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Organic T-shirt Printing 101: Choosing An Ethical Clothing Brand

Posted by | September 02, 2016 | Screen Printing Tips | No Comments
Organic t-shirt printing

Here at Print Syndicate we quite like planet earth, so we have put together a three part blog series on organic t-shirt printing. Our handy guide covers choosing more ethical brands, our favourite eco-friendly garments, as well as the ins and outs of a more ecological screen printing process. Check out our blog over the next few weeks for tips on what to consider when switching to ethical merch – starting with Step One: Choosing an Ethical Clothing Brand…

There are several things to think about for the ethical consumer when buying screen printed merch – check out the following do’s and don’ts when choosing a clothing brand!

Social Responsibility

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When looking for an ethical clothing manufacturer, it’s important to make sure that they are certified by the Fair Wear Foundation or Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP). These organisations ensure there has been no child or forced labour involved in the production of garments, as well as ensuring safe and lawful working conditions for employees.

The Continental Clothing Company are among the highest performing members of the Fair Wear Foundation, and in addition to their Earth Positive and Salvage ranges they have just released their new Fair Share Collection. You can check out this new Fair Trade range on their website – https://www.continentalclothing.com/home/fairshare.

You can read more about the Fair Wear Foundation, and which clothing brands are registered via their website at the following link: http://www.fairwear.org/22/about/

You can read more about WRAP, and which clothing brands they certify here: http://www.wrapcompliance.org/en/about-wrap 

Sustainable Manufacture

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It’s important to make sure that your chosen clothing brand is committed to sustainable manufacture. This is where garments are made through ecologically-sound processes that minimise the harmful environmental impacts of production, while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing is also responsible for improving employee, community, and product safety.

Brands that are committed to sustainable manufacture use low impact organic agriculture when sourcing and farming their raw materials. Non organic cotton crops are typically sprayed with very high concentrates of pesticides in comparison to food crops, since the end product won’t be consumed. These chemicals are extremely toxic to the environment and any wildlife that inhabit the area.

The Continental Clothing Company in particular are very highly conscious of the negative and damaging effects that garment manufacturing can have on the environment, and as such they are well known for their pioneering efforts to address and tackle these harmful impacts.

Organic Fabrics

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There’s a whole world of options when choosing eco-friendly fabrics – from organic textiles, to bamboo garments and recycled fibres. Here’s some quick pointers on what to look out for in terms of fabrics for organic t-shirt printing.

Well known brands such as Anvil, Continental Clothing Company and Westford Mill all produce a range of organic garment options. Anvil and Continental Clothing also offer recycled garments made from pre-consumer organic cotton and post-consumer polyester.

In particular, the Continental Clothing Company are committed to ensuring full traceability of all fibres they use. They have opted to only work with low impact cotton in their Tencel® range. They also ensure 100% certified organic cotton in their EarthPositive® range, as well as utilising recycled fibres in their Salvage® range. You can’t get much more eco than that!

Look out for the ‘Confidence in Textiles’ logo on any brands you might consider using. This essentially means that the textiles have been successfully tested for harmful substances – you can check out more about the ‘Confidence in Textiles’ mark via their website here – https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/consumer/what_is_ots100/what_is_ots100.html

In a nutshell – opting for garments that are made from organic cotton, bamboo, recycled fabrics or post consumer fibres makes for a much more environmentally responsible choice.

Carbon Footprint Reduction

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Lastly – it’s also a good idea to look out for the registered ‘Climate Neutral’ mark when choosing your ethical clothing brand. Climate neutral brands substitute renewable power over the standard electric grid power, using solar and wind based energy during their manufacturing processes.

Certain manufacturers will carry this mark across their entire brand, or across some of their select ranges, again – Continental Clothing Co’s EarthPositive® collection carries the official climate neutral trademark.

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As fans of this planet, we love it when our customers opt for more eco-friendly options. If you are in need of some new merch or promotional clothing for your business or event and you would like it to be as ethical as possible, please drop us a line at the following link and we’ll happily discuss your options –  Organic T-shirt Printing Services