Every day, around 25,000 new designs are uploaded to our platforms. The vast majority of them send out positive messages into the world, while supporting an open and fair discourse. Our business model is based on the idea of offering customers an opportunity to create, buy and sell individualized fashion and lifestyle products. The team around Hannes Döring, Director Asset Management, tackles all kinds of design issues within Spread Group. Difficult questions like, “What is acceptable?”, and “How do we define the borders of good taste?” are at the center of their work. We talked to Hannes about the importance of context and the value of a diverse team for design reviews at Spread Group.
Spread Group: You and your team review designs that you consider to be, among other things, violations of our Community Standards. How do you go about it?
Hannes Döring: Suspicious designs are mainly reported to us through our community, usually via our design reporting feature. It helps us draw on country-specific knowledge, as each country has its own laws, symbols and signs that are interpreted and used differently from region to region. These designs are reported by the community and checked by my team. They remain online as long as they are being checked, because – as the presumption of innocence goes – no guilt can be presumed until it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. As with many other platform applications, we rely on the “many-eyes-principle” as our review standard. Our team constantly familiarizes itself with current political or social issues, and we also proactively conduct platform scans. AI-based and human filters help us remove content from our platforms that e.g. glorifies violence, often within minutes.
Spread Group: Some designs can clearly be identified as a violation of the law, whereas others only offend given a context. How do you deal with this in the team?
Hannes Döring: We constantly educate ourselves and inform ourselves through media and portals, but also through experts such as the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, HateAid and other organizations like Germany’s Kulturbüro Sachsen. As a team, we have regular meetings and discuss positions on social controversies. In doing so, it is important to us to leave personal sensitivities or questions of taste aside. The latter is more often the case with designs depicting dark humor.
To give an example, due to the debate on the issue of abortion rights in the USA, we put the topic back on the table, discussed it at length and weighed it up. As a result, we don’t think it contradicts our community standards to be in favor of a ban on abortion. We do, however, believe that expressing a position needs to adhere to a certain form. Explicit photos are not part of freedom of expression here, as these can hurt the feelings of others.
Periodically, we revisit our decisions and check whether they still apply under the current circumstances. An example of this is the word “lateral thinking” (“Querdenken”), which was unobjectionable for a long time until it has been given a direction by a political movement in which our fifth community standard (supporting harmful, misleading content) is clearly violated. However, it is possible that this level of meaning may change again, and we will use the term in a neutral way.
Spread Group: For which topics do you call on external experts?
Hannes Döring: That varies greatly. As a rule, my team approaches me and asks for more in-depth knowledge on topics that are currently being increasingly reported. Recently, for example, we had two multi-day workshops on sexism, and on another occasion on runes and neopaganism.
In the sexism workshop with the Educat Collective, we learned that sexism takes place on four levels: Sexism on a structural, institutional, individual, and media/discursive level. Sexism is often a mixture of these four forms. Using concrete design examples, we immediately transferred what we had learned into our everyday practice: How would we now (re)assess designs? Can we identify them more clearly?
In the second workshop with the Saxony Cultural Office, we discussed concepts such as runes, Teutons and Vikings, and what their appeal is today. In certain reenactment groups, “Germanic” villages and esoteric circles tend to have nationalistic, racist, and ethnic tendencies that like using runic characters. But runes can also be found in different contexts, such as the metal music scene. It always depends on the individual case and the context. With the help of the workshops, we now have a much greater certainty for our design examinations with these subjects.
Spread Group: You’re talking about case-by-case assessment here. Does this mean that you really make your decisions on a case-by-case basis?
Hannes Döring: Let me go back to my earlier example of the right to abortion. As I said, we allow the pro and con sides of these designs on our platforms. However, if the symbolism or choice of images is offensive, these designs must of course be permanently deleted. In such borderline areas, there is no way around having the designs checked again individually by a broad-based, diverse team.
Spread Group: Thank you for the insight into your work, Hannes!
Spread Group’s technology will create sustainable & individualised series merch
Stranger Things and The School for Good and Evil are the first two titles to go live in the new Spread Group consumer products deal with Netflix.
Spread Group rolls out the collection on all marketplaces in the UK and Europe. Designs for other properties will follow, including: Squid Game, Sex Education, La Casa de Papel, Elite, Shadow & Bone, 1899, Outer Banks and The Witcher.
The first designs will include Hellfire Club hoodies and The School for Good & Evil lunchboxes. Fans will be able to buy designs across a wide range of products in the apparel and accessories segment but also covering Home & Living products which are great for gifting.
Spread Group’s technology enables individualization. This creates a sense of belonging through products people love. Fans can find a design in a style and fit to suit them, across Spread Group’s fashion and lifestyle range.
When fans are involved in the creation of an item it creates a greater affinity with the brand. With the Spread Group and Netflix partnership, fans can create for example; Squid Game sweatshirts, Elite water bottles, The Witcher bandanas, Shadow & Bone drawstring bags or Outer Banks long sleeve shirts.
The Spread Group technology also boosts sustainability credentials. Production based on need (not projection), means an item is only produced after it has been ordered. This limits waste because there’s no over-stocking and leftover sizes.
Dr. Julian de Grahl, Spread Group CEO, says:
“This partnership will enable Netflix fans to create delight items for much-loved shows. We do this through individualization; a growing trend in brand merch. Our made-to-order technology gives fans space to produce something unique they want to wear every day. The ability to individualise will then increase their sense of belonging to their favourite Netflix shows.”
Sven Burscher, Spread Group’s Head of Licensing said:
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix to offer such a huge range of merch to its wide audiences. Our technology means Netflix can retain brand integrity for its iconic series and a demand-led printing model also limits waste, which is good for the planet.”
“The Netflix shows have become significant brands in themselves. Fans identify with the story-lines and characters and the programmes are binge-watch destination TV. With this partnership between Spread Group and Netflix series fans can wear their dedication with pride!”
- Group photo Stranger Things Merchandise (Copyright: Spread Group)
- Hellfire Club T-Shirt Women (Copyright: Spread Group)
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 221 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
- Spread Group enters into a long-term partnership with mula. and acquires shares in the digital B2B merchandising platform.
- The strategic partnership is intended to provide B2B customers of both companies with an improved and comprehensive service portfolio.
- Spread Group’s investment in mula. is driving the expansion of its B2B business and the implementation of its sustainability strategy.
- Both companies have complementary offerings and will work closely together both in the operational business and in the further internationalization of mula.
Spread Group is the leading global provider of customized fashion and lifestyle products. The global company is entering into a strategic partnership with the Berlin-based B2B merchandise platform mula. To this end, Spread Group is acquiring shares in the start-up and providing mula. with a growth budget in the millions.
The aim of the long-term collaboration is to offer customers of all sizes an extensive portfolio of services that builds on both companies’ existing offerings. In addition to the individual design and production of high-quality corporate fashion and merchandising products, this also includes the digitalization of existing internal processes on the customer side. For example, the digital B2B merchandising platform can be used to provide innovative support for onboarding processes, send automated gift boxes at specified times (e.g., birthdays or customer events), or make merchandise available to a limited customer group via white-label online stores.
Both companies have complementary expertise and will work closely together on operational issues as well as on the further internationalization of mula. In particular, mula. will benefit from the global production and distribution infrastructure of Spread Group.
Dr. Julian de Grahl, CEO Spread Group, explains the move: „Mula. and Spread Group are perfect partners: both companies operate in a customer-centric manner and have repeatedly demonstrated their innovative strength. The topic of sustainable corporate gifting has gained a lot of importance in recent years as a tool for customer and employee loyalty. We create enormous added value for our customers, through the digitalization of time-consuming manual processes in marketing, sales or HR departments, which can result in a significant gain in efficiency.”
Marco Lawrenz, Co-Founder and CEO of mula., says: “We cannot imagine a better partner than Spread Group: 20 years of industry experience, market leader and active worldwide. Moreover, known for its special reliability in the market. At the same time, Spread Group can benefit from our broad solutions for merchandise user cases in all business areas. Through this partnership, the digitalization and automation of currently very manual processes, e.g. by integrating HR-, marketing-, or sales software, we can deliver real added value for companies of all sizes. The combination of the expertise and the services of both companies is a forward-looking move for the entire industry.”
