At Print Room sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our biggest point of difference is the environmentally friendly, water-based inks that we offer, opposed to the industry standard; plastisol inks (thermoplastic inks). We also offer a range of eco-friendly and sustainably made products. When working with us, you have the opportunity to support brands that align with our sustainable vision. Across the factory we have implemented reduce, reuse and recycling practices. We believe in continual improvement and are constantly looking to innovative and improve on current industry practices.
OUR PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY
CARE FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT
Environmental sustainability dictates everything we do, whether that is using waterbased inks, natural cleaning products, organic garment suppliers and implementing reduce, reuse, recycle strategies. We've made huge changes to our business practices that separate us from dated industry standards. We are proud to be guided by a moral incentive to look after our Earth, as best we can.
As a manufacturer and business we take social responsibility seriously. We facilitate fundraising for charities including Cancer Society, Live Ocean and Women's Refuge. Auditing our supply chain is also extremely important, so we know that everyone apart of this process is treated ethically.
For transparency to the customer and changing the industry standard, we are committed to educating and sharing knowledge we have picked up along the way. We have done the hard-yard research to implement more sustainable approaches to our business and we want others to follow in our footsteps to create a better industry together. The information is readily available on our website, blog and social media.
Looking after our team is extremely important to us. This is why we pay our staff above the NZ Living Wage, and strive to create a welcoming work environment. This desire to ensure our staffs health is also part of the reason we moved to eco-friendly inks and materials. We make sure health and wellbeing in and outside of work is looked after.
We only print with non-toxic, chemical-free, water-based inks. The water-based inks we use are certified by OEKO-TEX, an internationally recognised certification system for chemicals used in the textile industry.
Water is our most-used cleaning agent. Our screens are firstly washed out with water to remove ink, then we use Franmar's 100% biodegradable, soy-based range for the reclaim process.
To reduce waste, we've always reused the boxes that garments arrive in from suppliers when we dispatch orders. Smaller orders are shipped out in R3pack compostable courier bags.
We offer a large range of sustainable, eco-friendly garments by various suppliers: AS Colour, Earth Positive, Stanley Stella. These brands have a range of accreditations that ensure the materials are organic, ethically made, and sustainably created.
TREE PLANTING IN NZ
We have partnered with ‘One Tree Planted’ and will plant 10 trees (in New Zealand) for every order over $500. This will include a range of native species. We have already planted 13,720 trees to date!
RECYCLING & COMPOSTING
Pretty standard practice at this point, but we recycle all plastic, glass, metals and cardboard that cannot be repurposed. We have an onsite composting facility for food scraps and coffee that end up in our gardens.
Social sustainability is as important to us as environmental sustainability. We are a Living Wage Accredited business, which means that all our staff are paid above the hourly rate determined by the official organisation to pay for the necessities of life. If the official Living Wage goes up, pay goes up.
We have an ongoing partnership with the marine conservation foundation Live Ocean to help support their fantastic mission of protecting life in our ocean. We created a sustainable merch line where 100% of the proceeds go directly to helping fund projects.
We facilitate fundraising opportunities for charities and causes around the country. Some organisations we have worked with in the past include NZ Cancer Society, Women's Refuge (Curve Crusher merch), and Kia Kaha.
UPPAREL TEXTILE RECYCLE
What happens to your uniforms or merch once it's worn out and no longer fit for purpose? Globally, 85% of all textiles end up in landfill. We want to change this, that's why we have partnered with UPPAREL to transform old clothes into new treasures.
THE BENEFITS OF WATER-BASED INK
Our inks are non-toxic and chemical free, meaning they are much safer to use and better for the environment.
Our inks are faster curing, requiring a lower temperature & reduced flash time, which reduces our energy usage.
Water-based inks have a very soft hand feel and high stretch performance, which means they will wear well over time.
We use high mesh count screens for water-based printing, which enables us to use less ink.
WE ARE INNOVATORS
In 2018, we made the switch from printing with plastisol inks to using water-based inks. It wasn't very easy, however the benefits have made it worth it. We had to change almost all processes and practises within our facility to set up for the change. The key reasons for switching to water-based inks rather than sticking with the industry standard plastisol inks (thermoplastic based) are: we've removed toxic chemicals from our production processes and replaced these with soy-based equivalents, which has made our shop a much better working environment for our staff. The inks we are using, although more difficult to work with, have a much softer feeling print, good elasticity across a range of garments and meet a number of stringent compliance checks. We sourced our inks directly from the manufacturer as we were unable to buy a high-quality water-based ink locally. In committing to water-based ink production we have created a new standard for the New Zealand screen printing industry.
We are proud to work with some amazing brands and suppliers whose ethos for championing social, ethical, and environmental sustainability aligns with ours. The certifications they have received show they meet rigorous standards of production that they continually have to adhere to. Find out more about these certifications and our partners below.
Fair Wear Foundation is a non-profit organisation. Their mission is to see a world where the garment industry supports workers in realising their rights to safe, dignified, properly paid employment. They run a number of programs to further this fight including supporting worker empowerment, ending gender-based violence, pushing for living wage, creating change on the factory floor, taking action in production countries, remediating worker issue, and joining forces with industry influencers.
GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognised requirements for organic textiles. GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. GOTS certified final products may include fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes, home textiles, mattresses, personal hygiene products, as well as food contact textiles and more.
ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® is an independent certification system for chemicals, colourants and auxiliaries used in the textile and leather industry. During a multistep process, each individual ingredient in the chemical product is analysed to meet the statutory requirements and that it is not harmful to human health. Both brands and manufacturers value the ECO PASSPORT as credible proof of sustainable textile and leather production.
AOTEAROA LIVING WAGE
The Living Wage concept emerged as a response to growing poverty and inequality that continues to hold back many Kiwi workers, their families and our economy. It is the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community. It reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, housing and childcare, and is calculated independently each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit.