What Are Eco-Friendlier Shirts?

We are all about making it better. Part of how we make it better for the apparel and screen printing community is by creating a better shirt to wear and to print on. A shirt that is high in quality, socially responsible and environmentally friendly. We brought together ten screen printers to create a better t-shirt and founded Allmade Apparel. 

How is a t-shirt “better” for the Environment

You might be wondering what exactly is an eco-friendlier shirt. We consider how the fibers are cultivated or manufactured, how they are processed, and how much transport is required. Allmade tri-blends contain organic cotton, TENCEL™ Modal, and recycled polyester.

Organic Cotton versus Non Organic Cotton

The cotton that is used in Allmade tri-blend t-shirts is 100% organic. It is grown and processed in the United States. Organic cotton is free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals that harm the environment.

In order to turn non-organic cotton white chlorine bleach and optical brighteners are used to treat the cotton. Our organic cotton is bleached using oxygen bleach and the dyes used  to color the garments do not harm the environment. Less processing and additives in organic cotton make it softer and more luxurious to wear than non-organic cotton.

Recycled Plastic Polyester

The polyester in Allmade tri-blends is created from recycled plastic water bottles. Plastic bottles are diverted from landfills from across the United States and turned into recycled polyester yarn. There are 6 plastic bottles in every Allmade tri-blend. That translates into a bunch of plastic bottles not ending up in landfills! Not only are we avoiding new polyester from being created, the use of recycled PET bottles reduces water use by 90% and uses 40% less energy.

TENCEL™Modal versus Rayon

Allmade uses TENCEL™ Modal instead of rayon. Not only is TENCEL™ Modal extremely soft, but more importantly in this context, it is a much more environmentally friendly alternative to rayon. TENCEL™ Modal is a man-made fiber, that is derived from beech trees certified by FSC, a global not-for-profit organization that sets the standards for what is a responsibly managed forest, both environmentally and socially. Beech trees naturally regenerate without the need for artificial irrigation. Beech wood forests are completely natural and sustainable source for material. The chemicals used are mostly benign and almost all production materials are recovered and reused.

Transportation Loop

The last key component of an eco-friendlier™  t-shirt is maintaining a transportation loop that is kept as tight as possible. The typical garment travels on average 16,000 miles from source to retail store. Taking an active look at reducing this, helps to reduce the quantity of fuel that is used in the transportation of the materials that make up the garments and the garments themselves. The less fuel that is used, the less amount of environmental impact a company has on the environment. The Allmade Apparel transportation loop is extremely tight. Most of the production of Allmade happens within the United States. The shirts are cut and sewn in Haiti, which is only a short distance from Florida.

Sources

SleepSherpa.com Lenzing Fibers Britannica Green Choices

 

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