some ways damages can happen and talk about what decides if a shirt goes in the box or gets turned into a clean-up rag.


Factory Damages


The first thing we look for is a factory damage. This is what we call any shirt that show up with an issue. It could be a popped seam, a hole, or a stain. We can’t guarantee we’ll always catch these because we are deeply focused on our prints, but we try our best to catch these issues before they make it into the box.


Sticky Inks


Once we get to the press, there are many things that can go wrong. These first two are ink issues. The first image shows the white ink sticking to the bottom of the screen, lifting and displacing the shirt so the red ink no longer lines up. The second shows a similar issue, but instead of lifting the shirt, the grey ink is lifted off of the shirt, causing rough texture and inconsistent color.


Loose Strings


This is probably the most frustrating thing that can damage a shirt. After doing everything right, lining up and running a perfect print, the shirt comes around and we realize a big string or a bunch of little strings have found their way into the print. These shirts may look alright at arms length, but we know we would be bummed out to put on our awesome new shirt and see a string shaped gap across the middle of the print, so we damage it anyways.

These are just a couple examples of the many things that can cause a shirt to be damaged. Before Guaranteed Quantities, these damages were twice as frustrating because it meant a wasted shirt, but also meant that someone might go without if extras weren’t ordered. We are still frustrated by damages, (and all of our printers are working hard to limit them as much as possible) but Guaranteed Quantities allows us to stay confident that our customers are getting what they ordered, and allows our customers to rest easy knowing their orders will never show up short, even if damages still happen.

Jesse is our Creative Director. He splits his time between the Art Department and Creative duties, looking to innovate and push the company in both areas (unless he overslept.)