Plastic in its most beautiful form – now in our product range on the US platform at www.spreadshirt.com. Each of our new tri-blend organic T-shirts contains yarn that stems from around six recycled plastic water bottles. Blended with modal fibers and organic cotton, this sustainable women’s T-shirt feels just as soft as it is resource saving with its recycled polyester.
With its new “Star Academy” program, Spreadshirt – a Spread Group brand – promotes the visibility and sales of its designers on Spreadshirt’s Marketplaces. Based on their individual sales history, quality and design rating, the designers receive their place in one of five “star classes”. Determination and good ratings help them reach galactical heights. The higher the star class, the higher the benefits and consulting package.
Spreadshirt gets its designers on board of the “Star Academy” program to help them achieve greater visibility on Spreadshirt’s Marketplace and higher sales figures. All designers are placed in one of five star classes based on sales history, design quality, and relevance. These tiered levels unlock tailored benefits for them. Regardless of which star class the designers start in, they are provided with tailored support and expertise in marketing their designs. As usual in space travel, this mission knows only one direction – the stars are the limit!
”Every week, 140,000 designs are published on the Spread Group platforms. This result proves how creative and productive our community is. Star Academy equips designers with the necessary resources and marketing know-how to increase their sales,” says Gunter Nickel, Director of Spreadshirt Marketplaces.
The Star Academy is designed to award the determined designers is explicitly rewarded in the. Those who improve their own design quality and sales reach a higher star class and enjoy further advantages there. At the same time, the Star Academy ensures that the best designs in the Marketplace can be found more easily. New designers are supported with a starter package and placed in a higher star class as soon as they have published a minimum number of designs. If the drive for the mission falters for a while, the designers do not lose their star class. Losing your level only happens in case of breaking Spread Group’s community standards.
The Spread Group’s Spreadshirt Create-Your-Own brand is reviving the embroidery-look trend by launching embroidery textile finishing in all its European markets.
The embroidery refinement technique has just been adopted by Spreadshirt’s Create-Your-Own brand. At the Spread Group’s site in Leipzig, the research and development team has put embroidery’s functionality and versatility to extensive tests in recent months. Convinced of the enormous durability of the textile refinement method, a pool of Tajima’s highly automated embroidery machines has been put into motion. Now Spreadshirt is offering embroidery in all its European markets, and thereby expanding its existing range of classic digital and foil printing techniques.
Embroidery impresses with durability and exclusive properties
“Embroidery not only looks classy due to its vibrant appearance, but also convinces in terms of enormous durability. The finishing allows washing fabrics of up to 60°C (140°F) and is just as durable as the clothing itself,” says Tobias Beutel, Director of Personalization Services at Spreadshirt Create-Your-Own. These high-quality features are in particularly high demand in the business customer sector. Whether in the catering industry, at events or in customer service, embroidered workwear with company logos or slogans conveys exclusivity and quality.
The demand for embroidery designs in individual orders and gift orders keeps increasing, and the design options for any occasion are huge. Currently, 50 products from Spreadshirt’s range can be embroidered with custom text. To be able to offer customers an even wider selection of items that can be embroidered, Spreadshirt’s range is constantly being expanded. In addition to the current embroidery bestsellers such as hoodies, polo shirts, caps, and aprons, a variety of (fleece) jackets and workwear will be added to the product range. Gift items such as custom towels and bathrobes are also in the pipeline.
Embroidery is key to future market success
“The potential of the embroidery refinement technology is immense. In 2019, embroidery accounted for over 40% of the total customized apparel market. At the moment, this is still a strongly offline-oriented market. As a successful e-commerce platform, we want to mix this up and transfer embroidery into the online world with a versatile product selection and attractive pricing,” says Tobias Beutel.
The next steps have already been planned. More highly automated embroidery machines will soon be installed at the Spread Group’s production facilities in Europe and the USA. In the recently opened new production at the site in Legnica (Poland), the first machines will be put into operation in May 2021.
Spread Group’s Polish production moves to a new location and expands its capacity and technical park.
