My guest today is Eric Henry, president and half-owner of TS Designs, a company that prints t-shirts using toxic-free and sustainable methods. We’ll be talking about toxic chemicals in printed t-shirts and how to choose t-shirts that are toxic-free. Alongside his business partner, Eric has been in the screen printing and apparel business for over 30 years. Eric’s duties at TSD range from sales to R&D to marketing. He is the foremost public face of TSD, attending numerous trade shows, giving speeches to groups and universities and hosting tours of the TSD facility. Outside of TS Designs, Eric devotes much of his time to furthering the sustainable agenda in various community organizations. He founded the Burlington Biodiesel Co-op in 2001 and has run his car on biodiesel (or straight vegetable oil) that now has over 250k miles on it. He co-founded Company Shops Market, a co-op grocery in downtown Burlington that reconnects local agriculture to Alamance County; and now, he serves the co-op board. He also serves on the Burlington Downtown Corporation board, which works to create an environment for development that enhances Downtown Burlington as the cultural, historic, social and economic center of the community. He also serves on the board of NC GreenPower, an organization that purchases and resells renewable energy, andGreen America. Eric is also applying his knowledge of Permaculture to a 12-acre farm outside of Burlington. Eric won the Sustainability Champion award from Sustainable North Carolina in 2009. www.tsdesigns.com | www.cottonofthecarolinas.com | www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/cotton-of-the-carolinas-ts-designs
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Toxic Free T-Shirts
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Eric Henry
Date of Broadcast: May 12, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free.
It’s a beautiful Monday here in Florida. The date today is the day after Mother’s day—let’s see—May 12th of 2014. The sun is shining and I had a wonderful weekend.
If you’ve been listening to the show, you know that I’ve done some gardening. I used to live in California, now I live in Florida, and the gardening is very different here. But I used to grow wonderful tomatoes and leeks and potatoes and all kinds of things, herbs. And it’s just taken me a while to get used to the difference in Florida.
But over the weekend, I was out walking around in the beautiful sunshine and on a lovely day. The sun was not too hot. I went to a farmer’s market and I went to a nursery. I was just walking around and I just had to buy some plants. I bought some mint and some basil and different herbs. And I bought this wonderful plant that I don’t know if they have it in any other place in Florida, but it’s called the sweet almond plant.
It was a better fly bush if you know what that is. It’s got these spindly flowers at the end of the stem. And they’re very beautiful and they smell wonderful. They smell like almonds. They smell like almond extract.
I bought two of them, and I put them on either side of my front door. They’re not in the ground, but they’re about to be. And when I came home last night, I walked up to my front door and it just all smelled like almond. It’s so beautiful.
So I’m really feeling, really I’m getting so inspired by all my guests that I’m having on about farming and gardening and growing your own food and all these things. And just over the weekend, it just all called to me. So I’m looking forward to getting up every morning and doing a little digging in my garden. I think this is going to be really good for me because I used to love to do it. I just hadn’t gotten back into it.
So, today though, we’re going to be talking about T-shirt’s sustainability and actually some really wonderful things that, as I was writing my guest bio this morning, I didn’t even think about for the show. But we’re also going to talk about—Eric, I hope you’re listening. We’re going to talk about biodiesel. We’re going to talk about sustainability and it’s going to be interesting.
My guest today is Eric Henry. He’s the President and half owner of TS Designs and they’re a company that prints T-shirts using toxic-free and sustainable methods. Hi Henry—I mean Eric.
ERIC HENRY: Good morning.
DEBRA: Good morning.
ERIC HENRY: I should say “good afternoon.” We just slipped past noon.
DEBRA: We did. We did, we did. I’m so happy to have you on the show. I’m excited about all these other things that you do as I was writing them this morning.
But first, let’s talk about your business, what you do. Tell us. How did you get interested in doing T-shirts this way?
