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Shirtworks Audit Reveals Extensive Impact of Soil Association Accreditation on Ethical Promotional Garment Production


Shirtworks, the only organic garment embroidery company to receive Soil association accreditation has recently completed an extensive internal audit of garment production best practice, revealing the impact of meeting the stringent Soil Association award criteria

Oxford, United Kingdom, December 12, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Shirtworks, one of the UK's leading promotional garment printing and embroidery companies, has released details of an internal audit demonstrating the extent of change resulting from the commitment to gaining accreditation by the Soil Association. Shirtworks was recently awarded accreditation, making it the only certified organic garment embroidery company in Europe. The internal audit has revealed fundamental changes in packaging policy, sourcing of organic and ethically produced materials throughout the entire supply chain and the implementation of new garment production systems required to meet the Soil Association's exacting standards. For more information, visit http://www.shirtworks.co.uk/making-tshirt-printing-greener.php or call 0800 0725334.

"We carried out an internal evaluation to examine the effect the Soil Association accreditation has had on the way Shirtworks produces promotional garments, and we were quite surprised by the impact this accreditation has had," commented Arron Harnden, MD of Shirtworks. "From start to finish, the process of changing our garment printing and embroidery systems to meet their stringent requirements took a whole year, and this is the first opportunity we've had since gaining the accreditation to take a step back and really examine how it has changed us as a business. The Soil Association accreditation is very hard to obtain, one of the reasons why we are the only garment embroidery company in Europe to have earned it I suppose, and one of the reasons is the sheer level of detail that needs to be addressed across several different areas."

"There are three key areas of our garment production and order fulfillment that have been most affected," Arron explained. "These are packaging, production organisation and material sourcing. In terms of packaging, we have cut out all unnecessary packaging and strive not to use any kind of plastic when we do need to use packaging. With regards to the production organisation, we have restructured the production process to ensure that the organic garments never come into contact with any non-organic garments, materials, or areas in which they've been handled." When asked why this is necessary, Arron replied; "It's akin to the way a kitchen would keep meat preparation separate to areas in which vegetarian meals are produced. Finally the sourcing of materials has completely changed as a result of the accreditation, and this requirement was one of the most challenging and time-consuming to satisfy as we had to make sure that embroidery threads, backing material and the entire supply chain met with Soil Association standards. It was a demanding year of changes, but it was worth it," Arron concluded. "I can safely say that Shirtworks has more corporate and social responsibility than we did two years ago, and that the spirit of the accreditation has spread into all areas of our business, not just the organic and ethically produced garments."

About Shirtworks

Shirtworks was founded in 1985 and is now a leading direct supplier of promotional clothing, corporate gifts and promotional merchandise with the capacity to print orders of any size. At the Shirtworks promotional clothing workshop, there are screenprinting machines capable of printing logos and designs up to 10 ink colours, and machines which can embroider logos up to 7 thread colours. Shirtworks also holds large stocks of the most popular garments, including products from Screenstars, Jerzees, Hanes, Kustom Kit, Beechfield and Result.

Shirtworks' promotional clothing clients range from local schools, companies and clubs to large national plcs, charities and promotional companies. Shirtworks has always been committed to providing good quality promotional products at competitive prices combined with a friendly and helpful service. Even though Shirtworks supplies promotional clothing and branded promotional products throughout the UK and abroad, the company is very proud of its relationship with local customers, particularly with the many university colleges in Oxford.

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Contact Information
Shirtworks
Arron Harnden
0800 0725334
Contact
www.shirtworks.co.uk

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