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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into screen printing again for an apparel solution, but am really stuck on being as eco friendly as possible (goes along with the brand).


I've read through a lot on the forums here, got a lot of insight on what's required.


But what is the other side of eco friendly? The biggest thing holding me back right now from doing it at home is the ability to dispose of the ink. Even if it's water-based ink how it shouldn't just be washed down the drain like I feel so many 'eco friendly' DIY printers do.


Aside from inks, I'm looking for advice on the processes to stay eco friendly and other products like emulsion and ink degradation tools. There's a lot of info out there, not a ton about proper disposal. Is there such a thing as an eco friendly chemical to break down inks for the drains?


I'm in Canada, and the impact of products traveling the world comes into play as well...that's another topic though.
 

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There's a lot of this 'eco friendly' stuff going on these days and my view is that not everything can be made 'eco friendly.'

Have you considered switching from screen printing to an eco friendly method? If people are really passionate about this then perhaps it's better just to not print stuff in the first place. However, in a world where Cash is King, I doubt whether anyone will follow my suggestion!
 

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I've been using HTV for most of my items so far, as it fit the budget early on. The idea is about moving to a more sustainable method.


I understand that everything is going to have an impact, but I would like to minimize it as much as I can.



Did you have something else in mind instead of ink that's more eco-friendly?
 

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I hope you don't mind me asking this, and it's really not aimed at you in particular as many seem to be following the eco friendly route, but -


1. Are you wishing to become truly eco friendly for your own peace of mind and to reduce the impact on the planet's ecosystem?


- or -


2. Are you wishing to be perceived as eco friendly to attract more business (and hence, more profit) under the eco friendly banner?




I know people in both camps, and the people in No. 1 simply wouldn't be printing at all if it challenged their eco friendly principles.


People in the other camp, although trying to convince themselves they are eco friendly, are mainly driven by the current market and customers who insist on eco friendly products, thus they bend the rules whilst still claiming to be eco friendly.


Sorry for getting all philosophical!
 

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if you are doing htv now, switch to sef out of france

WATER BASED CLUB
sef france It is a small club! Water based formulations only! Not a drop of solvent in our formulations, and no solvent fumes in our exhaust, only water vapor.
-

we have unfortunately entered the era of perpetual whining and complaining
so no matter how far you go, you will not be there

hey, look at me, i only use squid ink for my designs
you killed the squid, murderer

hey, look at me, i only use wild blueberry juice for my designs
those blueberries are meant for the bears, you killed the bears, murderer

the only truly eco-friendly method of decoration is your own (or donated) bodily fluids
helps if you are a female, but then you can only get a couple of tee's a month decorated

-
 

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Walking round bare +rsed naked is the only true eco friendly way.

If you are a boutique fashion brand adding embelishment to garments then you are part of the problem, whatever method you use. All you are really doing is hanging a marketing label on your products.



The chemical and water usage of screen printing is the same if you print 10 pieces or 10000 pieces. The morel there is .... don't print small volumes.


Permaset waterbased inks from Australia are about as 'eco friendly' as it gets. They are certified 'organic' by the UK 'Soil Association', which has been setting very high certification standards since 1850 - in many cases they choose to impose much higher standards than most other certification bodies.


The garment is the most unfriendly part of the mix. Regular cotton uses 10k litres of water (10 tonne!) per kilogram of cotton ( 4 shirts). Much of it ends up as 'grey' water.
Organic cotton uses slightly less water, but involves rainwater harvesting. That can cause its own problems, by stopping water entering the rivers and groundwater.
 

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The thing is, why does a t-shirt need to have any design printed on it?


The printing of designs on garments is just to satisfy the inflated egos of the peple wearing them. The only possible justification would be the printing of company logos, but even then, are they really that necessary?
 

