One of the biggest questions surrounding is: it is eco-friendly? While the standard technique might not be, there are options which make screen printing incredibly good for the environment. Find out moreWhen it comes to screen printing ink, there are two different types of inks that can be used: plastisol ink and water-based ink. Plastisol is the industry standard and the default ink used by commercial printers. It uses a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) base, as opposed to water-based ink, which is exactly what its name suggests, a water-based ink with pigments suspended within it. The limitation associated with water-based inks is that you can not print onto dark coloured garments, but they are excellent for printing vibrant colours onto lighter coloured garments.Furthermore, the print result is affected by the colour of the garment. For example, using a purple coloured shirt may change the appearance of the ink colour. Water-based inks also do not work well on all materials and are better suited for shorter run orders. For printing soft prints onto dark coloured garments there is a screen printing technique that uses discharge water-based inks.

When working with so many different brands, it can become difficult to focus on a specific brand and find out what makes this brand so special.

One of the leading brands that we work with is Continental Clothing and we’re proud to stock their products for a number of different reasons. So, in this article, I thought I’d provide an in-depth look at Continental Clothing and what makes them stand out.

Originally, Continental Clothing started out as being one of the leading innovators in women’s fitted T-Shirts across Europe. Their clothing was so famous that it got known as “the Continental Fit”, and they still continue with this reputation for innovation, design and sustainability across all of their clothing ranges and styles. Their main focus is on creating high-quality garments, which promote style but they have shifted their attention to focus on a number of different markets which includes merchandising, fashion, retailers, wholesalers, corporate and leisure.

Continental Clothing owns three different brands, all of which are award winners – Continental, EarthPositive and Salvage – and they are among the most advanced brands when it comes to smooth clothing and materials in the world.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

One of Continental Clothing’s core beliefs is that everyone has the right to work in a safe environment, the right to a living wage and also a legal work contract. They believe that everyone has the right to work free of discrimination and harassment and the right to join (or not) a union and to freely choose our work – including the right to a fair workday and also that our children have the right to attend school and get a good education to give them the best possible chances in life.

For this reason, they have adopted a solid and groundbreaking policy regarding the criteria of a minimum social responsibility.

  • No child exploitation
  • No forced labour
  • Safe working conditions
  • Payment of a living wage
  • Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
  • No to discrimination against employees
  • Non-excessive work days

Continental Clothing has also launched a proactive social responsibility program as a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since the start of 2006. All of the manufacturing facilities are regularly audited for social compliance and active surveillance programmes are executed in accordance with standards that have been recommended by the International Labour Organisation, the Ethical Trade Initiative and other international organisations. The company also publishes their own annual social report.

THE FWF IS GOVERNED BY THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS:

  • MODNIT (Association of producers and distributors of fashion, interior design, carpets and textiles)
  • CBW-MITEX (retail business association of interior design, fashion, footwear and sports)
  • FNV Bondgenoten (Federation of Unions – Service industry)
  • CNV Dienstenbond (Christian Trade Union – industry Service)
  • Campaign for clean garments

SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING:

Sustainable manufacturing is the creation of manufactured products through economically sound processes that minimise negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing also increases product, community and employment security.

Continental Clothing also recognises that the textile industry is one of the most harmful industries in the world for the environment, and Continental have now taken decisive and fundamental measures in terms of these negative impacts. Starting with obtaining all of the raw material, the company ensures the traceability of all our fibres, choosing to use low-impact cotton, Tencel Lyocell, Bamboo viscose and recycled polyester in all of the clothing in the Continental Collection, 100% organic cotton in the EarthPositive collection and recycled organic cotton combined with recycled polyester in the Salvage range.

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Continental Clothing has also supported high-profile campaigns including Clean Cotton Campaign, Pick Your Cotton Carefully and has also worked with the Environmental Justice Foundation and Pesticide Action Network for many years. Continental Clothing is an active contributor to the International Working Group on the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The company is also certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard and the Global Recycle Standard.

THREADS AND FABRICS:

Continental Clothing controls the spinning process of 70% of the yarns that are used in the production process as part of its vertical structure of integrated manufacturing, obtaining the rest carefully. All of the yarns which are used by the company are completely combed and spun,

All of the fabrics are manufactured in their own facilities and dyed under the approval of the GOTS standard using little water and controlled waste processes, certified by OekoTex 100 Class I standard and compliant with REACH.

The certified organic fibres are also dyed at their zero discharge dry-cleaning, where all of the water is recycled in a closed-loop system.

REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT:

The Carbon Footprint (CO2e) is the sum of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and other greenhouse gases emitted during cotton growing, fibre processing, textile production, packaging, transportation and also in storage. In January 2008, Continental became the first company in the world to calculate their carbon footprint and place the Carbon Reduction label onto textile products.

They have actively worked to reduce the carbon footprint of EarthPositive products by approximately 90% through a combination of product innovation, low impact agriculture, manufacturing efficiency and replacing electricity with renewable energy.

As a result of this, it has been estimated that an EarthPositive T-Shirt generates 7 kilograms less CO2e.

For this reason and also because of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to pre-industrial levels, all EarthPositive clothing bears the trademark “Climate Neutral”.

PRINT COMPATIBILITY:

One of the reasons why we love working with Continental Clothing is because their clothing is designed specifically to be decorated with the exception of their non-dyed bags. Their clothing is suitable for all printing techniques and all different ink types and this includes discharge printing.

Thanks to the high-quality finish of Continental Clothing products, they all work perfectly well with digital printing techniques such as Direct to Garment printing.

When buying Continental Clothing products, due to their low impact on the environment, we recommend considering using a printing technique which also has a low environmental impact, without phthalates or aromatic solvents, without PVC, based on water and respects the environment and complies with all organic standards.

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