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.

Eco-friendly brands are in vogue at the moment as people are starting to favour businesses with a commitment to green products and services. As a company concerned with our Corporate Social Responsibility, we encourage eco-friendly printing where possible and offer a number of eco-friendly products and printing techniques. Read on to see how brands are working towards a more sustainable future.

The tide of public opinion is undoubtedly in favour of green technologies and eco-friendly brands. The naysayers are increasingly being drowned out and countries are making firm and collective agreements to meet certain climate change targets. In such a landscape, it is incredibly unfashionable for a business to be seen as negligent toward mother Earth and in fact, stacking evidence that those who are most environmentally friendly are more magnetic toward customers and encourage greater interaction and engagement. Such evidence comes in the form of a study conducted by Cone Communications; 84% of people asked said that they actively seek out responsible products whenever possible and 90% would boycott a company if they learned of irresponsible or deceptive business practices. The tree-hugging agenda is gaining traction.


No company is more symbolic of this shift than the outdoor apparel producer, Patagonia. Founded out of Ventura, California in 1973, they selected as their mission statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”. This innocent and humble business philosophy can be traced right back to their origin story. Yvon Chouinard, the original founder, created the initial incarnation of the company to manufacture climbing equipment, particularly the pitons that climbers would hammer into the rocks to aid their ascent. But it was soon realised that the company was having a detrimental impact on the environment as large swathes of rock were being damaged. One of the first positive environmental decisions then, was the shift from pitons to aluminium chocks which instead could be wedged relatively harmlessly into the cliff face. Patagonia has not rested on its laurels and now has introduced a raft of measures to protect the planet. These include the auditing of the materials and methods that they use to create their clothing, investment in sustainable infrastructure in relation to energy, water-runoff, buildings and employee transportation, all the way down to activism and granting 1% of their sales to environmental organisations. This is in addition to offering a range of vibrantly coloured and high-quality clothing that appeal both to outdoor enthusiasts and casual wearers alike. In a corporate world that is often callous towards such issues and where the profit motive is seen as the highest ideal, Patagonia are in a class of their own.


Another company that has jumped on board environmental conservation is the home furniture juggernaut, Ikea. The organisation believes that their immensely cheap prices should never arise out of the expense of the environment. They are taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions at every level of the production chain, sustainably sourcing all of their raw materials and even encouraging consumers to travel to their stores in a way that is more forgiving for the environment. We would probably suggest something more along the lines of car-sharing though as you will struggle to get that new birch wardrobe home in your bike basket. Ikea is also conscious of their customers’ desires for a more sustainable lifestyle and is designing their home products with thought to how it will enable their buyers to save energy, reduce waste and recycle more. This is a classic example of a company being self-reflective enough to see their heavily influential position in the home furniture market and leveraging it to effect positive environmental and social change.

While we do not have the global clout of Ikea, here at Garment Printing we are trying to do our own bit to help protect Earth as well. We have excellent eco-friendly T-Shirt printing techniques such as water-based ink screen printing, as well as a range of ecological clothing and includes organic cotton, bamboo and fine jersey Tencel. All of these are environmentally friendly and biodegradable, so you can purchase from us with no reservations.

One of our most prolific suppliers, Continental Clothing, has a number of eco-friendly, ethically produced lines such as Earth Positive, Salvage, and Fair Share and within these you can find bamboo and organic T-Shirts and tote bags, ready to be printed on and thus transformed into eye-catching eco-friendly promotional merchandise and workwear.

There are many eco-friendly printing options and products to choose from and our sales team will be more than happy to help you decide which is the right one for your project, needs and budget.

Fill out the quote form below and know that your eco-friendly products will be printed by leaders in the printing industry.

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