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I applaud your conviction to do the best you can environmentally.
As others have pointed, simply being alive is contrary to the goal.
Today there is NO WAY to have NO IMPACT.
What we can do is minimize the impact in the most practical means possible.
You are printing in your bedroom maybe a dozen shirts a month. Many here are doing a dozen shirts every 15 minutes. You can make a RADICAL changes and the outcome is sleeping well at night. The producer can make a minor change that can have a huge local impact.
So what one does very much depends on their situation. We all could go the Gandhi route but that has it own self-worth consequences.
I suggest:
stick with water-based everything.
Avoid breathing in the vapors from ANY process.
Wash-out using gray water collection via sand and gravel reservoir, not the public drain. Collect concentrate hazard waste and dispose along with chemicals, electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Understand...EVERYONE is lying...so keep doing your best, pray that it's blessed and He'll take care of the rest.
 

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The thing is, why does a t-shirt need to have any design printed on it?
Why do we need clothes at all? Lets go around naked... you cannot get any more eco-friendly than that ;).


Consumerism and the throw-away societies are the real problem.
The $5 throwaway shirts most people want does have an impact regardless of what ink is used. Chemicals, electricity, fuel, and a lot of water get used.

If people were only buying $50 shirts to keep for 10 years, then the impact would be minimal.
The economics would work better as well, as selling one $5 shirt per year will add up to $50 in 10 years time, BUT the $50 has more value 10 years in advance, and can be re-invested.


Personally I do my bit (unintentionally I have to admit).
- I only do large runs (250-300 shirts), so 99% of the ink goes on the shirts instead of the drain.
- I only ship large orders (one full run minimum) by road or sea freight, and most of my shirts are sold by small/medium localized shops.
- My shirts are sold unpackaged (no plastic bag).


Selling one shirt at a time online is not environmental friendly, even if you print using only your own bodily fluids as Ed has suggested. The packaging and fuel required have a much larger footprint, than a bit of ink down the drain.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alright sorry I asked...about Tshirts on a Tshirt forum. I'm well aware of the entire industry having AN impact. What I'm looking for is the least impact I can achieve.



However your advice congruently seems to be kill myself to prevent any further impact on the environment or jizz on garments. I'll stop asking questions here.
 

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Alright sorry I asked...about Tshirts on a Tshirt forum. I'm well aware of the entire industry having AN impact. What I'm looking for is the least impact I can achieve.



However your advice congruently seems to be kill myself to prevent any further impact on the environment or jizz on garments. I'll stop asking questions here.
you just seem to not like the responses
the end-point was to ask more questions here, not fewer

all is vanity

you just need to find your balance and tell your customers the truth if they ask
i have implemented x-y-z to lessen my impact and still provide a great quality product
 

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Alright sorry I asked...about Tshirts on a Tshirt forum.
You shouldn't be sorry. Not agreeing with anyone else's opinion here doesn't automatically make you wrong, even if everyone else seems to agree with each other. Take a look at science as an example, supposedly the best minds & often they agree, only to be proven wrong at a later date.

You can only seek the best advice you can get and act on that advice in the best way that you can & if you do that then you've performed to 100% of your own ability.

Kudos to you for seeking the advice, when so many others don't.
 

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Alright sorry I asked...about Tshirts on a Tshirt forum. I'm well aware of the entire industry having AN impact. What I'm looking for is the least impact I can achieve.



However your advice congruently seems to be kill myself to prevent any further impact on the environment or jizz on garments. I'll stop asking questions here.
Perhaps our answers are a response to us all being put under the spotlight by people marketing 'eco' alternatives when we know the end product is little or no different to our own 'dirty' offering.
 

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Alright sorry I asked...about Tshirts on a Tshirt forum. I'm well aware of the entire industry having AN impact. What I'm looking for is the least impact I can achieve.
You've answered your own question.
1. There IS always an impact.
2. The only thing you can do is minimize it.
However, you will not see anybody claiming "minimal impact". Everybody is claiming to be "environmental friendly", but then offer fast international shipping :rolleyes:. It takes 200ml of jet fuel to fly a t-shirt from London to New York.



It's all about perception, but if you actually want to minimize the environmental impact, then you can do the following:
a) minimize the utilization of resources for production and transport.

b) minimize waste.
c) increase the product lifespan.
 
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