- mula. founders with Spread Group CEO Dr. Julian de Grahl (from left to right: Tobias Boertz (mula. Co-Founder, Head of Engineering), Marvin Müller (mula. Co-Founder, Head of Merchandise), Dr. Julian de Grahl (Spread Group CEO), Marco Lawrenz (mula., Co-Founder, CEO), Moritz Halfmeyer (mula. Co-Founder, CTO)
- mula. CEO Marco Lawrenz and Spread Group CEO Dr. Julian de Grahl
About Spread Group:
Spread Group is a global provider of customized fashion and lifestyle products. With the brands Spreadshirt, Teamshirts and Spreadshop, Spread Group offers consumers, companies, and content creators (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, TikTok) digital services for the individualization of fashion and lifestyle products. The common basis of all Spread Group service offerings is a flexible software platform that enables deep vertical integrations along the value chain. This includes not only product design, marketing and sales via marketplaces and online stores, but also production, payment processing, worldwide shipping and customer service.
The made-to-order pioneer founded in 2002, in Leipzig, Germany, now operates five production sites in the U.S. and Europe and has annual revenues of over 175 million Euros. In 2021, Spread Group manufactured on demand more than 10 million products for customers in over 170 countries.
The digital B2B merchandise platform mula. was founded in Berlin in 2018 by Marco Lawrenz and Marvin Müller and has since developed into an internationally active company. Thanks to the platform, all merchandise activities for companies and their employees can be simplified, streamlined, and managed. This is achieved, among other things, through the automation of processes, API integration with HR and CRM tools, such as HubSpot or Salesforce, and the creation of own stores. In addition, customers can select and individualize their own merchandise as well as their team clothing via the platform. mula. places a lot of emphasis on sustainable products that are environmentally friendly. The B2B merchandise platform is rounded off by a comprehensive design and warehousing service and CO₂-neutral delivery.
Since February 2022, Fabian has been part of the recruiting team of the People & Culture division at Spread Group. He and his colleagues take care of future-proofing the Spreadster, aka our staff. With a lot of passion, Fabian sees himself as a mediator between external applicants and the internal hiring departments. Humanizing as well as making the recruiting process more straightforward were the main factors behind his decision to start working at Spread Group. We talked to Fabian about this and more:
Hi Fabian! When did you join Spread Group and what exactly do you do here?
I’ve been a Leipzig resident since I joined Spread Group six months ago. And I haven’t regretted it for a second so far! As a junior recruiter, I’m something of an interface between the applicants and our internal departments, where I act as somewhat of an intermediary. Some administrative tasks are also part of my job, but what particularly excites and inspires me are interpersonal aspects. The icing on the cake are the conversations and interviews that I get to conduct. This means I always meet new and exciting people, and at the same time I gain insights into the company as a whole. That’s what I find both great and unique about the role of recruiter.
What did you do before? And why did you choose Spread Group?
Before moving to Leipzig, I lived in the Netherlands for 10 years. I studied psychology there and gained my first work experience. First as an account manager in a wholesale company, and later as a forensic escort. The work with delinquent youths had a great impact on me, but after a while I also felt like looking for a new field of work. While looking for a new challenge, I came across Spread Group. The company’s profile and presence on the web made me very curious. Hardly any other application process was as pleasant and almost family-like as here. The opportunity to meet future colleagues during the process and to feel invited at every step encouraged me to join Spread Group.
What is the most exciting thing about your job as a recruiter? What does it take?
As mentioned earlier, the chance to conduct interviews as a recruiter and to get to meet very different people is definitely the most exciting thing for me. It’s the icing on the cake. And helping to find the best applicant match for a department is also at the top of the list. It requires empathy, a sure instinct, and a service-oriented attitude. The application process should be as pleasant as possible for every applicant, no matter how different they are.
Can you share valuable advice for applicants?
