Feeling the Allmade Impact

July 21, 2020

The original tagline for Allmade® was “Make It Better.” While they’re saying it a little differently these days, the philosophy behind the words remains the same.

One of the brand’s co-founders, Mel Lay, puts it this way: “We want to elevate the standard of t-shirts. If you’re not there, you’re missing the mark.” Mel got involved with the development and launch of Allmade® through her own independent apparel business, Sandilake Clothing. She had already been exploring ways to manufacture shirts differently when Ryan Moor, founder and owner of Ryonet, came to her with an idea.

Ryan is no stranger to being an industry disruptor. As an entrepreneur he’s used to doing things a little differently. After being approached at a tradeshow in 2016 with a t-shirt made in Haiti and taking a trip to see how it was being made, he was ready to make some changes.

“I always wanted to give people better shirts,” says Ryan. “Better shirts make for better screen printing.”

As a company founded by screen printers for screen printers, Allmade® has positioned itself to deliver on that promise by making shirts that are ideal for printing and feel great to wear. At the same time, the founders of Allmade® are dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and reducing the industry’s impact on the environment. It’s a tall order.

“It started with creating jobs for people,” says Mel. “It quickly transformed into ‘Let’s do that and make a better t-shirt for the planet.’”

“Through what we sell every day, we can influence an industry,” Ryan adds. While he recognizes the struggle that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused, he also sees hope in it. “The COVID experience makes you recreate every single day. As an entrepreneur, that’s inspiring. A lot of barriers that existed before just aren’t relevant now.”

It’s those barriers where the impact of Allmade® is felt the most. By breaking down economic barriers, they create better jobs for families in Haiti. By being conscious of how their shirts are made, they reduce the negative effects on the environment. And by understanding screen printing, they make exceptional shirts meant to be decorated and worn.

The idea of “making it better” isn’t a box you can check — it’s a process. “We didn’t know how to make it better in the beginning,” says Mel. “But we learned and we’re still learning, and we’re going to keep making it better.”

Portions of this article were quoted from a SanMar Radio podcast interview with Allmade® co-founders Mel Lay and Ryan Moor. You can listen to the full episode here.

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