SUSTAINABILITY & ECO-FRIENDLY PRINTING

We only print an item once it’s been ordered, which minimizes overproduction and excess waste. Your orders are printed using our Kornit Atlas printers. These printers use absolutely water-free printing technology and 100% non-toxic biodegradable inks. This makes print-on-demand the most resource-conscious option in the industry.

Zero waste: The sustainability benefits of Print-on-Demand

Every purchase, big or small, has a footprint. With each purchase, you have a choice. You choose the size of the mark to leave on the planet, and we want to help you choose wisely.

By choosing print-on-demand, you choose apparel that’s created only as the order is placed, creating less fabric waste than conventional manufacturing. Producing products on-demand eliminates the need to buy and hold on to a pre-printed stock that you may or may not end up using. Zero inventory, zero waste.

Traditional printing is very polluting

Digital printing uses 95% less water and 50-60% less energy than traditional printing. The number one environmental risk factor in textiles is water pollution. The amount of water the industry currently pollutes is staggering. The movement towards digital technologies is a good first step. The move to waterless inks is even better!

  • 20% of wastewater worldwide comes from fabric dyeing and treatment. Traditional textile processing pollutes the earth’s precious water sources, much of which is harnessed from vital freshwater tables causing social and environmental harm.
  • 87% of the total fiber input used for clothing is wasted, ending up incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. 20% of garments reach a landfill without being worn even once.
  • The clothing industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At this pace, the clothing industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030.
  • Every year the clothing industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water — enough to meet the consumption needs of 5 million people or fill the mediterranean sea completely every 2 years.
  • If the trend continues, global consumption of apparel will rise from 62 million metric tons in 2019 to 102 million tons in 10 years.
  • Every year half a million tons of plastic microfibers are dumped into the ocean, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
  • Less than 1% of used clothing is recycled into new garments.

Sources: United Nations Climate Change, World Bank, and Kornit [1] [2]

Organic Waterless Inks

Preserving the world’s resources is a responsibility that we take very seriously. Water is the very essence of life, a precious resource that must be conserved. That’s why we use technologies producing zero water waste and providing a sustainable printing process.

Digital textile printing conserves water using inkjet technology. Ink is jetted directly onto the surface of the fabric. The benefits offer a sustainable footprint with zero water waste – a seamless process saving precious resources. This technology provides an in-line print process for efficient, sustainable on-demand textile production.

Source: Kornit

We use only natural inks, free from any chemicals

Neo pigment inks are 100% chemical-free, non-hazardous, toxin-free, and vegan friendly. They meet the strictest industry certifications.

Most printers use plastisol ink consisting of chemicals derived from petroleum. Although being more simple to use, plastisol inks contain PVC and phthalates, two dangerous chemicals very damaging to the environment and have been linked to numerous medical disorders. Our inks do not contain PVC or phthalates and don’t need solvents to clean the screens down after they’ve been used. 

Our inks do not contain any chemicals known to contribute to the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion, unlike many products commonly used in other types of inks such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), aromatic hydrocarbons, or other volatile solventsThey don’t contain lead or any heavy metals. In fact, our inks do not contain any toxic chemicals at all! Not even mineral turpentine like other water-based inks on the market.

Sources: [1] – [2]

Reducing energy and carbon footprint

Digital printing uses a fraction of the energy of the traditional textile print process. The earth is saturated with toxic carbon, 10% of which can be attributed to the clothing industry production alone. Sustainable manufacturing processes deliver a reduced carbon footprint – in some cases, zero.

But the carbon footprint of our clothing can also be reduced in other ways, too. The way we shop has a big impact. Some research has suggested that online shopping can have a lower carbon footprint than traveling to traditional shops to buy products, particularly if consumers live far away.

We use cotton because polyester is bad for the planet

Most of our products are 100% cotton and we try to avoid polyester because it’s polluting the planet. Synthetic polymer polyester is the most common fabric used in clothing, surpassing cotton. Globally, 65% of the clothing that we wear is polymer-based. Around 70 million barrels of oil a year are used to make polyester fibers in our clothes. 

A t-shirt made from polyester has double the carbon footprint compared to one made from cotton. A polyester shirt produces the equivalent of 5.5kg of carbon dioxide compared to 2.1kg from a cotton shirt. Polyester takes hundreds of years to decompose and can lead to microfibres escaping into the environment.

Organic cotton

Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. We offer organic cotton options across our apparel collection.

Read more about organic cotton

Website powered by 100% Green Energy

In order to reduce our carbon footprint by any means possible, the shop’s website is hosted on web servers powered by 100% green energy. The cooperative is also fully funding 10 servers hosting over 30 activist collectives and websites and those servers are also powered by renewable energy

Furthermore, we supply from manufacturers committed to renewable energy and reducing energy consumption with transparent goals and targets.

Sources: [1][2] – [3] – [4]

Environmental certifications

The biodegradable water-based inks are non-hazardous, toxin-free, contain no animal by-products, and meet the strictest industry standards as defined by Oeko-Tex 100 safety applications for infant wear, Eco-Passport and Global Organic Textiles (GOTS-3V), Residues Standard List (RSL), and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists.

Source: Kornit

Manufacturers’ commitments to environmental sustainability

This information is taken from the website of our t-shirt manufacturers.

ENERGY – Improving energy efficiency and reducing manufacturers’ reliance on fossil fuels by finding alternate sustainable energy sources and production processes.

WATER – Optimizing manufacturer’s water use throughout environmental processes such as minimizing water use and enhancing the quality of wastewater management.

CO2 EMISSIONS – Reducing manufacturers’ greenhouse gas emissions through energy conservation efforts and finding alternate sustainable energy sources.

WASTE REDUCTION – Reducing waste through recycling and the establishment of waste prevention measures at all stages of the production cycle.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE – The manufacturers comply with all applicable environmental protection laws and implemented a number of audits, evaluation, and verification methods to ensure that they are compliant with all applicable environmental laws and regulations, as well as the internal Environmental Policy.

OEKO-TEX CERTIFICATION – The manufacturers are certified by OEKO-TEX, the most internationally recognized seal, ensuring that the fabric is eco-friendly and that the company complies with substances harmful to the environment.

Our supplier insists that all business partners obtain the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. This unique certification provides the textile and clothing industry with a globally uniform standard for the objective assessment of the presence of harmful substances. Raw materials, intermediate, and end products at all stages of processing throughout the manufacturing chain, including accessories, are tested and certified. The laboratory tests currently comprise around 100 human, ecological and performance-related test parameters based on international test standards and other recognized testing procedures.

Sources: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] – [8]

Posted on: August 19, 2014 Last update: March 24, 2022