Environmentally Friendly Inks

At Pathfinder UK®, everything is hand screen printed to order using traditional silk screen printing techniques – never heat transferred vinyl or plastic.

But just because your t-shirt or hoodie is screen printed, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less harmful to the environment. The most popular form of hand screen printing within the industry uses plastisol inks – which as the name implies, contain plastic…

When we think of plastic pollution in our oceans, we normally think of bottles or bags, or other single use plastics, but not ink. But when plastisol is washed from screens, the waste goes directly into the water systems. And it’s not just the ink. The PVC resins and plasticisers in plastisol ink can’t be cleaned using water alone - ink remover containing chemicals and volatile solvents are needed to break it up, and these get washed down the drain too, causing a detrimental biological effect on wildlife.

T-shirts printed using plastisol inks also contain plastic microbeads which break down every time it’s washed - causing more plastic to go into our waters. And when the t-shirt eventually goes to landfill, those nasty little microbeads will be around for an awful lot longer than you and me!

The more sinister side to plastisol inks, is that it is now against laws and regulations to use them on underwear, swimwear, and infant garments due to the risk of plastic microbeads leaching into the skin!

At Pathfinder UK® we use PERMASET® inks.

PERMASET® inks are water based, free from ALL toxic chemicals, kinder to the environment, and much safer for the printers (unlike plastisol ink which has been linked to numerous medical disorders). They are vegan – none of the ingredients have been sourced from animals or tested on animals but are manufactured from GMO free plants. And PERMASET® inks have been granted approval by the Soil Association in the UK and meet the requirements of the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for use in organic textile processing.

We vow to always use water-based inks in the production of our apparel, and together with companies like PERMASET®, Pathfinder UK® are helping to 'Build a Path to a Better Future'.

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