April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 47 turing that makes you a sustainable print- er," Atkinson says. Because there is no one governing body going in and making sure shops adhere to X, Y, and Z, there are plenty of shops that claim sustainability, but actually are not— a form of spin called "greenwashing." So many times, shops say, "Oh, I'm a sustain- able printer because I use water-based ink." Atkinson informs decorators that water- based ink isn't sustainable on its own. It requires a different emulsion, which results in more waste, requires more energy usage, and it's not drain-safe. "It can be part of a sustainable-printing process if you build the program properly. And that's the difference between someone who just uses a product and claims it and somebody who thinks it all the way through about everything they're doing in their shop," Marshall adds. THE APPEAL You might be asking yourself why a shop decides to go green. Where's the appeal in this process? Maybe you desire to help save the planet and you're looking to reduce your impact right where you are, within your business. Maybe you want to fill a gap where you saw a need and appeal to customers seeking environmentally-cen- tric shops, or perhaps you're looking to save money. According to Pickles, if practicing true sustainability is in a company's ethos and desire, it will come out in all aspects of their business. It will be authentic, and it can be seen in their mission statement, over the phone, via email, in person, and online. "The communication of that desire to be a steward for the environment comes through crystal clear. You can see it. You can feel it. You can smell it; it comes out of their pores, and that's just what they communicate to the world," Pickles says. If you're currently running a shop that claims sustainability, can you confidently say your customers are having this experience? E N V I R O N M E N T AL E X CE L L E N C E

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