Using Fair Trade And Organic Clothing In T-Shirt Printing
T-shirts used for t-shirt printing are often made of cotton because of the material’s absorbency to textile inks. Polyester and other types of fabric are also used, but nothing beats screen printing a six-color process image onto cotton fabric.
However, for those who care for the environment and the people who work for textile companies, not all cotton t-shirts are good. Aside from using water-based inks, environmentally aware companies and clients can opt to use fair trade and organic clothing for t-shirt printing.
What Is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a trading partnership among producers, traders, and consumers to promote greater equity in international trade and contribute to sustainable development. It offers better trading practices and protection of the rights of marginalized producers and workers.
When consumers buy fair trade certified products, they contribute to the continuation of the partnership. Worker rights are protected and smalltime producers and traders are ensured fair trading practices. In t-shirt printing, the use of fair trade clothing ensures consumers that the shirt they are wearing came from decent trading practices.
Why Buy Fair Trade T-Shirts?
The t-shirt printing industry has taken steps towards the protection of our environment and reducing health risks associated with the chemicals used in the t-shirt printing process. Using fair trade clothing in t-shirt printing is just another way of doing good for our fellowmen and the world, in general.
A fair trade t-shirt is often made from 100% cotton that was harvested from cotton fields owned by producers in less industrialized countries. Cotton is one of the products covered by fair trade regulations. Other agricultural products include coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, and spices.
When consumers buy Fair Trade certified t-shirts, they are buying organically grown cotton in their shirts. People with allergies or some type of skin reaction to polymer or other synthetic fibers can benefit from wearing pure cotton.
Buying a Fair Trade certified t-shirt can make a difference. For every t-shirt that is bought, a percentage of the profit goes to non-profit Fair Trade organizations. They will use the money to support the movement that will help improve the lives of poorer countries.
Organic Fibers and Fair Trade Clothing
There are three basic fibers organic t-shirts are made of: bamboo, hemp, and cotton. Of the three types of fabric, cotton is the more popular, while hemp and bamboo are often used for custom printed t-shirts.
The hemp used for making the t-shirts is industrial hemp. It is the strongest fiber in the world. Hemp cloth is stronger, longer lasting, more resistant to mildew, and cheaper to produce than cloth made of cotton.
If hemp is stronger than cotton, bamboo is very versatile. It is anti-bacterial, anti-static, and very soft like silk. It also draws moisture away from the body, making it perfect for athletic t-shirts and sweatshirts.
In t-shirt printing, the type of fibers used to make the t-shirt is an important factor. A thicker fabric might need more ink or a specific color separation technique for the design to look as colorful and vibrant as the original artwork. Generally, the type of fabric determines the amount of coverage and the t-shirt printing technique to use.