Come as you are! Literally and figuratively. Be open and authentic – this is how you’ll find the job that suits you best.
What did you want to be when you were little?
A singer! I have a classical voice training and am therefore quite the fit when it comes to Italian operas (laughs).
Are there any other hidden talents or hobbies you would like to share with us?
If the last two challenging pandemic years have taught me one thing, it’s to take care of myself and switch off in between. For me, this includes activities like cooking, yoga, and traveling. I’m already planning my next trip to a festival in Hungary, and my colleagues can look forward to new couscous salad variations on a regular basis. That’s when my Tunisian roots come to the fore – and a mutual lunch break is always good for me.
Rumor has it that a few new statement shirts have moved into your closet. Which slogan T-shirt will surprise us next time you enter the company kitchen?
A brand-new addition is a T-shirt saying “Personal Manager. Because superhero is no official job title” (laughs). And as soon as the shirt is dry again, I will definitely wear my new favorite saying: “I’m in HR. I can’t fix crazy, but I can document it.”
Thank you for these exciting insights, Fabian!
Curious? We are looking for colleagues for Fabian as well as new Spreadsters in our SPOD division, e.g. as a Business Development Manager. We are also looking for a Legal Counsel to strengthen our global legal team: https://www.spreadgroup.com/de/job-openings/
Print-on-Demand Offering Helps Sustainability and Customisation Goals
Flashdance, Top Gun, Star Trek, Garfield and SpongeBob SquarePants are five of the iconic brands in the European licensing deal signed by Spread Group and Paramount Consumer Products.
Sustainability is at the heart of this partnership. The Spread Group’s print-on-demand offering means an item is only printed after it has been ordered. This limits waste because there’s no over-stocking and leftover sizes.
The first designs will include I Feel the Need for Speed Top Gun t-shirts, Flashdance logo and What a Feeling! hoodies, Garfield LASAGNA lunchboxes and Saturday Night Fever posters. The designs will be a mixture of image classics and newly created designs created by Spread Group.
Customisation is also made easy with print-on-demand. Fans have the freedom to add a design to a product in a size, colour, and style of their choice. When fans are involved in the creation of an item it creates a greater affinity with the brand.
Sven Burscher, Spread Group’s Head of Licensing said:
“This partnership means Spread Group can offer a huge variety of themes to a wide audience. The Paramount Global brands cover iconic movies and cartoons for a large demographic. There’s a coming-of-age moment for everyone!
Our print-on-demand offering means the brands and their fans can customise their creations to suit them, whilst retaining brand integrity. It also limits waste which is better for the planet”.
Fans will be able to add images and quotes to t-shirts, hoodies, caps, bags, aprons, mugs, water bottles, lunchboxes, pillowcases, posters, and stickers depending on the brand. Designs will also be localised; for example, Garfield quotes in German, French and English.
The licence covers Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the UK.
- Spread Group Women’s Hoodie with TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES design
- Spread Group Men’s Premium T-Shirt with TOP GUN design
- Spread Group Women’s Premium T-Shirt and Men’s Premium T-Shirt with SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS design
- Spread Group Women’s Organic Premium T-Shirt with GARFIELD design
- Official Top Gun Spreadshirt Showroom
- Official Spongebob Squarepants Spreadshirt Showroom
- Spreadshirt Licensed Fanwear Overview
- Spread Group Newsroom
Patrick-Philipp Kasten joined Spread Group as Accounting Manager for Germany at the beginning of 2022. After 9 years in auditing, it was time for pastures new! With Leipzig being his hometown, he has followed Spreadshirt’s story from start-up to international e-commerce company Spread Group. Patrick chatted to us about his diverse tasks here, why he has chosen Spread Group, and how he balances office and personal life.
How would describe your job at Spread Group?
As Accounting Manager for Germany, I am responsible for the annual and monthly financial statements of the parent company and its German subsidiaries, as well as making sure our team of 6 continue to work together. It’s a very varied job in which I have to both be a manager and drive projects forward. For example, I am currently working with developers to automate more administrative processes. I am also the first point of contact for our auditor in the context of the single-entity audit of sprd.net AG.
