The People in Print: Paul Godfrey
Published: 5 October 2020 | No comments yet
Earlier this year Mr Godfrey praised technical support and advice from Kornit for helping Tshirt Group overcome a ‘tough’ lockdown period.
In this column Digital Printer learns more about the men and women working behind the scenes to make digital print great. We find out about them, their careers and their thoughts on the industry. This time it’s the turn of T-Shirt Group’s Paul Godfrey.
Mr Godfrey, who has been with his company for over three and a half years, is in the vanguard of the growing textile printing movement.
Name: Paul Godfrey
Job title: Executive Group Director
Company: Tshirt Group
How did you end up working in the print industry?
I used to be a partner in Frontline Print, a litho printer specialising in printing for the music industry. We supplied all of the UK’s major pressing plants and were known for delivering our labels hot, wrapped in foil and inside a pizza bag so they could go straight onto the presses (they had to be baked for 24hrs to remove all moisture before pressing).
It was during this period that we were asked if we could print t-shirts and we started out with a vinyl cutter, just doing one colour vinyl prints as an additional service.
When the vinyl record industry collapsed in 2004 I left Frontline to start what has now become the Tshirt Group and expanded our vinyl printing to include full colour transfers, screen printing, sublimation, DTG Printing, garment dyeing and fulfilment.
We purchased our first DTG (direct-to-garment) printer in 2009 and went on to have six of them before upgrading to a full Kornit DTG system in 2016, when we moved our production from London to Stoke-on-Trent. This year we have further added a Brother GTX Pro for an increased flexibility in an ever-growing market.
What are your future goals?
We have just opened our second facility in Leicester to further expand our garment dyeing operation and will be relocating our screen printing facility to a new unit in early 2021 to allow our current facility to expand its fulfilment capabilities.
What innovation/technology in print is making you most excited?
The growing advancements in DTG printing that we feel will soon rival the speed and costs saving of traditional screen printing on large multi-colour prints
What is the biggest issue/challenge facing the industry?
Reducing wastage, water consumption and energy. We have set our goal to be a fully sustainable operation by 2030.
What advice would you give to someone just entering the industry?
Research, research and research! Ask loads of questions and don’t be swayed by sales talk and follow what everyone else has. Buy what suits your business needs!
What has been the biggest change since you entered print?
The advancements in digital printing and the move to creating a more sustainable supply chain to help save the environment.
If you could go back and seize one opportunity you missed, what would it be?
Never look back as you’ll only trip yourself up going forward!
What one thing should the industry do to ensure its continued success?
Continue to invest in creating more sustainable platforms that limit the industries damage to the global environment.
Do you belong to any industry bodies or trade organisations?
What do you enjoy most about working in print?
Creating iconic clothing for fashion labels and world famous musicians and bands will never get boring!
How do you think the Coronavirus pandemic will impact digital print in the medium to long term?
This really depends on your business model and ability to adapt. Personally, the current crisis has proven to be a fantastic opportunity for us to expand our business and grow it across multiple site and employee new staff.