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Let's Talk Sustainability

Why AS Colour Is Our Current Pick For Premium Blanks Right Now

There are unsung heroes in every genre of humanity. Throughout history, these are the ones who have refused to sing their praises and have let their talent and integrity speak for themselves.

People like Elsa Schiaparelli, a rival of Coco Chanel. She introduced into high fashion things like exposed zipper designs, and whimsical prints making them chic and mainstream. Her avante-garde designs are lesser known but just as good as other fashion designers who are household names.

Or Willi Smith, an 80's fashion designer who built his brand, WilliWear revolutionizing modern affordability and inclusive sizing. Smith was a pioneer in streetwear, though his contributions are often overlooked in fashion circles.

In our world of design and apparel uniquely set against the backdrop of sustainability, we continue to innovate with new brands that we find are bucking the norm. When a brand emerges with a commitment to integrity, sustainability, and transparency, it's something we notice and celebrate.

Today, we'd like to introduce you to one such brand, AS Colour.

As we launch our new interactive online catalog, it was important for us to partner with a frontrunner in both quality and sustainability, because we want you to feel confident that this new option is one you can trust.

That's why we want to introduce to you this exciting new brand and explain ourselves a bit because many might be surprised by our choice when the catalog makes its debut.

AS Colour's Blank Apparel Offerings

One thing that drew us to AS Colour as a cornerstone of our catalog, was the variety of offerings. When it comes to custom apparel, the last thing any brand wants is to be limited. That's why AS Colour is such an incredible source for really any project. Their premium line is eclectic and diverse, perfect for the brands that come to as interrupters of the status quo.

With over 300 products, and 6000 SKUs, AS Colour continues to provide option after option for decorators, screen printers, businesses, and brands. All while making each collection curated for easy choices to move brands quickly through the decision process and into production. They feature keystone products under what they consider pillars of their offerings. Those pillars come down to the density of the garments and range from lightweight, midweight, mid-heavy, and heavyweight. This allows for families of products available in the same fabric.

This is important because as brands desire to make more and more of an impact, it's important to have more styles to offer. However, for most brands that want to grow to the point where they have T-shirts, long-sleeves, hoodies, tank tops, etc all under one cohesive brand it wouldn't be possible. With AS Colour it is. Build your brand family as much as you want with the confidence that there will be consistent color, fabric, and hand-feel no matter the category.

Because AS Colour also has over 25 retail locations, they come at things from a retailer's perspective, keeping in mind what consumers are looking for. And with their keystone products in over 60 colors, there is a blank for every custom merch maker. A unique one we are excited about? How about a fleece-weight T-shirt for the vintage drop-shoulder look? Yeah, it made us giddy too!

They don't just stop at T-shirt blanks, AS Colour also offers headwear and accessories with collections that are just begging for some embroidery magic. They have even released an athletic collection and workwear line. This means that no brand is left behind and every brand can accomplish the end product that perfectly reflects its personality.

Next Level Printability

It left us a little dumbfounded when we first started printing on AS Colour's blanks. They were the usual 40 knit single sub straight, but for some reason, every design seemed like it was printed on paper it was so smooth. We finally got to the bottom of it!

AS Colour's blanks are made from a blend of cotton sourced through BCI ( Better Cotton Initiative) made from Australian, Indian, and American Cotton. This blend offers the unique hand feel of Australian cotton.  It's also combed cotton, resulting in a smooth texture because impurities and any roughness have been "brushed" out of the cotton. AS Colour's blanks even though available in heavier weights, are low fibrillation, meaning even though the fabric itself is cotton it won't feature the same roughness you'd expect from a natural fiber. This also means that whether the blank is being used for heat press or screen printing, there is no texture under the design. This feature has another benefit for screen-printing, it means that designs look sharp and detailed with less ink. Less ink means that even when it comes time to screen-print the garment is already aiding the sustainable printing process.

Organic Cotton

Let's Talk Sustainability

We need to address the elephant in the room, sustainability. The fact of the matter is AS Colour doesn't broadcast everything they do both ethically and sustainably in terms of sourcing and production. Through getting to know the company, it became more and more obvious that they didn't advertise their sustainable approach because they didn't see it as something to market, just something to be.

The company was founded over 20 years ago in New Zealand, and it operates in line with a traditional saying of the indigenous Māori people; "The earth is not inherited from our ancestors, it's borrowed from our children." With that mindset, and such a pristine birthplace as New Zealand, there is an overarching sense of stewardship. That stewardship is not just for countries they source from or produce in but for the earth as a whole.

