Ethics, environment & garment care
I.T. Hammar Flowers, 100% ecological cotton t-shirt from the UK.
Our selected printing partners:
#ArtIt - urban artwear's main print provider, based in the US and EU respectively, offers all over prints on synthetic fabrics and chest/square prints on cotton garments. The water based ink used is of the type GT-3, i.a. being Oeko-Tex certified, meaning reduced environmental waste. GT-3 inks have a colorfast rating of 4 out of 5 possible, where 5 is absolutely no fading over time at all. A lot of the shipping materials from this manufacturer is either recyclable or biodegradable, while one is also working on offering more sustainable product alternatives.
The UK-based print provider creates chest prints on apparel and typical square prints on tote bags. It uses well established and ethically focused third party garment providers and prints on mixed fabrics as well as f.ex. eco cotton and recycled polyester. Their printers use water based, Oeko-Tex certified ink not containing chemicals harming the environment. This provider also donate garments not passing quality controls to charity. Their shipping bags are made from 100% recycled materials in order to minimize plastic consumption.
The new all over print provider producing in China is also used by world known sports brands. Many of their garments are created from recycled polyester and/or 100% cotton, with trimmings of mixed fabrics for durability reasons. This manufacturer uses reactive dyes known for having zero plastic feel and being more colorfast compared to traditional screen-printing and direct-to-garment inks. The garments are printed and sewn at partner factories where safety and fair pay is ensured by adhering to fair labor standards.
#ArtIt is also testing other cooperators - more information to come!
Due to 85% of all pollution from the textile industry actually being caused by overproduction, all our products are made print on demand. All our pop ups therefore provides actual samples for sale, not serial produced products.
We also indicate manufacturing and printing countries in our product descriptions as well as all available information about fabrics. This way environment conscious customers can decide their purchases out from both quality/durability considerations and potential carbon footprint from the shipping process.
Prints on synthetics are often clearer and more durable as sublimation prints "melt" into the fabric, while traditional prints on cotton appear a bit plastic like and more faded from technical reasons. However, cotton is also bio-degradable. On the other hand, mixed fabrics keep their shape better than entirely natural fabrics.
For both environment and durability reasons, please do not wash garments unnecessarily, only when they're visibly dirty or smell from use or production:
Printed cotton garments may have an odour of vinegar when they arrive from the print factory. This is due to a non-permanent fixation agent (or pre-treatment) used for all direct-to-garment prints, helping the ink attach to the fabric. Without it, the ink would simply flake off.
Regardless of printing technique or material, turn the apparel inside out before washing to preserve the print. #ArtIt - urban artwear recommends machine washing in cold water with similar colors. Colored cottons may actually color bleed when being washed at too low temperatures, so 40 Celsius is a general advice here. Also confer with the washing instructions attached to the garment. Avoid tumble drying and iron only if necessary.
If there are any loose thread ends on your garment or bag, cutting them is not recommend for durability reasons. Try knotting or stitching them instead. Extra thread past the knot or stitches can be cut off safely afterwards.