We get asked a lot about whether our inks are vegan but it’s important to look a bit further to uncover the truth. Our inks ARE vegan, btw. Permaset inks have no animal-derived ingredients and aren’t tested on animals. More importantly though, they’re eco-friendly. They don’t contain harmful ingredients like plastisol inks and discharge inks. In fact, they don’t contain harmful solvents like other water based inks do. It means that they’re kinder to the humans that use the inks (us), the humans and animals that come into contact with the inks (you) and don’t cause problems during disposal (which affects everyone). Plastisol inks, in particular, require lots of harmful solvents to clean down the screens and these all go down the drain, causing harm to aquatic life. We use good old water to wash the ink from our screens.
The hidden thing in screen printing that is often NOT vegan is the emulsion used on the screens to create the stencil itself. Many emulsions contain gelatin. We are happy to say that ours does not.
We (almost) exclusively use organic cotton T-shirts. Cotton crops can be sprayed with higher concentrations of pesticides, compared to food crops, because the end-user isn’t going to eat it. Pesticides used on cotton crops are thought to cause the deaths of 20,000 people in the third world every year. It is a serious problem for cotton workers and for any living creatures living near to the cotton fields, particularly as water sources can become contaminated. We charge comparatively less for all of our organic cotton, recycled and bamboo garments to encourage our customers to choose the eco-friendly option.
All the garment fabrics are dyed with GOTS approved chemicals, using low-water and controlled waste discharge processes, certified to OekoTex 100 Class I standard and conforming to REACH. Organic certified fabrics are dyed in our zero-discharge dyehouse, where all the water is recycled in a closed-loop system.
The garments that we choose to source are all Fairwear accredited and adhere to the following criteria: No use of child labour, no use of forced labour, safe and healthy working conditions, legal labour contracts, payment of living wage, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, no discrimination against employees and no excessive hours of work.
Some people describe veganism as trying to live your life without causing pain or suffering to fellow beings, human or animal. Opting for T-shirt printing with eco-friendly inks and organic cotton helps to do just that.