ERIC HENRY: It was an epiphany course/direction or whatever. Our original business plan had nothing to do with sustainability. Keep in mind, we’ve been in business for over 30 years.
I actually got my start in college basically just selling T-shirts to groups, organizations in events just to help fund my college education. And that business grew to working with the major brands, companies like Tommy, Nike, Gap, Polo. We’re what you would describe as a contract screen printer. We are one of Nike’s T-shirt provider for the US market.
And so, we built this business model. We had well over a hundred employees working at TS Designs. We’re very successful from the standpoint of […]. Everything was pretty much textbook successful business.
And in the mid 1990s—1994 to be exact—the NAFTL, North American Free Trade Legislation was ratified and put in place. And the brands could not get the receipts quick enough. We went from a period of time where a majority of our apparel was made in the US. It was time now where 98% of our apparels are made overseas.
ERIC HENRY: We saw our business completely be destroyed due to the global marketplace solely based on price.
That was the starting point or the catalyst to think about running our business in a different way. Yes, profits are important, but we realized profits aren’t the only reason we’re in business.
Fortunately, we’ve always had the components of what we call a sustainable business model, triple bottom line of people, planet, profit. It’s always been a part of TS Designs. Employees are by far our most valuable assets.
Since day one, 30 years ago, we’ve had some type of retirement plant, some type of healthcare. We want to make sure employees are successful and paid as well as possible.
And the same thing goes from our impact to the environment. The driver of that, I can’t tie to any particular thing (just like you’re talking about gardening earlier). When I was growing up in downtown Burlington, my parents or family had no connection to farming, but I got interested into gardening.
And again, 40 years ago, organic gardening was the standard default way of gardening. That was when I got my first taste of connecting to the system of nature and what our part is of humans interacting with that.
Anyway, I brought that mindset into our business. Way before NAFTL, mid 1990s, we were recycling way before recycling was mandatory. We started basically following permaculture principles in the management of our landscape. We’re minimizing our mowing and we’re planting trees.
All those components were there prior to the NAFTL meltdown. And then what that hit, and we saw our business get destroyed, we wanted to stay in this printed apparel business, but there wasn’t a market at this time. Everybody says you either go out of business or get an overseas partner, so we charted out a different path and change the mission of our company. We want to be a successful company while simultaneously looking at people, planet and profit. And we like to look at sustainability being this journey and not a destination. So, we’ve been on that journey of triple bottom line from the late 1990s and continued to go down that path.
We’re a lot more fulfilled business-wise, people-wise, community-wise by running a business basically on this triple bottom line compared to what our model was prior to NAFTL. That’s a quick snapshot.
DEBRA: Yes, I’m sure a lot has happened. Now, I just want to ask you. I’m looking at your website, this is TSDesigns.com. I was looking around and I wasn’t quite sure from looking around. If I were to go to your website and want to buy a T-shirt, can I buy one T-shirt? Or are you about printing lots of T-shirts for a company or organization?
ERIC HENRY: We do have an online store. It is a fairly new part of our business. It’s definitely a very small part of our business.
We are a custom wholesale sustainable printed apparel business. We have people that want to support what we’re doing. Our minimal order, if it’s undyed, is 72 pieces. If it’s dyed, it’s 200 pieces.
But as this community grows, people want to reach out and be a part of it, so we do have an online section to our website.
DEBRA: I actually see it now. Listeners, when you go to their website, TSDesigns.com, you can go to Shop (it’s right there on the menu), and there are various T-shirts that you can buy with different kinds of sustainability messages on them, using the natural, more sustainable, less toxic technology that we’re going to be talking about later in the show.
If somebody wanted to have a T-shirt made, then they could bring it to you and you could print it, but not just one. It would be in a larger quantity.
ERIC HENRY: Yeah, that’s correct.
DEBRA: Okay, good. Sometimes, I think about T-shirts. But I need to figure out if I can sell 72 of them first.
