Sustainability in Custom T-Shirt Printing

Consumers are becoming more conscious of the impact their choices have on the environment. The result? Sustainability has become a buzzword in every industry. The custom t-shirt printing industry is no exception.

Fortunately, eco-friendly printing options are available. These practices reduce environmental impact while still delivering top-quality products.

At Shirtworks, we’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint. We’re embracing sustainable practices in the printing process. We do so by using eco-friendly materials to minimise waste and promote sustainability.

So if you’re looking for a custom t-shirt provider who shares your values, you’ve come to the right place. Before exploring our t-shirt printing services, we’ll walk you through the sustainable t-shirt printing process. Let’s explore how it works and why it matters.

The Importance of Eco-Friendly Printing

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Fast fashion encourages us to purchase cheap clothing we wear only a few times before discarding it. This constant cycle produces a shocking 92 million tons of clothing waste yearly.

That waste goes into landfills, where decomposing takes hundreds of years. While decomposing, it damages the environment by releasing harmful gases contributing to global warming.

Simply put, as a business catering to the clothing industry, we don’t want to be a part of the problem. Our solution? Eco-friendly printing.

In the past, fashion brands used traditional printing methods. Most of those methods rely on harmful chemicals toxic to the environment, such as PVC. However, eco-friendly printing methods are much less damaging.

The benefits include:

  • Water-based printing
  • Less harmful chemicals
  • Fewer resources
  • Less energy

Printing on organic fabric further reduces the environmental impact of fashion production. Organic fabrics are grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. This includes materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen.

This process uses less water and energy compared to conventional methods.

Overall, there’s always more to learn about the process. We’re constantly working to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Click here to learn more about our existing green credentials.

What is Sustainable T-Shirt Printing?

It’s all about using eco-friendly materials and processes with less environmental impact. The process involves using organic fabrics made from materials like:

  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Cotton

How do you know organic fabric is actually organic? Typically, you want to check the label or manufacturer. However, as mentioned, most sustainable t-shirt materials are grown without pesticides, insecticides, or chemical fertilisers.

In addition to using organic fabrics, eco-friendly printing options like water-based inks and digital printing can help. These options reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment.

Organic clothing made by Stanley/Stella are GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) which is the organisation that monitors organic cotton production. Not all producers are members of this organisation and there are strcit supply chanin rule sthat need to be adhered to.

However, sustainability also includes factors such as:

  • Recycling materials
  • Implementing environmental regulations in workspaces
  • Adhering to workplace rights
  • Improving working conditions for workers in the garment industry

This means that it’s not just about using the right materials. In general, sustainable t-shirt printing is just one way to help reduce the environmental impact of the garment industry. You can support a more sustainable future in several ways.

For example, our commitment to sustainable printing supports the environment and the local and global communities.

The Best Sustainable T-Shirt Materials

Choosing a sustainable t-shirt material should be a top priority for anyone who cares about protecting the environment. Some of the best sustainable materials for t-shirts include organic cotton, recycled polyester, linen, and hemp.

They’re all eco-friendly, sure. However, they also offer several benefits in terms of comfort and style. Opting for these materials is a step towards a healthier planet, and we encourage everyone to join us in doing so. Here’s what to know about each option.

Organic Cotton

One of the best choices for creating a sustainable t-shirt is organic cotton. It’s produced without toxic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms. Growing organic cotton also requires less water and energy than traditional cotton.

The best part? Organic cotton is also softer than regular cotton. This means the t-shirts crafted from it are more breathable and comfortable.

Recycled Polyester

Recycled polyester is manufactured from recycled plastics. How does that work? Recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is transformed into a high-quality fabric perfect for t-shirt production.

Not only does this make your shirt sustainable, but it also helps contribute to reducing plastic waste in the environment. Overall, this requires less water and energy during production, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint than synthetic alternatives.