Spread Group has opened a new production facility in Legnica, Poland. After 13 years in the north of the city, the company is moving into a state-of-the-art new hall in the Panattoni Park in the south of Legnica. With a total area of almost 11,000 m², the new building offers space for an enlarged warehouse, expanded machinery with different printing technologies, and more office space.
New production facility becomes European central warehouse
“The new location helps us optimize our European logistics. From now on, Legnica will serve as the central warehouse for our production in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland. We currently have around 4,500 storage locations for products. We are now able to double or even triple this capacity. The move was a real team effort! I am very proud of the entire team who, despite the circumstances over the last 12 months, got our new, strategically important production facility up and running on schedule,” says Hanne Dinkel, Spread Group’s Chief Customer Delivery Officer.
The investment and the move to the new building also underline Spread Group’s commitment to the region and the expansion of its printing technologies. In addition to machinery of refinement methods such as foil printing, thermal sublimation, poster and sticker printing, additional state-of-the-art digital-direct printers have been installed. Newly developed machines for printing on polyester products and machines for embroidering clothing will be moving into the site in the near future.
Logistical advantages in every respect
“The production hall and warehouse are now located on one level, which optimizes and simplifies the entire organization and production. In addition, our new location now boosts very good transport links to the highway, which will benefit our suppliers, logistics service providers, and our colleagues,” says Ewa Ziemba, Director Production in Legnica.
Currently, around 200 colleagues work in production in Legnica, some of whom have been working there for many years. With this move, Spread Group has been able to recruit new employees. The team is also looking for further reinforcements on site – from seasonal workers to new specialists.
The production facility in Legnica is one of five Spread Group production sites. In 2020, a total of 9.8 million products were printed at the various sites and shipped to customers worldwide. The print-on-demand provider plans to further increase the number of printed products in 2021. With the new facilities at the Legnica site, the company is ideally positioned to achieve this goal.
About the new production facility in Legnica:
Location: Spółdzielcza 10, 59-220 Legnica, Polen
Area: 10.603 m2
Team: > 200 employees
Print methods: digital direct, foil printing, thermal sublimation, posters and stickers, embroidery
Melina and Timon describe themselves as introverts. The German online magazine “Vanilla Mind”, which they founded in 2014, and their successful podcast “Still & Stark” [English translation: Quiet & Strong] have been creating awareness for the of quiet and unobtrusive people in this world. The curtain rises for Spreadshop of the Month Vanilla Mind!
“Even quiet people have something to say,” Melina and Timon are convinced. Vanilla Mind is meant to encourage their readers and listeners to accept their needs, and to use their strengths to their advantage while keeping an introvert state of mind. Their so-called “Mut-Letter Newsletter” has managed to reach out to over 12,000 people.
The feedback from their #stillundstark [#quietandstrong] community has been tremendous, ranging from lines of gratitude and encouraging stories to cries for their own products such as T-shirts, tote bags and stationery. “Our community on Instagram inquires about products from time to time. However, we didn’t pursue the idea of having our own Shop for a long time, because the effort and expense seemed too high at first. We just didn’t know about Spreadshop then,” Melina and Timon say. Spreadshop empowers entrepreneurs to run their own free online shop and sell merchandise to their community. “The fact that Spreadshop takes care of the entire process gives you much more room to experiment and try things out.” Vanilla Mind embraces the idea of taking care of the creative part of designing their shop themselves. Since Melina is a full-time creative director, she also likes the creative challenge here as well.
Being loud is not your thing? – Let your clothes speak for you!
“The shop greatly strengthens the message that quiet people have a lot to say. The Still & Stark Shop helps people express their attitude towards life,” the shop owners say. “The print-on-demand aspect was very appealing to us from the very beginning. No warehouse, no surplus goods – in our opinion, this is a very sustainable concept.” Vanilla Mind is also excited about the steadily growing organic product range. The Still & Stark hoodie made of organic cotton has been number 1 on the popularity scale of their products for quite some time. In the future, Melina and Timon would also like to offer seasonal collections to give their community more variety in the shape of matching clothing.
