By Margaret Jackson | Jun 18, 2019
Screen printed apparel
Industry: Consumer & Lifestyle
Products: Screen printed apparel
Screen-printing company Superior Ink has evolved from a small apparel brand Rosacci started when he was in high school into an environmentally conscious business that designs and sources apparel for like-minded businesses.
Superior Ink manufactures a range of apparel for businesses like breweries, cannabis dispensaries, and outdoor brands, including Spyder, REI, and Icelantic. "We're aligned with more integrity-driven businesses that want to make a positive impact through apparel," Rosacci says.
Superior Ink also works with inner-city kids who take field trips to the company's facility where he talks with them about purpose, passion and business. "That's the cool thing about starting a business when you're super young -- at the end of the day, money is not the most important thing," Rosacci says.
Among Superior Ink's offerings are high-volume, wholesale custom screen printing for events, brands and athletic races; environmentally friendly apparel sourcing; in-house design services; embroidery; retail finishings, including folding, bagging, and custom tagging; and inventory management and drop-ship order fulfillment.
The company has two automatic presses, one with a maximum capability of printing eight colors and the other with a maximum of 10 colors. Printing methods such as simulated process and four-color process enable it to offer a full scale of colors.
Superior Ink is a founding partner of a new company called Allmade Apparel, which makes its products in Haiti from a tri-blend of polyester spun from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, and TENCEL Modal. Rosacci helped launch Allmade after learning that screen-printed apparel manufacturing is the second-most polluting industry. Through Allmade, Rosacci hopes to educate consumers how they can be more environmentally friendly by purchasing green products.
"People evolve. I started changing as a person and started looking for more purpose and passion," Rosacci says. "I changed the business model to focus on sustainability and be respectful of the environment."
Challenges: Ensuring the companies relevance by constantly innovating and adapting to the changing industry is one of the biggest challenges facing Superior Ink. Rosacci is planning a trip to Portugal to learn about digital printing in correlation with screen printing. "Some of the challenges we may have to the lack of technology in certain equipment," he explains. "It's a learning experience and something we have to do. It's better to hop on the train than be left in the dust and wondering how the industry got so far ahead."
Opportunities: That said, evolving technology also is creating new opportunities for Superior Ink. The minimum order is 24 pieces for a one-color print and 24 additional pieces per color after that. "For us, low quantities of the product combined with a high number of colors is challenging," Rosacci notes. "But the opportunities that come out of that is learning about new technology to offer something we haven't previously."
Rosacci also sees opportunities in its fulfillment services. "We don't just do screen printing and apparel sourcing," he says. "Fulfillment is another leg of the business we've had to add in because there are a lot of online companies that offer the printing and the distribution."
Needs: Maintaining the region's geographic relevance is the key for Superior Ink to be successful, Rosacci says. There are a lot of new companies moving to Denver, and it's critical to ensure the city continues to evolve and accommodate the growth of other companies, as well as that of Superior Ink.
"We need business," Rosacci says. "We need people to keep wearing clothing. We can't have people running around naked or we're going to be in trouble."