I want to ask you about toxic chemicals that are used in the T-shirt business, especially with the printing process. But we’re going to go to break, so
I’ll just have you wait until we come back from the break in order to answer that question.
ERIC HENRY: Great.
DEBRA: Most people and I don’t know what toxic chemicals are used to print T-shirts.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Eric Henry. He’s the President and half owner of TS Designs. They print T-shirts using sustainable methods. And we’re going to find out about those, right after this.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And my guest today is Eric Henry. He’s the President of TS Designs, a company prints T-shirts using sustainable methods.
Eric, tell us about what’s toxic about a regular T-shirt, especially a printed one.
ERIC HENRY: Well, that goes back to—we talked about our journey to be a more sustainable company. One of the first things we realized when we want to be this different company that not only looks at the bottom line, but the impact to the planet and the impact to people is, we print T-shirts and we realized, “Well, what is this ink that we’re putting on T-shirts?
Well, the ink that we were putting on T-shirts back in the mid 1990s is still overwhelmingly the majority of ink put on T-shirts today. It’s called plastisol ink. It is by far the industry standard.
The challenge that you have with plastisol ink is it contains PVC, polyvinyl chloride and phthalates, things that we just don’t need in the environment. One thing that we realized in the mid 1990s is “What we can do to differentiate ourselves from the industry?” And one of our missions is to create the highest quality, most sustainable printed apparel.
So we took a lot of the money, what money we had left after the devastation of NAFTL. And I partnered up with a good friend of mine, Sam Moore, who is a chemist. As a matter of fact, he gets the credit for introducing the idea of the sustainable business models in the early 1990s. And we spent a year and probably a quarter million dollars to see if we could come up with a different way to print T-shirts.
And we have done that. The process is called REHANCE . The technology is later patented.
But what we’re doing differently, where most T-shirts, what they do is they knit the fabric, they cut and sew the shirt, then they come back and print with that plastic resin that you go fill any T-shirt, that you fill in the shirt that, over time, cracks and peels—it’s not always an [incomparable] product, but it’s not an environment-friendly product.
The REHANCE process is a water-based technology where we print a white shirt in garment dye. So the print actually ends up in the fabric, not on the fabric. It doesn’t crack. It doesn’t peel. You could iron it if you wanted to. That was our first major step in addressing the environmental impact.
And then the thing too that’s been an interesting journey is, again, we were not 30 years ago planning to be going down the path that we are, but what caused us to do too was ask questions. For every product that we buy, every service that we utilize, what is not only the environmental impact, but the social impact of our decision?
REHANCE was the first major step of not differentiating ourselves from the industry not only for the higher quality product, but also to address the environmental impact. And then that evolved to five years ago, we took the next step, which is we developed a brand called Cotton of the Carolinas.
Now, what Cotton of the Carolinas did was, really, it defined the supply chain.
And as I was saying earlier, what I witness in my 30 years in apparel industry, 30 years ago, 98% of the products (or probably, 30 years ago, 100%), of the T-shirts we sold were made in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia. Thirty years ago, you could buy maybe a shirt from India, but it was a very poor quality, nobody used it. So we are pretty much 100% US-made product.
And what we were realizing was that there were less and less T-shirts printed and made in USA, so we developed this supply chain called Cotton of the Carolinas where we actually go to the farmer in New London, North Carolina, which is about 90 miles south of Burlington where we’re located, and we buy the raw cotton.
Then we take that raw cotton and we convert it. We like to say we go dirt to shirt. We do it in 600 miles, we impact 500 jobs and we do it in a completely transparent supply chain.
DEBRA: That’s wonderful.
ERIC HENRY: We connect consumer with the farmer.
DEBRA: All products should be that way. All products should be that way. Just explain just for listeners who don’t know what a supply chain is. Could you just explain that a little more?
ERIC HENRY: Every day we buy products—we buy a cup of coffee, a tank of gas, a new widget or whatever—that had to come from somewhere.
