Reduce, Reuse, Rebrand | Tips On How To Save Money Through Reducing Your Shop's Footprint
Many of our decisions have dramatic and lasting effects that most of the time, we don’t even realize. In conjunction with the core business of Print Renegades, we constantly strive to expand the environmental consciousness in our process from start to finish. It’s so easy, in any industry, to cut corners and let the finances influence our decisions (since its usually cheaper to not be eco-friendly). We don’t let laziness trump our true desire to do all that we can as a company and individuals to do our part for the planet.
If environmental impact is important to you, we have a wide range of options for you. While it is possible to produce full color images using waterbased or discharge inks, it may undermine your goals of achieving the most ecofriendly apparel option. Achieving the greenest product can be accomplished by remembering that LESS IS MORE eco-friendly, especially when it comes to the amount of ink used. We suggest printing less than 4 colors, and keeping your images at smaller standard sizes. Large or oversized prints can result in excess ink and spillage during the printing process.
OSHA and CPSIA STANDARDS:
We are up to date on all regulatory safety standards that regulate lead content in all the inks that we use. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act outlines the mandate about lead content in the ink for children under age 12, and also toddlers ages 3 and under. We are aware of all of these regulations and comply with then fully.
PHTHALATE and PVC FREE INKS:
Oil based plastisol inks came out on the market decades ago and just took the industry by storm: mostly because of their low cost, ease of use, super long shelf life and speed of drying. Unfortunately most of these inks contain harmful chemicals and additives that are not good for our environment, or the end user. We have made the move to phthalate free plastisol inks in our shop to be able to give the client the option to still use these inks (given that some of their qualities are good) but have the higher end environmentally friendly versions of them.
RAG RECYCLING PROGRAM:
Because of our overuse of rags in our shop, we have begun a rag recycling program, wherein all shirt misprints that we have in our shop become shop test shirts, where we test print all over the entire shirt (inside and out). Once the shirt is filled up with prints, we cut it up into pieces and they become rags. Each rag has a different stage of its usage in the shop, until it becomes defunct. All defunct rags are saved, donated and ultimately used to create fabric again.
BOX RECYCLING PROGRAM:
We aim to reuse every box that comes into our shop for packaging and shipping customer’s orders. While we would love to have custom-printed boxes emblazoned with our Print Renegades logo, we would be throwing away as many as 30 boxes per week (that’s over 1500 boxes a year!!). We believe that reusing the boxes that are used to ship us blank shirts is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint as well as resolve our packaging needs.
SOY BASED CLEANERS:
Unfortunately, the standards in the screen-printing industry have been set to using harsh chemicals for the cleaning and reclaiming, and this is not good. Because of this, we have switched over to primarily soy-based ink and screen cleaners, along with soy based emulsion and haze removers as well. This has been done because we really got sick of worrying about what those chemicals were doing not only to our earth, but also to our own skin and lungs. Our choice to use alternative enviro-cleaners has been made for the good of everyone.
ECO BLANK APPAREL:
We offer a wide variety of very eco-friendly blank garments for our clients: from 50/50 blend garments to 100% organic cotton tees, apparel made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, hemp, bamboo and a range of other eco-friendly materials. With the wide array of blank apparel that we offer, we can always find something that meets your standards.
YEARLY TREE PLANTING:
We have always wanted to bring our team together to do something of change, and this year we will be embarking on our very first company tree-planting day. Every employee in the company comes out, we spend an entire day planting trees that help offset our carbon emission output and thru this, and every year that we embark on this journey, we will help offset our carbon footprint.
We are always trying to expand our resource programs and always trying to be at the top of our game with putting the earth as #1. Currently in our shop, we are working on water recycling program (where all water in our shop is recycled and reused, reducing the amount of waste water we have) and a solar panel project (where our shop will run 100% off of solar power). These projects are in the works here at Print Renegades.