Ted Pidcock, '88, Plans Development of a Carbon Neutral Facility to Expand Classic Apparel Brand
Social entrepreneur collaborates with Will Sampson ’24 to implement hydro and solar at a scenic manufacturing center in southern NH
Ted Pidcock made his first T-shirt sale as a student on Caro Street in 1987. Today, the Founder and President of Chillybears provides high quality apparel printing and fulfillment services for major regional brands, including TD Garden, the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, NHL, and Lily Transportation. For over thirty years, Ted has proudly served both institutions and individual consumers.
But for Ted, entrepreneurship has never been simply about turning profits. As a student, he was inspired by Holy Cross’ motto, “to be for and with others.” To this end, Ted pioneered new socially oriented brands, like Teddy the Dog. Teddy offers unique garments and consumer goods to raise funding for causes that Ted holds closely. Since 2016, the brand has donated over $300,000 to support victims of mass shootings and weather disasters, animal well-being, Alzheimer’s research, and more.
Following his priority to advance social wellbeing and commerce as one, Ted turned his sights to a new project: to design New England’s first carbon neutral manufacturing center as a foundation for his apparel printing. He is making a significant investment in a 93,000 Sq. Ft. Mill in Wilton, NH. The property is on the banks of the picturesque Souhegan River and is uniquely equipped to support expansive roof-top solar arrays. Ted also plans to revamp the dormant hydro-electric infrastructure on-site to provide clean baseload power.
“This is a big moment for us,” says Pidcock. “The market wants apparel companies that can deliver the goods and do it in a kinder way with the environment of its employees and the planet in mind. We are making the investment to be an apparel printer that clients feel good about giving their business.”
While the goal is to achieve a carbon-neutral facility, there are daunting considerations in both regulations and funding for renewable energy implementation. In October of 2021, Ted and Will Sampson ’24 met at a mentorship event through The Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society. Will, a political science major with a background in sustainability research, expressed interest in Ted’s vision and mentioned the important environmental regulations underlying hydro and solar. After that meeting, Ted hired Will to research the specific bearing of those procedures on the plan, along with renewable energy contractors, grants, and logistics. Will continues in studying these components to maximize the feasibility and cost-savings of the operation. The Academic Internship Program, offered through Holy Cross’ J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World, has enabled Will to integrate his work for Ted into classwork.
Sharing a common background at Holy Cross and a passion for social entrepreneurship, Ted and Will are excited for the outcome of the project. In the near term, Ted and his team are upgrading the facility in Wilton to be a welcoming work environment and organized fulfillment center and warehouse. The property will continue to be studied to determine the best pathways for combined solar and hydro interconnection. In a broader artistic vision, Ted aims to eventually pair the site’s production utility with apartments, a storefront, and even a pub. As he says, “we can’t wait to bring it all together.”