Eco-Friendly Inks and Printing

with our industry experts

The apparel industry alone accounts for 6.7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, with more than 50% attributed to these three phases: 15% to fibre production, 28% to yarn preparation, and the highest, a staggering 36% associated to dyeing, printing and finishing. Like any industrial process, textile printing requires raw materials, consumes energy and produces waste.

In this Masterclass, we compare the negative impacts of different printing processes and inks and explore strategies to combat these effects, so brands and manufacturers seeking to be more responsible can do so quickly and efficiently. Then, not only do we have a matrix of over 50 global ethical print and dye companies, but we then dive into the best way to work with printing companies, so that you achieve the best results, avoid costly mistakes and maintain strong relationships with your suppliers. And finally, we hear the highs and lows from an ethical fashion company whose prints are central to their brand.

In this Masterclass you will learn:

  • Introduction to Printing

    with Nick Morley

    Nick Morley is a co-founder of Faering Ltd, which prints digitally on natural fibre garments and fabrics and is capable of made-on-demand and ultra-low MOQ supply. He also has extensive experience as a sustainability researcher and consultant in this industry, mainly in the area of textile recycling and sustainable materials. He is chair of the Programme Board of Mistra Future Fashion, the world’s largest research programme in sustainable fashion funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research.

  • Guide to Choosing Your Print Technology & Printer

    with James Edmondson

    Frustrated by how difficult it was to print onto sustainable cloth, James Edmonson set about solving the problem himself. He bought a printer, sourced organic cotton and began to offer a print bureau service - and so, Fabrica Textiles was born. Today, Fabrica Textiles advises clients on all aspects of digital printing and manage their print flow. With his expertise combining both the world of print and sustainability, James was the perfect guest expert for this session.

  • Eco-Friendly Screen Printing and Embroidery

    with I Dress Myself

    A bitesize 15 minute Lesson that address eco-friendly printing methods. I Dress Myself was established in 2006 in Nottingham UK, and moved over to eco-friendly water-based inks within the first year. They have expanded services to include digital garment printing for one-offs, small print runs and full-colour printing, along with eco embroidery that uses a GOTS-certified FSC viscose thread. They have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the world of eco-friendly screen printing, and here we learn about considerations you should make when assessing the surface design of your textile products.

  • How to Work With A Digital Printer

    with Beki Gowing

    Beki Gowing is a printed textile designer, and founder of the creative studio Print & Press London. An ex-John Lewis buyer, Beki has a keen understanding of business, and what it takes for brands to be successful. We couldn't have asked for a better insight into the best way to work with digital printers so that you can ensure a smooth production run.

  • Ethical Printing & Dyeing Matrix

    with Charlie Bradley Ross

    We're delighted to present this ethical printing and dyeing matrix. Please read and respect the terms of use before contacting these producers.

  • Prints For A Recycled Bottle Swimwear Line

    with Paige Bolahood

    Paige Bolahood is owner and founder of Bare Beach, a swimwear company passionate about getting rid of one-time-use plastics. Their swimsuits are made from “Repreve” - recycled polyester derived from plastic bottles. The products are entirely produced (including the bottle recycling) in North America. I was keen to hear from Paige about working with this exclusive fabric, the pros and cons of the printing process, and the highs and lows of her business so far.


Additional links:

The sublimation printing process: What is it and is it eco-friendly?

Measuring Fashion: Insights from the Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries study

Recycled packaging: eco enclose

Repreve: recycled bottle polyester fabric

Mistra Future Fashion

Eco Enclose

How to save a file ready for print:

Check with your printer how they need the files received, preferably before you design them and definitely before you export your prints.

Creating files for print using Adobe Illustrator CC

Creating a repeat pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Follow on Masterclasses:

Mastering Dyes And Finishes

The Environmental Impacts Of Washing And Laundry

Trends And Trend Forecasting For Sustainable Brands

Additional Reading