Why did you choose Spread Group?
Before I applied, I had a look at the latest published annual financial statements. You could call that a symptom of being so long in the industry (smiles). And what I saw was there that the company had grown healthily and moderately – without any major fluctuations. In my eyes, that speaks for a promising business model. I was also very impressed about the fast application process. It felt like I had the contract within three days (laughs).
What’s the best thing about your job?
It’s got to be the collaboration with all departments in the company. In Accounting, we bring together a lot of information. Through this close contact, we know what the departments are working on or what projects are pending.
What talent and knowledge do you need for working in accounting?
A passion for numbers is important in accounting, but that’s not the only thing. It is also very important to be familiar with MS Excel and other relevant programs. As an interface to all departments, you should also be communicative and enjoy working with others. Personally, I also find it essential to be able to observe things critically. Invoices should not simply be processed, but also questioned. This also requires a general understanding of our corporate structure and purpose in order to understand the more complex invoice correlations.
What did you want to be when you were young?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist, digging around and exploring the world. To this day I’m still very fond of gardening; after accounting, gardening would be my back-up (smiles).
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to keep active to balance out the challenges of an office job. This usually involves a saddle, either on my bicycle or the motorbike. Since I was a kid, I’ve played the accordion, but I must admit this sadly only gets brought out twice a year or so. More regularly, I go fishing. My tip: get up early! Around Leipzig there are many lakes with fishing spots perfect for catching perch or pike. But there are also some great spots right in the city, for example in Plagwitz on the Karl Heine Canal near the Spread Group headquarters.
🧮 Want to find out more? Patrick is looking for support for his team. If you like numbers, a welcoming team, flexible home office options and more fishing tips from Patrick, apply now!
Lena joined Spread Group 7 years ago, when it was still known as Spreadshirt. Starting out in customer service, she then moved on to become communications manager at Spreadshop. In the summer of 2021 Lena made the switch to Product Management where she is now the Product Owner for SPOD.
How would you describe your role at Spread Group?
Lena: It’s now been 7 years in total for me here, but I’ve been the Product Owner for SPOD since last summer. I guess you could say I’ve come full circle. Just after I started here, during one of my first feedback sessions, the question popped up: which of the other roles at the company interest me? My answer was clear: Product Management. Right from the get-go I was fascinated by the work of product owners. A colleague from back then whose role I found particularly interesting is now my boss.
Can you sum up your job in 3 sentences?
Lena: As the SPOD product owner I am the one who connects the businesses with our IT department. My job is to aid the continuous development of SPOD and to make sure the customers’ wishes and business goals are achieved. SPOD connects e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce or Squarespace with our Print-on-Demand Production sites. Merchants can showcase their own designs on clothes and accessories. Orders which have been placed via the SPOD application are then printed by us and sent to the customer in the name of the respective merchant.
What’s the best thing about your job as a product owner?
Lena: Simply put, my role as a Product Owner is a lot of fun. Programming fascinates me, but I actually can’t code. However, there are definitely elements of programming in my current role. You also get the chance to work, as a team, step-by-step towards a goal, on things like new features that customers have been asking for. We plan it, program it, then check it. In the end, there is a result of work we’ve all combined for. That’s what attracts me the most.
What kind of skills do you need for the job?
Lena: If you’re not into organization and problem-solving, this isn’t the job for you. When you’re getting inundated confronted daily with bugs, feedback and new information you should always remain conscious of the main goals; the development and improvement of the products. Yet to find the best solutions, you still need a certain degree of diplomacy and mediation skills, especially when mediating between UX, Frontend and Backend.
What did you want to be when you were young?
Lena: Honestly, I can’t actually remember. But admittedly, it probably wasn’t a Product Owner (laughs). I had absolutely no experience in IT or software development before I started at Spread Group, and during my studies, I was still undecided what my next step would be. That’s the great thing about the jobs here, they’re so diverse. Everything is possible, from in house software development and production to business analytics.
What would be your dream job?
