Why do eco-conscious people want their apparel printed with water based screenpritning? The answer might be the same if you asked the question, “why do people want organic and/or natural foods?”; or “why should we drive cars that are more fuel efficient?”. And So On. You already know the answer: because the lower impact water based screenpritning has on our environment creates a cleaner, more efficient world for us to live in.
There are those, mostly other printers, who say our company’s commitment to water based screenpritning and sustainable apparel is just a niche, still others say it’s a trend. Look, there’s a lot of people out there who think global warming is a hoax and really do not believe in sustainable energy. Well, opinions are like belly-buttons, everyone has one and they’re entitled to theirs. However, to us at Denver Screen Print & Embroidery it’s an important part of evolution, in our business as well as being responsible citizens of 21st Century Earth.
PART 1: We all have an enormous task in front of us and a tremendous amount of knowledge to acquire. At Denver Screen Print & Embroidery we are constantly looking for ways to improve the products we use and the way we use them. We have been embroidering and printing shirts since 1983 and used plastisol inks for years.
Intuitively we knew there had to be a better way: our shop smelled toxic all the time (most solvents used in the clean-up of plastisol inks say “ WARNING :pregnant women should not stand within 50 feet of an open container of this product”). Duh. Most of our prints felt like plastic or rubber due to the nature of these petroleum based inks and other products.
When we first learned about environmental printing in the mid 1990’s there were very few products and knowledge available; we had to source most of what we learned and products we used from Europe, mostly Italy. As time went on, we talked our USA distributors into getting better products for us. As we grew, people who manufactured more environmentally responsible products found us, educating and selling us their products. We look at everything (not that we buy it all) and investigate every product that will make us better printers, better citizens. We may never be perfect, but we will always strive for perfection.
PART 2: In 2004 we began looking for “The Lost T-Shirt”; you know, the one MADE IN THE USA.
There were very few and even though American Apparel (one of the best, in our opinion) was hot and we had used them for years, their organic cotton selection was weak. We therefore designed a simple T-shirt for men and one for women. Our cotton is raised on American farms, producing their cotton with sustainable and organic practices and manufactured right here in the U S of A. It’s a limited line, but one we’re proud of. It’s called Organic Apparel. Check it out.
Doing our part for the environment doesn’t end with the products we use and the way we conduct our business: we believe there’s more to it than that. Each day we think of improving our environment; from providing a place where our employees enjoy working and sharing in the excitement of what we do, to being involved in our community activities and fund raising organizations. We even have plans of creating a community garden in our back lot for our employees to enjoy fresh organic vegetables.
In the end, we’re just like you; trying our very best to do our part for the environment.