Is Direct-to-Garment printing sustainable?
About DTG Printing
DTG printing machines use water-based inks: Printing processes are mechanical and chemical systems acting in unison. While existing to be a straightforward process, DTG printing uses water-based biodegradable ink that is easy to clean with water. What makes it better than other types of ink are how it is free of plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which contain dangerous chemical additives considered to be toxic, and which can evaporate into the air over time.
It uses less water: As DTG printing uses a printer that applies the ink to the shirts directly, it uses inkjet technology and less water, unlike screen printing which requires some washing on for the person who does the printing, as well as on the screens and other materials used. Because of the direct inkjet printing, it produces less waste and less water, unlike other plastisol-based printers. This oil-based ink requires a variety of chemicals for cleaning up and is not as sustainable and eco-friendly because of the potentially hazardous wastes it creates.
The machines are eco-friendly: DTG is a form of digital printing technology, and some companies who create the tools for DTG printing support sustainable practices such as water conservation. The all-new Ricoh Ri 100 printer, for example, uses digital technology which allows high-quality printing without using water. Instead of dyeing, it promotes another option for mass-producing clothes aside from all the options already offered by the textile industry.
Garments are made under fair human conditions: Garment printers are not hard to operate, and maybe the only human safety issue that could come up with DTG printing is on how the cotton shirts are produced, and the actual working terms to be set by the owners of start-ups. Other than that, the materials to be used and the whole process of DTG printing per se do not involve unfair terms for its operators and users. More than anything, it presents an opportunity for both consumers and producers to make better choices.
DTG printing does not harm animals: As well, the creation of DTG printers and inks it uses does not harm animals. The printing process is not only for cotton shirts, too. Many companies and designers are already using them for custom printing on fabric, wood, and canvas. What they all have in common, aside from the usage of water-based inks, is that they all do not involve harming animals. The textiles to be printed on, however, should be carefully chosen by producers such that there will be less harm committed to the environment.
The prints it produces are consistent: Not many things are constant, but when it comes to producing clothes with similar top-notch qualities, they are most likely to be made identical. While screen printing can be consistent, it faces more chances of not creating identical prints as they are done manually. Its process has many variables which all make various differences in print. Because DTG uses a digital file and prints directly from the computer, it produces consistent prints without having to worry about other variables
Read the complete article from RICOH website:
Ricoh, 17 Sep 2019, Six truths on the sustainability of DTG printing