Trailism began as a rebirth from an evolution of other websites that preceded it: trailsynergy.com, traillove.com, mtbthreads.com, trailthreads.com, and now trailism.com. MTB Threads began just before trail building was a career for me, but afterward it became a small way for me to have some income to offset periods of time when there was no trail work or there was an off-season due to weather.
For now I am mixing mostly trail building information (including my own) with a space for selling gear and such. I might separate the two into different websites, but for now it is a convenient means for me to manage both in one location. It is also a way for visitors to get a small sense of who they might be doing business with. Hi! I’m Erik and I approve this message… If interested you can go the portfolio page for some hints about where I came from or have been. The gist of the non-shop side of the site is at the about/purpose page. I am mostly modest, but I do some gloating here.
When and What
In the early 2000’s I screen printed shirts for small indie punk bands as well as some bigger players: One Day As A Lion, The English Beat, and two Misfits side-projects (Graves and Gorgeous Frankenstein). I also did a few print runs for the artist Chris “Coop“er. This experience pushed me to transfer my passion for art and mountain biking to fabric so I created MTB Threads around 2007. A handful of the many designs I created are on this site (and on Flickr). I am slowly working my way through similar designs for hiking, trail running, and trail building.
At a later date I may resort to printing select designs in my garage as I did in the past, but for now I am outsourcing the printing and delivering of some designs (shop).
- Tees (info below)
- Gear and grocery totes (info below)
- Hang Tags (info below)
- Stickers (info below)
Details about the two tees shirt styles used for sale in the shop are listed below. I do not have control over which style of tee will be shipped from the printer for orders placed here as they might make substitutions between the two depending on the availability where they are being printed.
Tee designs can be added to long sleeve shirts, sweat shirts, and hoodies, contact me so I can add them as needed.
- American Apparel Fine Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt, style 2001 (see sample at American Apparel)
- Made in the USA
- Fabric weight: 4.3 oz/y² (146 g/m²)
- 100% combed ring-spun cotton (unless otherwise noted), 30/1 fine jersey
- Taped shoulder-to-shoulder, durable rib neckband
- Double-needle sleeves and bottom hem
- Gildan Men’s Classic Short Sleeve T-Shirt (see sample at Gildan)
- Seamless double needle collar
- Taped neck and shoulders for durability
- Double needle sleeve and bottom hem
- Tubular fit for minimal torque
- Women’s Fashion Fit T-Shirt, Anvil 880 (more at manufacture site)
- 100% cotton (except for heather colors, which contain 10% polyester).
- Jersey knit
- Classic fit
- Taped neck and shoulders
- Seamless, double-need ⅞” collar
I do what I can to use American made products. Organic American product versions are forthcoming. If you would prefer that now let me know. Usually the color choices are limited. One nice aspect of doing it myself in the past was that I had better control of product offerings.
It costs me about $180/year for the site hosting and SSL. Shipping differences and supplies costs vary from $5-80/year; I personally do all the site building/coding, correspondences, and shipping of stickers and hang tags, which probably amounts to about a month of my time each year. Some years the profits are not much above 0.
Rather than printing with “silk” screens myself as I did in the past for MTB Threads, I now use a printer that invested $27 million in state-of-the-art printing equipment from Kornit to use Direct To Garment (DTG) and Print-On-Demand (POD) printing. DGT POD produces almost zero wastewater and uses less energy, lowering the carbon footprint of the process.
Every product has a footprint and to some extent we can choose the size of the mark to leave. POD is one solution to choose apparel that’s created as the order is placed, creating less fabric waste than conventional manufacturing which often prints based on volume to reduce costs or maximize profits. One in every five garments reaches a landfill without being worn once. Close to 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills and are sometimes burned. The idea behind this is multifaceted, but ultimately large or surplus supply keeps demand low, removing them reduces supply which raises prices and profits. After shipping my profits vary from $1 – 3 per product. As of the end of 2020 volume is relatively low. It doesn’t pay many bills, but I am thankful for what it does do.
70% or more of the tee shirt and tote orders from Trailism are delivered in the same region they’re fulfilled– faster shipping times, lower shipping costs, as well as CO₂ and water pollution reductions for transporting orders.
Kornit uses biodegradable vegan NeoPigment inks. Rater than plastic-based plastisol inks. These water-based inks are toxin-free or non-hazardous.
Posters use Epson inks that are certified by GreenGuard. All-over print products use Mimaki printers with OEKO-TEX Eco Passport certified inks.
Gear and Grocery Totes
Similar to the tees, the printer might use substitutes, but at this time I am using only non-dyed natural organic totes until the black ones are in stock, regretfully from China at the moment. The color is more tan with a greenish hue.
Hang tags are hung from rear view mirrors to help with saving gear from getting smashed from low hanging obstacles like garages and drive-thrus. The hang tags started when a friend of mine that helped with Dirty Century no longer wanted to deal with packaging and shipping them. He gifted the business to me. I procure the tags somewhat locally to me from Montrose, NY, and mail them myself from my home near the border of New York and New Jersey.
Commissioned or made-to-order designs and/or printing is available for you, your shop, team, club, or race event. Contact me to discuss your needs so I can design and/or print them for you. Previous client sample portfolios are available upon request, or you can see some of them at Flickr