Together with a design duo from Liverpool, personalised print specialist Identity Printing has launched a new luxury streetwear line using Ricoh direct-to-garment (DTG) technology.
Manchester-based Identity Printing, led by Managing Director Leo Stanley, is an innovator of exciting printing techniques and applications with an extensive range of customisable clothing, giftware and corporate gifts. The company was an early adopter of DTG garment printing, which enables unique designs to be printed directly to T-shirts, sweatshirts and other products at high speeds and low set-up costs.
However, competition from start-ups was squeezing prices and Identity Printing considered leaving the fashion market - until it was approached by high-end brand MisRep. Instead of simply taking on the printing contract, Identity Printing invested in the fashion brand and now owns a 50 per cent share.
"When MisRep came to us we were initially sceptical," says Zahid Ali, Production Manager, Identity Printing. "What we didn't realise was that one of the guys is a design genius and the other a social media expert. Together we've created a high-end fashion brand that has achieved an amazing turnover and a social media buzz, including 43,000 followers on Instagram."
Identity Printing's continual pursuit of better, more innovative technology is a large part of that success. Around twelve months ago the business updated its print room to include a Ricoh Ri 6000 and, six months ago, two Ricoh Ri 1000 DTG printers from supplier Resolute DTG. These professional, high-speed printing solutions are easy to use and to maintain, with reliably outstanding colour quality. The eco-friendly inks include white, perfect for printing a base layer on dark fabrics to ensure vibrant colours.
Under its Green Button System, Resolute DTG uses its own RIP technology to offer streamlined connectivity and enhanced productivity, with built-in workflow and custom colour calibrations. Additionally, using the RIP's in-built remote login and custom augmented reality (AR) software for support, Resolute DTG can have a technician's eyes virtually on site within minutes of any support call.
For some MisRep ranges, Identity Printing has also created some spectacular designs by combining DTG printing with vinyl; ‘Looking Glass' T-shirts, for example, feature a reflective mirrored panel. Every piece is printed on demand - T-shirts on the two Ricoh Ri 1000 printers and sweatshirts on the larger bed of the Ri 6000 - and shipped directly to the customer within three to five days. Zahid Ali says this is possible thanks to the reliability of the Ricoh devices.
"Other DTG printers we've used in the past have been prone to problems but our Ricoh printers work trouble-free with minimum maintenance," he says. "It only takes five or ten minutes to clean parts like the print heads to prevent any issues. It's a nice feeling to come into work in the mornings and know it will just work."
Identity Printing can also rely on Ricoh supplier Resolute DTG, says Zahid. "In some ways service is just as important as the technology. Resolute has supplied our equipment for many years and the service is always personal, always helpful, nothing is too much."
Zahid says the Identity Printing team is looking to the future, with two more clothing brands launching in coming weeks.
"We're going steady at the moment, not chasing business, and looking ahead to a busy Christmas on the Ricoh DTG printers," he says.
For more information on Resolute DTG's Green Button System, please, click here
For more information on Resolute DTG, please, click here
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