Instagram introduced photo filters to the general public years ago, and today filters have become an essential element in the world of professional and hobby photography. This is why Spreadshirt is expanding its photo features in the create-your-own area with filters: Sepia, Old School, Polaroid and many more at the click of a mouse.
Customers can now use the new features to create photo gifts even more individually and colorfully. This looks great on apparel, mugs, pillows or even cuddly toys. In the Customizer Design Tool, uploaded images can be spiced up using a total of 13 available filters. From classic black-and-white retouching to playful color-shifting, (almost) every color taste is catered for here.
Under Settings, you can adjust the brightness, contrast or even saturation of the photo using sliders.
In addition to the predefined filters and shapes, there is also the option to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation as well as sharpness of the photo using a slider. The new view option also allows users to switch between the product view and the zoom view with a single click to make best possible adjustments. “We are very pleased that our customers can now lend a personal touch to their photo memories. A color makeover and another personalization features can be added directly in the Customizer Design Tool. We are working on further features and usability improvements to keep expanding the customization area,” says Petra Jacobs, Senior Product Owner at Spreadshirt.
Spreadshirt and Spreadshop – two brands of the Spread Group – continue to expand their product portfolio with numerous new products in the non-apparel sector.
The past few weeks saw Spreadshirt and Spreadshop introduce new Home & Living products to bolster their product range in the non-apparel sector. There are new ceramic and enamel mugs, vacuum flasks and pillowcases that expand the Home & Living department to some 40 items.
“Our Home & Living items are among our customers’ most popular products. A customized mug makes a great gift for colleagues, neighbors or yourself. Last year, we started the optimization of quality and production processes to achieve even better print results on ceramics, enamel and stainless steel,” says Franziska Barth, project manager at Spread Group.
An example of this is the black ceramic cup that has been specially developed for dye-sublimation printing. Strong and bright colors stand out even more thanks to its special coating.
According to Franziska Barth, customer feedback and wishes were instrumental in contributing to both product development and process improvement: “We get the best ideas for new products from the feedback we get from our Shop Owners and designers. Last year, for example, we added a seamless all-over print face mask to our range, since it was requested by our community. The same happened when people were asking for a full-color ceramic mug in black, because our old black panoramic mug wasn’t colored inside.”
Spreadshirt, a Spread Group brand, now offers customizable products on Amazon.
Amazon customers can now fill their shopping baskets with individually designed products by Spread Group. Spreadshirt, a brand of the Spread Group, now also offers customizable products on Amazon. The new service is aimed at customers who want to design products with their own texts, images or logos directly on Amazon. Until now, Amazon customers could only select and order pre-designed products from the Spreadshirt marketplace in different colors.
As it is typical for Spreadshirt, the design of the products is intuitive and easy to use: Using the “Customize Now” button, customers can upload their own designs and texts and place them on clothes and accessories. Customers in the USA, UK, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany can choose from 20 different fonts and 18 font colors.
“External marketplaces, such as Amazon, offer us the chance to inspire customers with our products and services who have never had any contact with Spreadshirt before. With this new service, we can now offer them one of our core competencies: individual expression on products of all kinds. Customized items are more in vogue than ever and are in high demand during the Christmas season,” says Antje Naumann, Teamlead External Marketplace at Spread Group. “Our business unit is currently working at full speed to implement additional design functions for Amazon Custom,” adds Antje Naumann.
Products ordered via Amazon go through the same quality and design checks before they are printed and shipped, as well as platform internal orders at Spread Group. In addition, there is a 30-day right of exchange for the products.
The corporate group is responding to the continuing increase in demand for individually designed face masks with a wider range of products.
Seven months after the introduction of face masks to the product range, 10,000 masks have been sold in Europe and Spread Group is taking stock. According to Maxie Eck, Spread Group’s Teamlead for Consumer Marketing, the high demand for face masks cannot be attributed solely to legal requirements and concerns about infection. A look at the most popular mask designs, cat motifs, colourful patterns and slogans, shows that customers want to raise positivity to counter a difficult time.