Lena: It was clear as I started at Spread Group 7 years ago that I wanted to get a foot in the door of the tech world and develop my skills from there on. Of course, I can use all the skills I have acquired in other areas or for a different purpose, but I wouldn’t want to choose any other job at the moment. Moreover, the team at SPOD is strong and very international. Everyone is into the job and even though some of us have ever never met in person, it just clicks.
🚀 P.S.: We are currently looking for Product Owners (f/m/d) in the area of User Management. Do you want to be part of a design-driven team and create the best possible user experience alongside developers and other product managers like Lena? Then apply now!
All proceeds of the shop go to the Caritas Ukraine Aid
The war has been raging in Ukraine for over 40 days. We are speechless at the sight of the violence and the humanitarian catastrophe. The footage in the media is hard to watch, and it is even harder to just stand idly by. Many of our colleagues have joined initiatives to coordinate donations in kind and drive to the borders with Ukraine to deliver them. Others host people seeking protection. We as a company have organized fundraising campaigns to provide direct support to Ukrainian families who have arrived at our production site in Legnica (Poland). Solidarity is key in times like these.
As an e-commerce and design platform, we have experienced how great the desire is to express solidarity on clothing and accessories. The demand for designs and products supporting the cause of Ukrainians in distress is strong, and it has become quite clear that people wish for nothing but a peaceful outcome. There have been over 10,000 newly uploaded designs with graphics in blue and yellow, the hashtag #StandWithUkraine and the ‘No War’ typography. Customers favor stickers and T-shirts to take the message to the streets.
The team at our Leipzig headquarters was able to support several local initiatives, such as the Humanitarian Aid Ukraine e.V., the FAIRbund e.V. as well as the Leipzig Crowd, a project of the city of Leipzig and Leipziger Group. And the desire to take the initiative ourselves has taken on a concrete shape:
The idea for the #spreadPeace campaign was initiated to take a stance for peace and freedom while supporting the people in Ukraine. We set up a charity shop featuring a great variety of designs centered around topics such as humanity, peace, freedom, and Ukraine. All proceeds will go directly to the Caritas Wien Ukraine Aid. Caritas is one of the largest aid organizations in the world and has been active for many years. We are proud to partner up with Caritas and donate 100% of the proceeds from the shop to people in need. In doing so, everyone can make a donation through the purchase of a product and then further spread the message on T-shirts, stickers, and more – everywhere in the world. Please take a look at our European #spreadPeace shop and our International shop for the USA and Australia.
- Caritas Wien Ukraine Aid: https://wirhelfen.shop/aktuell/ukraine/
- European Shop: https://spreadpeace.myspreadshop.net/
- International Shop: https://spreadpeacenow.myspreadshop.com/
- Leipzig crowd: https://www.leipziger-crowd.de/ukraine-hilfe
- Humanitarian Aid Ukraine e.V.: https://www.hhu-ev.de/
- FAIRbund e.V.: https://verein-fairbund.de/en/
- Solidarity designs on the Spreadshirt marketplace: https://www.spreadshirt.de/shop/ukraine/
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. After working in England and France, Jozef Šalka found his way to our production site in Krupka (Czech Republic) in 2016. “I actually only wanted to work in the Czech Republic for a year, but then I met my wife here,” laughs Jozef.
His many years abroad have strengthened his desire to lead a diverse team in an international company. In six years, the native Slovakian has risen from production worker to site manager and is grateful for this fork in the road: “I have been given a great opportunity for further development at Spread Group. As site manager, I now work with my team to achieve the best output and high product quality for our group. Last year, we broke our own record with 3.2 million products shipped.” Jozef is still working towards his personal goals: After hours, he is studying Public Administration and Regional Development at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague.
Spread Group: How do you personally define sustainability?
Jozef Šalka: Less is more. I am firmly convinced that too much consumption harms us and makes us unhappy in the long run. In order to appreciate the value of goods, I recently rented an allotment garden near our apartment. Our family now plant vegetables there. It’s important to me that my son learns how time-consuming gardening is and how much better his own vegetables taste in the end. In my childhood, we always planted everything ourselves. It’s a shame, really, that this tradition has been lost …
Spread Group: What motivates you to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Jozef Šalka: I want my children to live in an intact and healthy environment. For this, I would like to serve as a role model for them, without lecturing them. Everyone has to find their own way to live a little more sustainably. One person does without meat, the other avoids plastic bags. I myself have noticed that we do a lot of things simply out of habit, without reflecting on our behavior: Because of my wife, for example, I now eat much less meat and feel much healthier as a result.