Don’t like the way cotton shirts feel? Try linen! The flax plant (from which linen is made) requires less water than other crops, making it a greener alternative to cotton.

Overall, linen is a sustainable material because it’s a natural product. Manufacturers can grow and harvest it without artificial fertilisers and pesticides, making it less environmentally harmful.


Hemp is an extremely eco-friendly material that requires less water, fertiliser, and pesticides than cotton plants. It’s one of the most sustainable materials for t-shirt production. Additionally, hemp is naturally UV-resistant, making it an excellent material for outdoor activities.

Using Custom T-Shirt Printing to Promote Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Printing eco-friendly shirts is one thing, but did you know that custom t-shirt printing can be used to promote green, sustainable initiatives?

With the growing environmental concern, many companies realise the potential of using custom apparel to spread awareness about sustainable practices. Not only is it a cost-effective way to get the message out, but it also offers several opportunities to be creative.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to use custom t-shirt printing to promote eco-friendly initiatives.

Spread Awareness

Use your customised t-shirts to spread awareness about sustainable initiatives. Design t-shirts with messages that promote environmental conservation or sustainable practices.

This can range from simple slogans like “Save the Bees” to designs representing eco-friendly actions, such as tree planting or recycling. By doing so, you’re helping to raise awareness among your employees and customers about the importance of sustainable living.

Encourage Eco-Friendly Practices

Another way to use custom t-shirt printing to promote sustainable initiatives is to incentivise eco-friendly practices. Most companies offer discounts or special offers to customers who bring their own reusable bags, water bottles, or travel mugs.

However, you can also design custom apparel for employees participating in company-wide recycling programmes and other initiatives. By offering incentives for sustainable practices, you’re encouraging your employees and customers to adopt them daily.

Partner with Eco-Friendly Organisations

Partnering with green organisations is another way to use custom t-shirt printing to promote sustainable initiatives. You can design custom t-shirts for fundraising events or donate some of your proceeds to these organisations.

This not only helps to promote environmental conservation but also helps to strengthen your company’s reputation as one that cares about the environment.

Tips for Eco-Friendly Custom T-Shirt Printing

Ready to print sustainable t-shirts? While we’ve gone over most of the basics, let’s recap a few tips to help you maximise your investment in eco-friendly t-shirt printing.

Choose Eco-Friendly Printing Options

Some of the most popular sustainable printing methods include water-based and discharge printing. These methods use non-toxic inks and have little to no environmental impact. Additionally, these methods can produce high-quality prints that will last for a long time.

Use Organic Fabrics

Choosing organic fabrics is another great way to make your custom t-shirts more sustainable. What if the company you’re working with doesn’t offer these? Look for another company.

You don’t have to settle in today’s market. Numerous printing companies offer organic fabrics for t-shirting printing. Alternatively, you might inquire about using your own t-shirts and having them take care of the printing part of the process.

Reduce Waste

One of the most important aspects of eco-friendly custom t-shirt printing is reducing waste. How can you do that? Minimising waste and using recycled materials can significantly reduce your environmental footprint.

This can mean using digital printing technologies. They naturally produce less waste than traditional methods. You can also use recycled paper for printing designs and tags.

Design with Sustainability in Mind

When designing custom t-shirts, it is important to keep sustainability in mind. This means considering the environmental impact of the following when designing your artwork:

  • Materials
  • Inks
  • Printing process

Using minimalist designs and simple logos can reduce the environmental impact of your t-shirt. This is because it will use less ink and resources. Plus, it’ll make it a timeless piece that users can wear for years to come.

Work with a Sustainable T-Shirt Printing Company

Sustainable t-shirt printing is not only possible but necessary. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, companies must actively reduce their ecological footprint.

At Shirtworks, we are a sustainable t-shirt printing company offering eco-friendly printing. So, if you’re looking for custom t-shirts that are sustainable and fashionable, browse our catalogue now and get an instant quote.

Let’s work together to create a more sustainable future!

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