And when it comes from somewhere, it goes through a lot of steps. When you buy a cake at the store, the flour comes from one place, the egg comes from another place.
And unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges that we have in today’s society is the lack of transparency. And nothing could be truer than apparel.
It really breaks down to two things.
First of all, most people don’t even pay attention where things are made. That’s the first thing we need to do. But then once you do find out where it is made, it is very, very difficult to go back and follow those steps.
And what we do at Cotton of the Carolinas is we essentially give this in the shirt. As a matter of fact, we’re going through a transition now. It used to be a tracking number. Now, we’re sewing a different color thread depending on the supply chain in the hem of the shirt.
But we’re giving this information. They go to the Cotton of the Carolinas’ website, they put in that information and up pops the Google Map. And in that Google map, you go all the way back to Ronnie Burleson the farmer or Wes the ginner or Mark the spinner. And we give you their picture, we give you the phone number, we give you the email, we give you their physical address.
You can go visit anybody in our supply chain. And it’s the only T-shirt that I know that has that complete transparency that we have.
But I like to also reiterate it’s not a perfect system. The majority of the cotton that we are growing in North Carolina to support the supply chain is conventional GMO cotton.
Three years ago, we did grow the first certified organic cotton. And that continues to be a struggle last year, 2013. We had a total loss due to record rains. I think it was 17 inches of rain in five weeks or 15 inches of rain in seven weeks, whatever it was. That essentially wiped us. We have no organic cotton.
But again, all I do is “This is where we are. It’s not where we want to”—back to that sustainability being journey.
DEBRA: Yeah. It’s a step in the right direction. The other day, I was talking with organic farmer about whether she has a community supported agriculture. And we were talking about that some years, there’s a good crop and some years, there isn’t. But it’s what it is. It’s humans interacting with nature, instead of having this false sense of, “Well, we always have food in the supermarket shelves because it’s coming from someplace else.”
We’ll talk more about this when we come back. We have to go to break. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And my guest today is Eric Henry. He’s the President of TS Designs. They print T-shirts in a more sustainable way. They’re on a sustainable journey. And we’re talking about that .We’ll talk about it more when we come back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And my guest today is Eric Henry, President of TS Designs, a company that prints sustainable T-shirts. Well, they’re on a journey to sustainable T-shirts—some are more sustainable than the others.
During the break, Eric, I went to CottonoftheCarolinas.com and I took a look around at what you are talking about. And this is a very interesting site. Listeners, please go there, CottonoftheCarolinas.com.
What he was talking about, dirt to shirt, if you click on Dirt to Shirt, it shows you the whole entire nine steps. You can click on each step—farm, gin, spin, knit, finish, cut, sew, print, dye and you go to a page that shows you exactly how they do it.
And then the next link on the menu says, “Track your shirt.” And if you click on Track Your Shirt, you can see the instructions about their tracking method. But then you can go there. And I actually went and tracked and there is a map. You choose (there’s a dropdown menu). And when you choose the number that is printed on your shirt, actually maybe sewn or embroidered or whatever, there’s a new method there using now with a particularly colored thread. So you choose the color of your thread and it shows you exactly on the Google map where the cotton was grown for your shirt.
And you can also buy some shirts on that website. You can buy the shirts that Eric and his company have printed.
This is now the second website that I’ve seen that has this kind of transparency about the supply chain. And we’re going to talk to someone else who does that in a couple of weeks. But this is what I think every company should have. Every product should look like this so that consumers can look at this and say, “I want to buy this” or “I don’t want to buy this.” And they can compare it with other products that they might be considering.
And I think that the more companies do this, the more we’re going to be able to understand.
Eric, I just want to applaud you for doing this. I want to stand up on a table and jump up and down and applaud you.
ERIC HENRY: Thank you.
DEBRA: I’ve been doing my work for more than 30 years as a consumer advocate looking for toxic-free products to recommend to consumers and having to evaluate how toxic something is or find a safer alternative. And the biggest problem that I’ve ran into is I don’t know what’s in the product.