Spread Group: What sustainability projects have you and your team already implemented?
Jozef Šalka: We are strongly committed to recycling, which is why we have established a code system that allows our service providers to more clearly distinguish all the ink cartridges from our printers and start reusing them. Like our Polish colleagues, we have also switched to paperless production: Instead of routing slips with three sheets of paper per order, we use sticker sheets with 30 stickers each. With one sheet of paper, we can process 10 orders. We also print exclusively with vegan ink in our water-saving printing systems from Kornit Digital. The switch to reusable paper shipping bags is brand new: we want to do away with plastic bags altogether by the end of this year!
Spread Group: What specific sustainability goals have you set for yourself?
Jozef Šalka: We have to move soon, as our factory is getting small for our 250 employees. When we build a new factory building, we will think more about sustainability right from the start: solar panels on the roof and a system for collecting rainwater are high on my wish list. We are also currently in contact with a company that advises us on environmental issues.
Spread Group: What do you recommend to all readers who would like to further explore sustainability?
Jozef Šalka: I don’t have any specific recommendations for other people, but I hope that I can inspire them. For example, our garden not only enriches our diet, but also has a positive effect on our well-being. In our fast-paced, digital world, it’s a nice feeling to create something with your hands and watch it slowly grow.
Spread Group: Thank you for the interview, Jozef!
- Corporate Social Responsibility at Spread Group: www.spreadgroup.com/de/sustainability
Lisa Murray joined the Spreadshirt Marketplaces team as a visual designer in the fall of 2021. Spreadshirt is an independent brand of Spread Group, with Marketplaces connecting customer with a global community of designers. Most customers and Marketplace designers have already seen some of Lisa’s work, as she is in charge of creating various visuals for newsletters, socials, website, and more. We talked to her about her first months in her new job with us.
Hi Lisa! Do tell us – what made you join us?
I was looking for a company in Leipzig and found Spread Group. The major factor for joining the company was the international team and diverse working environment. Then I realized the company had a great set of values that I can really relate to. With almost 50% of women in management positions, there is also a focus on women in leadership roles at Spread Group. I think that’s pretty good.
Nice. And after you applied, was there anything about the hiring process that stood out?
The recruitment process was straightforward and quick. Everyone was super friendly. They helped with relocating to Leipzig, and I had enough time to sort things out. The prospect of starting a job in a new country can feel quite daunting and overwhelming at times, so I was glad they made it easy for me.
Good stuff! And in your day-to-day work – is there anything that gives you a buzz?
Every day I work on different projects. I get to tackle challenges that spurn my creativity. When I grew up, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be a teacher or rather an artist. Now I’m very happy that I went with a more artistic career path, and I would always choose a similar job over anything else. Design is just so much fun.
And tell us about your colleagues – who’s the craziest person you work with?
Everyone I work with is a bit crazy, like the whole design team! They have a super vivid imagination and create ideas 24/7. These people are really crazy (laughs). I find the atmosphere with designers from different departments here at Spread Group very inspiring. We get to meet once a week and share project updated and ideas. Within the Marketplaces Team, there is a small handful of us and that make for a lovely environment to share work-based ideas. In addition, I get to lend a hand to the licensing team with creating branded store visuals and many more super exciting tasks. Getting to work with famous brands is a lot of fun.
Last but not least: Are there any hidden talents or hobbies you’d like to share?
I speak Irish fluently and I make rugs. The latter is incredible time-consuming, but also very relaxing. Your mind can just let go. And I must admit I am a cycling addict. The Leipzig area is so nice and flat, which makes for a fantastic cycling ground.
Interested in joining #TeamSpreadGroup? Have a look at our career pages, as we are currently having many very exciting vacancies in different areas of the group.