Customers now have greater creative freedom to do so with the new face masks in sizes Small and Large: The white polyester masks complement the existing range of masks and enable seamless all-over printing using the thermal sublimation printing process. Pixel and vector graphics are printed in brilliant colours and do not fade, even with frequent washing (60 °C). In addition, the elastic bands are flexibly adjustable, which guarantees an optimal fit of the mask.
“We all want to stay healthy in this difficult time and one way to do this is by wearing a mask. I wouldn’t be surprised to see masks given as small gifts to customers, employees or family members this year. People can design or customise the masks themselves and have them individually printed,” says Maxie Eck, Teamlead for Consumer Marketing at Spread Group.
The new masks will initially be produced for European customers at the production sites in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. In the future, the new mask model will also be launched on the international Spread Group platforms.
YouTube creators who use Spreadshop can now promote their merch across their channels
Spreadshop, a Spread Group brand, is partnering with YouTube to enable creators to use YouTube’s merchandise features, which includes the merch shelf, store tab, and more. Both platforms champion self-expression on a global level and are excited to take this a step further through their collaboration. To use the merch features, YouTube creators will need to qualify for eligibility per these guidelines.
“Our integration with YouTube is a milestone for YouTube creators monetizing their content. We have been working with influencers selling merch for years and this brings them closer to Youtube. We also definitely see that the YouTube audience loves merch from influencers and brands on Youtube,” remarks Spread Group CEO, Philip Rooke on the partnership.
Promoting custom merch on YouTube
With the merch features, YouTube creators connect their channel to their Spreadshop. The products are displayed across the creators’ channel, including the digital merch shelf directly below their videos and in a store tab on their channel page. This seamless integration allows creators to reach their target group exactly where the interest and attention is greatest – in the context of their videos.
Spreadshop offers YouTube creators the opportunity to design their merchandise with the industry’s largest assortment of 130+ products. Additionally, they can offer their fans merch worldwide in 11 languages and 10 currencies. For example, a creator from the U.S.A. can stream from their home country while offering their fanbase in Germany or France products, which are then produced in Europe. The creator decides which items are shown below their YouTube videos, which allows them to feature promotions and special editions in a targeted way.
Fans and subscribers can browse without interruption
For fans, the integration of Spreadshop into their favorite YouTube channel means a shopping experience without interruption. Key product information, like product images and names, are displayed in the merch features so fans don’t have to ask for merchandise in comments or search for it on the internet anymore. For production, shipping, and customer service of the items, creators can rely on Spread Group’s existing infrastructure and 18 years of print-on-demand experience.
Launch partner: European Space Agency
Spread Group’s long-term and renowned partner, the European Space Agency (ESA), is pleased to participate in the launch of Spreadshop’s integration with YouTube. Space fans can now find articles from the ESA collection such as “There is no Planet B” or “Extra Terrestrial” among the European Space Agency’s videos and can select their favorite products directly on YouTube.
Erik Aanderaa and Emily Thorne are among the few selected partners who were able to integrate merch shelf parallel to the launch. Erik Aanderaa and his channel ‘No Bullshit Just Sailing’ is the perfect fit for sailing enthusiasts, with more than 120,000 subscribers already. But you will search in vain for turquoise blue seas and secret bays. Instead you will find breathtaking pictures of the Norwegian coast and the Atlantic Ocean. “I added some pictures and a link to my Shop on my videos. And the sales went crazy, I actually couldn’t believe it. I wear the T-shirts and hats in my videos, it’s remarkable what it does for my sales!”
Emily Thorne aka emkfit has been active on YouTube since 2010 and has almost 4 million views. Her channel is all about dance, fitness and lifestyle. Some of her signature catchphrases are ‘What’s up you clowns’ and ‘Fake it til you make it’. Emily says, one of the reasons why she picked Spreadshop for her merch line is, “the merch ships globally also during Covid.”