Eco Friendly Options
The Screen printing industry
Here at Elusive Press we understand that many of the processes and materials used in our industry can be damaging for the environment.
At this stage we can’t completely rule out using the traditional chemicals and materials but the industry is changing. We support and welcome this change and choose environmentally friendly alternatives wherever possible.
Some of the eco brands available:
- Stanley Stella
- EarthPositive ‘by Continental’
- Ecologie ‘by AWD’
- Russell Athletic
- Westford Mill
- Asquith & Fox
- B&C Collection
- Baby Bugs
Why choose organic Cotton?
The cotton industry is the third largest polluter, not far behind oil. However, a new wave of clothing brands are providing organic cotton options which are of great quality and increasingly more affordable.
We personally only wear organic cotton items now, not only for the impacts stated in the Soil Association review below, but because the quality and feel of the fabric is far superior than non-organic options.
Why use water-based inks?
Water-based inks do not contain many of the harmful chemicals such as PVC or phthalates found in oil based inks.
Chemical solvents are not needed to clean the screens after use – they can be cleaned with water.
They do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFC’s and HCFC’s, aromatic hydrocarbons, or any volatile solvents. They don’t contain lead or any heavy metals.
As far as garment printing goes, this is the most eco-friendly option available and equals its oil-based rival in durability and quality.
Please see some information below from the Soil Association.
Certified organic cotton delivers proven benefits for people and planet – when it comes to making sustainability claims you can trust, nothing beats it.
Organic cotton benefits cotton producers and the environment in developing countries by avoiding the potentially harmful effects of toxic pesticides, and the reduced cost of production improves social conditions.
It’s better for the environment
Organic fibres are grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers or potentially toxic pesticides. By building soil fertility, organic farmers help lock CO2 into the soil, helping mitigate climate change. It also avoids the use of the toxic pesticides that, in non-organic systems, are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing an estimated 16,000 people each year.
It’s better for workers
By avoiding potentially toxic pesticides cotton workers benefit by avoiding the associated health problems and deaths common in non-organic cotton production. Avoiding pesticides also reduces production costs and farmer debts – the burden of pesticide debt has resulted in thousands of suicides in India which is the world’s largest cotton producer.
GM is banned in organic systems, while an estimated a significant amount of all cotton grown worldwide is genetically modified.
GM cotton poses a potential risk to wildlife and human health, as well as exposing farmers to unnecessary expense.
There’s restricted use of chemicals and limited residues
GOTS ensures that the chemicals used in processing textiles meet strict requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. Final products are restricted in the amount of allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause allergies, skin rashes or respiratory problems.
In contrast, non-organic manufacture uses tens of thousands of acutely toxic chemicals, many of which are classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Factory conditions are better
Poor working conditions and rights in the garments industry are commonplace.
GOTS certified organic textiles must meet social criteria based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
These cover minimum wages, working hours, child labour, freedom of association, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment and more.
EarthPositive by Continental Clothing.
The Earth Positive brand by Continental clothing has led the way for eco-friendly organic cotton garments. Since the beginning they have done it the right way with a very nice and small ‘Climate neutral’ label and a great colour range.
The EP range is now vast, including hoodies, zip-hoodies, sweaters, tote bags, a ladies range and kids range.
Continental decided it wasn’t enough to just work with organic cotton, so they looked into the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Today, their factories use renewable energy and operate closed loop systems in their dyeing process, meaning that all the water is recycled. This is what sets EarthPositive apart from other organic brands.
There are many good organic brands available, but the EP01 t-shirt and its big brother the EP18 remain our go-to choice and are very reasonably priced for such a great product.
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