In the t-shirt printing industry over the past few years, it has been trendy for companies to offer “Environmentally Friendly” printing services to their clients. Usually what they are really promoting is printing t-shirts with water based inks.
Now as someone who is an industry insider, let me shed some light on the reality of the situation.
The ink used in printing a t-shirt is really only a tiny fraction of the end products total environmental impact. So labeling the t-shirt printing service “Environmentally Friendly”, by only modifying the ink used to print the shirt, is quite misleading.
In the actual printing process, most of the environmental impact comes from the chemicals used to clean and reclaim screens ready to be used for another job. These chemicals are incredibly toxic, to the point where you really have to wear hard core protective gear to safely do the job. Chemical resistant gloves, goggles, respirators and aprons for splash protection.
Now the majority of printers in the country, are smaller operations, that can’t afford the proper waste water management systems, and most of these chemicals go straight down the drain.
So to use, so called “environmentally friendly” water based ink, which is applied in fractions of grams to the t-shirts and then clean the screens using the method above, you can understand my statement about printers that promote their environmental cred based on using these inks solely, is a little misleading.
The argument of whether water based ink is any more environmentally friendly than plastisol ink, is a topic for another discussion, but regardless, as a business, we wanted to focus on the far more damaging chemicals used in the reclaiming process than the tiny amount of ink used per t-shirt.
So to give you the true “environmentally friendly”, low impact choice, we set out to do more than a token gesture of using “water based ink” and eradicated those harsh, caustic chemicals completely from our process.
The search took us all the way to America to find a range of biodegradable cleaning chemicals, manufactured from soy and citrus. We have imported them and replaced our standard chemicals with these natural based products. These aren’t available as an optional extra, that costs you more, we use them on every job!
We are the only company in Australia to have taken the initiative to implement these products across the board. Something we are super proud of.
So if you care about the environmental impact that the printing process has on your t-shirts then get in touch and have a chat about what you are after…because it is as important to us as it is to you.