April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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46 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 S ustainability. What does this buzzword actually mean? Re- gardless if you're in it to appeal to a specific customer base or it's your sincere desire to run a sus- tainable shop, taking the steps to get there and fully understanding what "going green" means is a journey. If it's one you're willing to take, it can be a long one, but the experts are here to put you on the right path. CLEARING THE AIR So, what does "going green" mean for a shop? According to the experts, it can in- volve quite a few things—from using fewer resources to being more mindful and con- scious of daily decisions and production processes. Tom Pickles, Shirt Pickle, says sustainability and sustainable practices are hard to pin down with a clear definition. "There is no overriding governing body that says, 'If you want to say that you are sustainable, or if you want to say that you are a green shop, here's the things you need to do.' There's no list," Pickles says. This ambiguity can cause shops and customers to wonder what's right and what's wrong. Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consult- ing, says sustainability happens when printers focus on three things: their prod- uct, their process, and their facility. He says, "These three areas can help you build a sustainability program," which entails going beyond using organic T-shirt blanks, eco-friendly emulsions, and water-based inks. The use of those products doesn't in- herently make a shop sustainable. "It's do- ing things the correct way, having proper procedures, and it's kind of a holistic total- package way of thinking about manufac- What it means to practice sustain- ability and how you can reduce your impact B Y A L E X A N D R I A A R R O Y O GREEN SOLUTIONS

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