Socially-Conscious Business: TS Designs

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Partnering with us in our commitment to sustainable fashion, TS Designs has been making major environmental strides since 1977 in eco-conscious apparel. We sat down with President Eric Henry to learn more about how this company got its start and is working with other socially-conscious businesses that make up The Green Movement.

Q: What inspired you to enter the apparel industry?

A: I started my first business when I was a sophomore at NC State University to support my extracurricular activities.

Q: Can you explain what TSD does differently as it works to better the industry?

A: There’s two big things. First is REHANCE, a water-based print then garment dye process that we developed. We discovered that the industry standard for printing t-shirts was using plastisol inks, which aren’t good for the environment. The second thing is a completely transparent supply chain. We have our own, Cotton of the Carolinas.

Q: TSD has 3 bottom lines, can you tell us about them?

A: People, the Planet & Profits. We believe businesses have a responsibility beyond the bottom line. A business should be aware and responsible for their external cost, like the impact of climate change or outsourcing their manufacturing.

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Q: You wear a number of hats at TSD, is there a certain element of the business that you are most passionate about?

A: That’s a tough one.  I guess I would have to say building community. Connecting with people, companies, and suppliers that share similar values.

Q: As a leader in the fight for sustainability, what changes do you see most necessary in our current national and international state?

A: First, addressing Climate Change, the biggest challenge our generation faces and how we address it will impact future generations. Secondly, the shrinking middle class and the concentration of wealth within a very small group of people. This problem is corrupting both our political system and democracy itself.

Q: Your involvement in the community is extremely inspiring. What local organizations are you involved in?

A: I helped start our co-op grocery store Company Shops Market and Burlington Beer Works. I’m also on advisory boards for Elon Business School, Environmental Science and Burlington Downtown Corporation.

Shop Alternative x TS Designs graphic tees for men

Shop Alternative x TS Designs graphic tees for women

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Written by Shannon Randall

Photos by Matt Johnson

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