13 years ago we started working with Costco Wholesale to modernize their custom apparel and uniform program. We upgraded them from paper shuffling and email to a software platform that harmonized orders, artworks, inks, threads, print shops and apparel producers. It’s definitely a challenge to control all the different things that can go wrong when you have a manual processes where artistry is required at every step. Robots are a long way off in screen printing and embroidery. We worked long and hard to deliver increasing value so Costco could pass significant savings back to their members.
We’re pretty proud that we saved Costco and their members around 30% from the normal market and had good sales growth in all of the 13 years. Sadly, in September of 2018 we got the bad news that they must close down the custom apparel program effective in November 2018. Even though the sales increased at a good clip it doesn’t move the needle much on a giant business that does more than $100B in sales. Instead of closing down, laying off our employees and disposing of tens of thousands of custom screen print setups and embroidery files and so many saved inks, threads and so many other hard to recreate details, we decided to launch Cascadia Apparel. The name is new but the value, quality and service has a long history.
Cascadia Apparel’s values: