At the outset, when we came up with the idea to hand print Japanese manhole covers, we wanted to source all of our supplies domestically. For inks and equipment, we were able to find suitable and high quality products in Japan. However, with the actual t-shirts, we ran into numerous issues, the main two being:
1. Japanese manufactured t-shirts are extremely pricey and the minimum order would be something that only large clothing companies could order.
2. T-shirt sizes: The Japanese industry standard sizes for t-shirts is very different from western sizes.
For these reasons we have gone with what is available to us in Japan. We have chosen to purchase from Gildan Japan as they have great quality durable t-shirts. They also stock American sizes in Japan which omits any confusion about sizes when ordering.
All of the t-shirts will be hand printed by us in Tokyo, Japan. We have studied, experimented and researched many various methods of printing and we are very satisfied with the silk screen process. This process will give the t-shirt prints a long life span. We try our best to source all of our equipment and ink locally in Japan and give back to a country that was so generous to us over the years. By keeping our work in house and by printing ourselves, gives us much more control over the finer details, production costs, finished product and time scale.
We have already invested a lot of money researching, travelling and meeting with numerous City Officials in Japan with regards to working with them on their manhole cover designs. We have purchased and invested initial basic supplies to practice and perfect our skills for printing these shirts. Our goal is to raise initial funding to help print these designs on a larger scale and to fund supplies. If we are fortunate enough to get funded and create a stretch goal, our aim will be to move into a dedicated workshop, upgrade to higher quality printing machines and work with more Cities in Japan to bring their designs to life.
Risks and challenges
We have worked closely with our suppliers and have made sure that there will be no hiccups in acquiring the supplies, t-shirts etc. that are needed to start production. As we are hand printing the designs ourselves, we are aware and capable of meeting the demand for this Kickstarter.
We wanted to get involved as much as possible with every step of the process in order for us to make sure that there will be no drawbacks.
Shipping delays to certain countries was one of our main concerns but we are confident that JapanPost can take care of all our shipping needs. To ensure speedy deliveries, we will monitor the shipping progress by providing tracking and insurance for every t-shirt that we ship.
- (59 days)