We love our planet, we love providing healthier alternatives. HOWEVER, we recently switched to a PVC/Phthalate free ink mixing system at great expense. What we are finding is that sampling inks will never show what true production variables will hold. We have seen our production time slowed greatly= loss of money, a required higher heat setting for both our flash unit and our curing oven = not at all amused by the carbon footprint this is causing. We are using more haze remover which is the only not fully biodegradeable chemical used in our screen reclaiming=less environmentally friendly than using our traditional printing inks. We are even loosing screens because the higher heat of our flash unit is causing our platens to heat up so much that the emulsion is slowely being burned into our screen mesh with each rotation=loosing $ and wasting raw materials. When we reclaim these screens we are finding many of them are unable to let go of the emulsion leaving them unusable!
We never said going greener and greener as a company would be easier, in fact we state that on the "getting to know us" section of our blog. We also stated that the reason for our blog is to educate the consumer on the environmental impact of our industry both pros and cons hence why we even report the problems we come across...yes, not all is perfect in any business, we just confess it publicly.
We will continue to use these inks until they are gone and also offer the traditional and phthalate free plastisol inks we have always offered. Once the Phthalate/Pvc inks are gone we will most likely use a phthalate free ink that many printers rave about! This is when we recieve emails from consumers saying just use water based! Guess what if a shop is doing true production rates with water based, they are using a nasty chemical to prevent the ink from drying in the screen within minutes and this causes VOC air pollutants that our plastisol does not create. We will use water based when advances are made. Until then, it smells of green washing to us.
We still reclaim screens with citrus and soy based biodegradeable chemicals, supply our clients only with sweatshop free apparel and accessories, we provide all communication electronicly including invoicing all via our solar powered web server, we do not pack orders in plastic bags unless we have biodegradeable bags recieved in our orders from distributors, then we recycle them by using for higher end or light colored clothing.
It's times like this that remind us, going green is doing the best you can rather than being a part of the problem.