And finally, finally, finally, we’re getting to where we have some idea of what are the ingredients and more manufacturers are revealing what the ingredients are. But now there’s this whole thing about the supply chain where we really need to know where the toxic chemicals are or the things that are not sustainable, all the way down to the making of the product. We just don’t have information.
And so it’s just a happy day for me to see this. Bravo.
ERIC HENRY: Debra. It’s where we all need to go to because it’s not a question of what’s right or what’s wrong. The consumer just needs the information.
We’re going to do something similar with fracking now in North Carolina. And we want to require the companies to disclose what they’re putting down these whales. They come back, “No, it’s proprietary. It’s our competitive edge.” We just can’t deal in that environment anymore. We have got to have this information.
Again, we are not a completely sustainable company. There is a lot of room for improvement. But at least everybody knows where we stand.
So, when they come to TS Designs, I will take you anywhere, I will show you anything, I will answer any questions. If I can’t get the answer, I’ll get you the answer. But we’ve got to get away from this mindset of “This is my secret. I’m going to hold it because that secret has impact on other people.”
And we have found it builds a better relationship with our consumers knowing that we are what we are. At least it’s a better foundation for working relationship than keeping it a big secret.
DEBRA: I totally agree. Another thing is many, many years ago, I used to belong to a business club in San Francisco called BriarPatch. One of the things that we learned in BriarPatch was to be totally open about everything. This was way, way long time ago.
And you may have heard there is a practice called, I think, Open Books. It’s not something that I do, but I’m familiar with it. And for listeners who may not know what this is, Open Books is where you publish all your financial things of your company like what you’re spending money on, how much people are getting paid, everything.
And the purpose of that, part of it is not only transparency, but it also allows customers to come in and give you suggestions, not tell you what to do, but give you suggestions on how you could be more efficient or how you could—maybe instead of spending money over here on this supplier, but maybe you might want to go to a different supplier that costs less and then you can have more profit or you could lower your price or whatever.
But what it does is it allows the customer to be involved in the whole process. And I know that might sound scary to some businesses, but I think it’s a wonderful thing because I like to see.
I don’t know everything. I’m a consumer advocate. I’m setting this up all day long and I have been doing it for more than 30 years. And I can’t just imagine how much an average consumer doesn’t know and how much they don’t want to participate. They just want to go and buy something off the shelf. I think that everything that’s on the shelf ought to be, number one, safe to use.
But if you do want to participate—like Eric was talking about taking people on tours and showing people things. I mean you can see it all on his website. It’s like taking a tour of his business. And I just love that idea of people being able to help if they have a helpful suggestion to make.
ERIC HENRY: I couldn’t agree more. There’s so much more to gain by sharing information than withholding information. But it is challenging for a business to go down that path. It’s been on this path since the mid ’90s. It is just a lot more fulfilling way to run a business.
And I think too what it does is it aligns yourself with customers. We’re in a commodity market. I always say if people are coming to us and they’re only looking for the cheapest T-shirt, we’re not going to be your place. There are so many places that are always going to be cheaper. We don’t do that.
Our customers see the value beyond price. They see a social value and/or an environmental value. That’s why our customers are a Cliff Bar or a Whole Foods or Organic Valley. These people could, no question, go buy cheaper T-shirts, but they want to be basically buying a higher quality product, work with the company that they know that works transparently and basically represents their values.
When Organic Valley gives this shirt or sells this shirt, whatever they do with them, it meets their values. And it’s not something that would just solely bought on price.
DEBRA: Right. We need to go to break again. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Eric Henry, President of TS Designs. We’re talking about sustainable T-shirts in the clothing industry. But when we come back, we’re going to talk about some of the other things that Eric does, which are very interesting. So stay with us.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Eric Henry, President of TS Designs. They’re in North Carolina or South Carolina?
ERIC HENRY: North Carolina.
