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Three leading UK print shops worked together against the clock to deliver fundraising merchandise for the One Love Manchester benefit concert in June, with all profits and sales going to the We Love Manchester emergency fund.
Speaking to Images, Wocco, partner and director at London printers Fresh Air, reported that the initial order was for around 20,000 garments. He commented: “The concept and designs were put together on Thursday evening (1 June) and art and samples were in place the following day. All the production took place on Saturday 3 June and was collected and on its way to Manchester that evening.
“There were two other printers involved – Fanela and Advartex. Absolute Apparel and Gildan helped with logistics on stock being in place at short notice, with Bravado International Group handling the whole deal with the promoters,” he added. “We all worked together to make this happen with production required in less than 24 hours.”
Andy Hodgson, owner of Advartex in East Sussex, said he got a call from Fresh Air asking him to print 6,500 T-shirts, with two prints on each. “We had to start at 6am on the Saturday and get them on the van for 2pm,” explained Andy. “Then on the Sunday they sold all of the sweaters that Ariana Grande was wearing, so Lee [from Fresh Air] called and said ‘Can you print some more?’!”
Andy and his team printed 9,200 sweatshirts for the Tuesday and then 6,500 more during the week. “Unless you get the shirts out straightaway – respond to the demand – then people forget about the concert,” said Andy. “You’ve got to get it printed and you’ve got to get it done quick. It’s what we’re used to doing.”
The blank garments were provided by Absolute Apparel. Commercial director, Sanjay Jheinga commented: “Fresh Air approached us to let us know what they were planning, as there would be such a short turnaround time. They told us how they were going to contribute by printing free of charge and we were happy to help in turn. Once we made Gildan aware of our plans they kindly made a donation too. It really was a case of everyone getting together to support a good cause.”
“For Absolute Apparel, our service level and logistical ability under pressure is the backbone of our business – Lee from Fresh Air said he only trusted us to get the goods delivered correctly and on time, so our reputation was on the line. Everyone pulled together and we managed to get all of the goods out to the right locations on time and without any problems. Gildan really gave us a lot of support for this event and helped us out with some last minute shipments and address changes.”
The most popular garment has been the graffiti ‘One Love Manchester’ white sweatshirt as worn by Ariana Grande on the day, Sanjay confirmed. The garment sales are still ongoing, with several repeat prints after the event. “Bravado hasn’t released the figures for the total raised, however the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has already raised over £11.2 million,” reported Sanjay.
The companies have donated all sales and profits to the We Love Manchester emergency fund, which was set up by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross, to help victims and the families of those affected by the attack on music fans at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.