A message from our Co-Founder on Earth Day 2021
What better day to discuss sustainability than on Earth Day!
The theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore the Earth”; at its heart, sustainability is about preserving the planet for future generations and the practices we can adopt in life that reduce our environmental footprint and contributions to climate change.
Sustainability is one of Inkthreadable’s core company values, driven by our personal beliefs as founders.
Our interest in sustainability was kickstarted after the birth of our eldest child and, like most parents, we discussed the future and the kind of life we wanted for our child. It quickly became apparent that there were improvements needed to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.We were excited by the idea that by sustainability being a core Inkthreadable value, we can make a far greater positive impact to the planet than we have ever made than by just changing our personal routines and habits.
Now, whenever we discuss ambitions and projects within the company, ecological impact is a meaningfully discussed topic.
Inkthreadable x Sustainability.
In April 2019, we eliminated* plastic from our packaging.
This was a huge achievement and a project that I had been working on for 12 months prior to launching. Since this change, Inkthreadable has saved 14 tonnes of single use plastic packaging from entering household waste streams by using our paper alternatives (calculated up to 01/04/2021).
Our paper packaging is always manufactured from sustainable and responsible sources in the UK, using compostable and recyclable materials, and is delivered to Inkthreadable directly from the manufacturer.*We still use biodegradable bubble wrap for framed prints due to their fragile nature. We continue to seek an alternative for this.
Further to our packaging, all inks that Inkthreadable use are water based and contain no animal byproducts . This means the ink is non-toxic and combined with our wide range of organic garments, provides the perfect vegan-and-eco-friendly product.
In our industry, waste garments are unfortunately inevitable.In the UK around 350,000 tonnes of clothing end their life in landfill (source BBC). Prior to 2021, Inkthreadable donated our waste garments to charities which distribute them to the homeless. This stopped the waste going to landfill whilst benefiting people in need. As our company has grown, continuing to donate garments has become unsustainable so we have sought alternative ways to use waste garments. Now, any textile waste that Inkthreadable produces is given a second life. Through shredding the textile waste, we are left with a material that is then used as an insulative product in other manufacturing industries, such as flooring.Naturally, the print on demand model also prevents waste in the form of unsold stock, which generally heads to landfill even before reaching a customer. You and your customers can also find the best use for clothes you can no longer use here - https://www.loveyourclothes.org.uk
We recommend washing our printed garments at 30 degrees to maximise the life of the garment. However, there is another benefit to this too. According to the Energy Saving Trust washing at 30 degrees can save around 40% of the energy used each year. It’s a win-win situation!
The fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of carbon emissions & nearly 20% of wastewater. These are pretty alarming figures, especially when you consider that fast fashion is growing each year. Inkthreadable recommends using organic cotton garments which are manufactured using less water and also have half of the carbon emissions of polyester alternatives.
Stanley/Stella offer a fantastic range of organic garments and their factories also treat the water used to make garments to ensure it is not polluted and can be reused (source Stanley/Stella).
Some of the garments provided by Stanley/Stella do use recycled polyester. However, recycled polyester has half of the carbon emissions than virgin polyester.
If you own or sell polyester garments, check out the Guppyfriend washing bag to help stop microplastic pollution.
We aim to become a Carbon Neutral company.
We already offset some of our carbon footprint through Ecologi and, in the past 12 months, we have planted 4,109 trees achieving a carbon reduction of 303.11T. This is the equivalent of the carbon emitted from 233 long haul flights or 752,016 miles driven in a car! (calculated to 12/04/2021)
If you’re operating a print-on-demand store, you can already feel comforted in the fact that you’re not causing waste garments through unsold stock, and any products that are manufactured with faults are given a second life.
However, there’s action that you can take in an effort to make your brand more sustainable too! Just by starting this week, you could:
- Write a sustainability policy for your brand, documenting your goals and impact you hope to make.
- Communicate your sustainability policy to your customers, encouraging them to change routines and habits in their lifestyles to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Register to Ecologi and begin offsetting your personal or commercial carbon footprint.