DEBRA: North Carolina. It’s beautiful there. I love North Carolina. Tell us about some of these other things.
First, I want to talk about—in 2001, you founded the Burlington Biodiesel Club. And you have a biodiesel car, a biodiesel or straight vegetable oil that you now have over 250,000 miles on it. Well, I want to tell you that I used to have a vegetable oil car. I didn’t get 250,000 miles on it because my ex-husband took it.
But we did a couple of trips across. We drove all the way across the country from California to Florida a couple of times, picking up vegetable oil along the way. That was a challenge because we had to make sure that we could actually find more vegetable oil before we ran out. It was a fun thing to do.
So tell us about your biodiesel car.
ERIC HENRY: All these things, I guess I have found myself, personally and business-wise, getting involved in this learning process.
Our energy consumption is having a tremendous environmental impact. I remember 30 years ago, climate change is not in our vocabulary. Now, it’s front and center as one of the most challenging things that our society will now face.
So, as you learn about these things, you say, “Well, I got to have a car.” So then the first thing you do is to get a car, transition from your basic focused bottomline business, a nice big BMW fancy car that went real fast and got poor gas mileage and slowly evolve to a Subaru.
As a matter of fact, within Hampton, California 12 years ago I believe, that’s the first time I learned about biodiesel. I had no idea that you could take waste vegetable from French fries and convert it to make a fuel.
Then I went back to that same conference the next year and bought the first equipment that this company made. It’s called a FuelMeister. I brought it back here and started making fuel. And since that time, my car now has about 270,000 miles on it.
All our vehicles in our family—my wife drives a diesel Mercedes, we’ve got a biodiesel pickup truck. We now live on a farm with that. And we’ve got a diesel tractor.
ERIC HENRY: It’s being connected to your food and knowing where your food is grown, it’s exciting to be connected to your energy and help produce that energy. And it’s the value of relationships and making that connection and knowing that you’re doing your small part to leave a positive impact.
And again, like I tell people, I didn’t know about biodiesel 12 years ago. And again, biodiesel is not the solution, the one solution for energy problem. It’s one of the many solutions that we’ve got as we wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.
And again, the thing about the south is we fry a lot of foods, so there’s no shortage of vegetable oil. And since that time, I guess we’re partnered up—we’re just a small scale. We do 100 gallon batches a couple of times a month. But there’s a company that started about the same time we started making biodiesel down in Pittsburgh, North Carolina. And they’re commercial. They do about five million gallons a year of biodiesel. So we have actually retail stations in front of our building.
And I don’t know if there’s one thing you noticed on our map or on our website, TS Designs, we have this virtual map. And this virtual map points out the many different sustainable things that we do. And in addition to making biodiesel here, we also sell biodiesel here.
But yeah, that’s an important part of it. We own about a four acre piece of property. We have a large scale garden. We have chickens. We have honeybees. All of this, the food and the honeys and the eggs go back to our employees because we also know we got a broken food system.
DEBRA: How wonderful!
ERIC HENRY: So we want to connect our employees back to a healthy food system. And we’re able to do that at our facility here. So that’s one of the many things that you’ll see. The map is on our website.
DEBRA: I have to look for that. I haven’t run into that one yet. We only just have about five minutes left. Tell us about what you’re doing with your 12 acre farm.
ERIC HENRY: My wife and I moved to Snow Camp, which is about 15 miles south of Burlington. It’s the Piedmont area of North Carolina, central part of North Carolina.
And the main reason we wanted to get out there was—well, I guess, two reasons. My wife is big into horses. She wanted horses in our backyard.
And I want to be closer, connected to my agriculture community. I’m just a hobby farmer, nothing big scale at this point.
But we do a little farming. We grow a slew of vegetables. We have about 17 chickens. We have honeybees there. My backdoor neighbor […] does grass-fed beef. My neighbor across the field does pastured pork. We are very fortunate in our community, especially during the summer months.