We've found that is exactly the kind of responsibility that they show. A far cry from being associated with anything fast fashion, they take an approach that is socially conscious, environmentally conscious, and ethically responsible. We all know that our decisions have a ripple effect, both on our immediate environment and the future we are creating with each choice. Seeing this, the company operates with a "small" bath mentality, knowing that every choice affects much more than what's immediately apparent.

Recently they ranked number 3 in the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Report, coming in just behind Patagonia a brand known for their sustainable initiatives. This is a testament to the whole-hearted commitment to compliance, and overall company ethos. That company ethos is echoed in the company value to "do the right thing". For them, this means making continual efforts to improve their internal Code Of Conduct to achieve safe, fair, legal, and humane working conditions for everyone in their supply chain. Caring about the humans that make up the workforce, and achieving 100% transparency for their fabric sources, as well as 95% transparency of yarn sources and raw cotton agents is just who this company is, not just what they do.

It would go against everything AS Colour stands for to rest on its laurels, instead, they continue to innovate. Believing that in the apparel industry, you are either innovating or stagnating, there is no middle ground. Recently, the company eliminated the use of plastic from its supply chain, switching to cornstarch-based liners and doing away with plastic tape for an eco-friendly paper adhesive. With big issues like global warming, and climate change, they feel it is the responsibility of modern 21st-century companies to go against the stagnate brands in the industry. It sounds like AS Colour, and Superior Ink were cut from the same cloth (pun always).

High-Quality, And Affordable

If you are still not convinced that AS Colour is your kind of brand, we wanted to share a few more points that highlight another important aspect of any brand. It's the beautiful moment when quality meets competitive pricing they fall in love and create a little thing we like to call value. Value is important for so many reasons.

For starters, it highlights the fact that everyone wants to be proud of the product they are putting out into the world. However, quality can sometimes mean crazy expensive. Not with AS Colour. They realize that premium products draw in premium audiences. Just because something is high quality doesn't mean it can't be competitively priced.

Take for example their flat rate pricing model. With AS Colour, you have the option of sizes XS-3XL in most cases, and those sizes all cost the same amount. That's unheard of in this industry, with extended sizes normally costing more. It simplifies operations, speeds up the process, and averages out cost. Pretty cool, huh?

Another benefit of a premium blank from AS Colour is that everything is preshrunk with under a 5% shrinkage rate. As their name implies, they are known for their color quality, with the blackest blacks and some of the most color-fast colors out there. They also strive for quality control batch over batch, which is perfect for a growing brand that is looking for consistency of color, fabric, and hand-feel in each reprint.

This is all possible because in our research we found that they are....shall we say, picky. Doing things like interviewing 30-50 factories before deciding on one for production. Keeping preproduction samples in the pipeline for 6 months to a year before actually going into production. Dialing in the fit, the cut, the colors, and wearability while the sample undergoes hundreds of washes.

They realize that it's not about getting the cheapest garment in someone's hand, it's much more about value. The best quality at a very competitive price point. Because at the end of the day, no matter what brand or business we are growing, we want the end user to feel excited to come back and buy from us again. Not because it was such a "deal" but because it's their favorite T-shirt.

A good value will always make the consumer feel like they have bought something valuable from you and that fosters loyalty. And there's no bigger compliment than a repeat customer.

More Suppliers On The Roadmap

We hope you are as excited as we are to welcome AS Colour to the Superior Ink line-up. We view them as a kickstarter to the robust catalog we are building to offer top-tier blanks and continuously sustainable options. We look forward to bringing on Original Favorites as our top-shelf offering known as the gold standard, of course featuring Supima cotton.

And, as you may have guessed, Allmade will be added to our catalog in Q2 of 2024. Allmade has a special place in our hearts here at Superior Ink and we are so passionate about the mission and the brand. We are anxious to get the awesome options that Allmade has to offer on the dynamic catalog we can't wait to reveal!

Embracing AS Colour's New Home At Superior Ink

Wrapping up, it's clear that the tapestry of fashion is woven by those whose pioneering spirits have quietly revolutionized the industry. In the same vein, we're thrilled to bring AS Colour into our fold at Superior Ink. This brand mirrors our passion for innovation, quality, and a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

AS Colour is not just another name in our catalog; it's a testament to our belief in the power of conscientious fashion. By choosing a brand that excels in both its craft and its care for the planet, we're staying true to our commitment to bring you not just apparel, but a source of responsibility, quality, and forward-thinking.

As we unveil AS Colour in our lineup, we're inviting you on a journey of exceptional quality and ethical fashion. Keep an eye out for more exciting additions, as we continue to enhance our collection with offerings that honor the best, premium, and luxury offerings in the world of custom merchandise.

If you're looking for custom merchandise for bands, businesses, sports teams or special occasions, check out our comprehensive range at Superior Ink.

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