BURLINGTON, NC—TS Designs, a North Carolina screen printing and t-shirt company committed to sustainability, recently launched the 10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project on their site Solid State Clothing. The Solid State Clothing site features a new brand of premium t-shirts manufactured entirely in the Carolinas as well as a U.S. cotton project that aims to reinvent the American cotton supply chain. By paying North Carolina farmers at above market rate prices, the 10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project will be an experiment to see how flipping the power in the cotton supply chain can change the way farmers operate. TS Designs President Eric Henry has committed to buying 10,000 pounds of cotton—enough to make about 15,000 t-shirts—from Andrew Burleson, a third generation farmer in New London, NC. As a Solid State Clothing farming partner, he and his family will make nearly double on his crop. Individuals and brands can buy “shares” of the cotton through a crowdfunding model on Solid State Clothing’s website.
“Today’s apparel brands are based around one of two things: chasing a cheaper price for a big box store or creating an illusion around a lifestyle. Apparel brands of the future need to be built around the people that make the apparel, and that is exactly what Solid State Clothing is,” said Eric Henry, President and CEO of TS Designs.
The United States is the third biggest cotton-farming nation in the world, but farmers here are still not being paid a fair price for growing a commodity crop like cotton. The 10,000 Pounds of Cotton project puts a face on the farmers growing it and offers an opportunity for shareholders (t-shirt buyers) to pay a fair price. It also creates a platform for people to see in real time how their purchases can directly change an entire brand and make it better. As the scaling of the cotton grows, that same cotton will keep feeding into Solid State Clothing. Hemp is next on the horizon.
The 10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project cotton supply chain will be available at a Zoom press conference on November 10th, 10am-11am Eastern. In attendance will be:
• Eric Henry, President of TS Designs
• Andrew Burleson, 10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project farmer
• Wes Morgan, Manager of Rolling Hills Gin
• Andy Long, VP Sales and Marketing at Parkdale Mills
• Jennifer Jones, Sales & Marketing, Contempora Fabrics
• Stacey Bridges, Sales Manager, Carolina Cotton Works
• Molly Hemstreet, Founder and General Manager of Opportunity Threads