Ninety percent of the food comes right from the community in which I live.
And just being closer connected to that group of people, we just find more satisfying than just go into the store. We helped start a cooperative grocery store when we had our third year anniversary in downtown Burlington three years ago. We created a store that’s owned by our community.
It’s a 10,000 square foot store with the focus on local. We have over 2900 owners. This store is owned by our community. So it supports and the money stays in our community.
I’ve been involved in a lot of different sustainable agriculture ventures. To me, it’s a great satisfaction of being connected and knowing where your food comes from.
ERIC HENRY: And the last thing that we’ve done in the farm is we’re on the process of—this was our house that was already built. It was a much bigger house than we need […] But we’re on a mission to make it a net zero energy home, i.e. it produces much energy as we use.
We have a geothermal system in place now. We just put a 4.3 solar ray on the roof. These last couple of weeks of sunny weather, we have been essentially running completely off the grid. We’re still connected to the grid. We have ice storms and bad weather and stuff. I’m not giving up my grid connection yet, but we are probably producing a good 70% to 80% of our energy now on our property ourselves instead of just connecting to the grid.
So again, it’s taking that same journey that we started our business and now we’re taking it back home.
DEBRA: I think one of the things that have made the biggest impression on me listening to you today is the concept of really seeing it as a journey. I know that a lot of people look and say, “Well, I want something to be perfect. It has been to be 100% this or 100% that.” And yet, there are so many changes that we need to be making today, moving in a direction that we have to look at the things that are step by step because to make a change often is a step-by-step process.
I’ve been eliminating toxic chemicals from my life for more than 30 years. I would say that I live in a toxic-free home, but it’s not 100%. It’s toxic free enough to make a big difference in my health.
One would be hard pressed to live in modern life and not have plastic. I eliminate all the plastic I can, but I can’t eliminate the plastic telephone or the microphone. My computer isn’t plastic. It’s made out of metal and glass. I eliminate it everywhere I can, but it’s not 100%.
But you can do so much more by just starting. I want everyone to understand that, wherever you start, just start and move in a direction and buy less toxic products. Move towards sustainability. See about what you can grow in your backyard. Just any of these things will all help us have a world where we can sustain life in the environment, in our own lives, sustain our businesses, have human relationships.
I see this whole comparison to where we were 30 years ago, wouldn’t you say we’ve come a long way?
ERIC HENRY: Yeah, very much so. But it is a journey.
DEBRA: It is journey.
ERIC HENRY: We got to move forward, learn, be willing to change and adapt.
DEBRA: Yeah. We’ve got two minutes. Any last thoughts you want to give us?
ERIC HENRY: Again, I appreciate the opportunity to be on your show today. And I think what we like about TS Designs is that we’re always learning. We like to say our best customers are educated customers.
Always be willing to connect with your community because your success will happen depending on the wealth and the happiness of your community. So connect with them.
And then also, just as I’ve said, get on that journey. Unfortunately, we’ve adapted a lot of bad habits over the last few decades. We got to start changing those, but it can be a positive thing at the end where we all benefit and it will be worth all the challenges that we’re going through to get there.
But again, I do appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your show. And if any of your guests want to reach out to me, they can find me at TSDesigns.com.
DEBRA: Thank you so much. And I hope people contact you. If I’m ever driving by going someplace or another, I’m going to stop in and see you.
ERIC HENRY: We would love to have you. Stop by any time.
DEBRA: Thank you so much. Okay, that was my guest.
ERIC HENRY: Have a great day.
DEBRA: You too. That was Eric Henry. He’s the President of TS Designs. His website is TSDesigns.com. But you should also go to CottonoftheCarolinas.com to find out how their shirts are made.
You can also go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and find out who’s going to be on in the future. I always publish the list of guests for the week. You can also go there and go to the archives and listen to this show again or any of the other almost 200 shows that are there now.
There are lots of information, lots of things that you can do to be less toxic. Just find out. Be well.