Let’s be honest; screen printing can be dirty, messy, and even hazardous. Screen printing in Salem, OR, has a long way to go in becoming environmentally friendly, from chemicals to garment manufacturers to chemical waste to water pollution. Greener practices appear to be difficult and costly to implement, but this is not the case.
There was a time when individuals solely considered price and quality while purchasing clothing. Of course, those still matter, but with rising temperatures and a never-ending barrage of natural catastrophes on the news, the subject of environmental sustainability emerges.
At Brands and Logos, we strive to assist consumers in making environmentally conscious decisions. Ethical screen printing is beneficial for the environment and your brand.
Let’s look at some of the ways screen printers can use ecologically friendly materials and methods in their businesses.
1. Work with Water-based ink.
Nothing can be printed without ink. As a result, plastisol and water-based inks are the two most popular types of ink used in screen printing in Portland, Oregon. Plastisol is the industry standard and the default for commercial printers, although water-based inks are becoming increasingly popular, even though they can be more difficult to use.
Plastisol inks are popular because they’re cheap, easy to use in large quantities, and don’t dry out and clog printing equipment. On the other hand, most plastisol inks contain PVC, which has been dubbed the most environmentally harmful of all plastics. Throughout the manufacturing process, PVC poses major health concerns and leads to plastics destroying ecosystems worldwide.
Plastisol inks also contain a plasticizer, a chemical that makes the ink more fluid. These frequently contain phthalates, a chemical with a high toxicity rating. Although certain plastisol inks are now phthalate-free, the usage of PVC still causes a great deal of harm. In addition to potential health issues, PVC-based inks are not drain-safe. To remove plastisol from printing equipment and screens, printers must use dangerous chemicals.
Fortunately, there is a far more environmentally friendly option. Water-based inks are pigments suspended in water without the need for polymers. As a result, the more volatile ink elements dry up faster, which is better for your skin and makes the clothing seem lighter and more breathable. In addition, the screens and equipment are cleaned with ordinary water after utilizing water-based inks, which can go down the drain unfiltered.
Water-based inks, on the other hand, have a few disadvantages to consider. On a global scale, clothes with water-based prints take more energy to dry and require more carbon to cure. Also, because dark-colored garments are difficult to print on, this may influence your decision. On the other hand, water-based inks are the greenest option if you’re printing on light materials and care about the environment.
2. Print on Good Quality Materials
If you’ve decided to print with water-based ink, you’ll need to think about what you’ll be printing on. Choosing a higher-quality garment ensures that it will last longer, will not shrink, and will produce a higher-quality print. But, above all, it will stay longer. Cheap, fast fashion adds to landfills — for the environmentally aware, higher-quality apparel is always a better choice. Nonetheless, the material is an important consideration.
If you’re printing t-shirts, organic cotton is a good option. It’s created from natural fibers, with less water used in the manufacturing process and crops that aren’t chemically processed. As a result, it provides versatility, durability, and long-term sustainability.
Bamboo tees are another option to consider. Although a fabric created from a tough substance like bamboo may appear unusual, these shirts are softer and silkier than cotton tees. In addition, bamboo is a sustainable option because it grows quickly and yields significantly more than cotton. It also doesn’t require much in the way of water or fertilizers to thrive. However, you should keep in mind that while bamboo has a lower ecological footprint when it comes to growing and harvesting than cotton, it requires substantially more factory machinery to transform into a workable fabric.
Even if you don’t go for an organic or bamboo brand, the quality of your garment is something to think about. Fabrics of higher quality are more durable, which means they will last longer and shrink less. This will, in the end, reduce waste.
3. Make Sure Your Sizes and Quantities are Correct
If your order involves waste in the first place, your conscientious selection of garments and ink will be less green. Next, consider the amounts you will require. If you’re printing company shirts or uniforms, determine what sizes you’ll need and how many of each. This will ensure that everyone fits properly and that you aren’t wasting energy, ink, or fabric.
Get in touch with Brands and Logos.
We’re always happy to talk about your options, and with plenty of experience in the printing industry, we can assist you in making the right decision for your project.
Looking for professional screen printing in Portland, OR? At Brands and Logos, we offer quick turnaround printing and embroidery on various items, including t-shirts, hats, mugs, and notebooks. Get a quote in 2 minutes by visiting https://www.brandsandlogos.net/.