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Online Ordering   We are currently in the process of updating our online ordering system. If you experience any issues while ordering, please contact us at 1-800-851-4020.

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ECO-T Environmental Sustainability Plan

Roadmap

Every t-shirt you buy from us is green, thanks to "ECO‑T," our environmental sustainability plan. What we already do and what we are planning to do is posted publicly both for our customers and because our research can help other companies improve their processes. We're proud of the positive efforts we are making on these concerns and want you to know the direction we're headed.

Survey

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What's important to you?

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Phthalates free ink
PVC free ink
Water based inks
Organic garments
Recycled garments
Waste stream reduction
Recycling
Safe chemicals

How much more would you pay per shirt if it was produced with a completely environmentally clean process?

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How can we do better when it comes to environmental sustainability?

Add your voice to the over 500 people who have shared their ideas already!

Sustainability - Why it matters to ClassB

ClassB is committed to reducing our impact on environmental resources. Having been in the screen printing industry for 30 years (since I was in Webelos, yes, I started working early), It's been an important part of our family company to use chemicals that are safe for people and the environment. Scouting taught me and my family to respect the outdoors. It's a part of who we are as a company. We will take every effort to reduce water and other material use. We will participate in energy audits find ways to cut down on our energy use. We will offer products to our customers that enable them to choose a more sustainable option. I still have my Outdoor Code card and do not want to loose another corner. I lost one when I was 12 and did something cruel and stupid - my scoutmaster made an example of me to the other scouts and that lesson has stuck. - Eric, CEO

Roadmap

Our commitment is long term and is an area of great focus throughout our company. Here is where we are focusing our energy:

Screen Printing Ink

Reducing Waste and Eliminating Phthalates & PVC

T-shirts are most often printed with plastisol inks made from a plastic resin called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and made flexible by a type of plasticizers known as phthalates. Both PVC and phthalates present health, safety, and environmental risks. We have transitioned to phthalate-free inks. We are also tackling the waste stream and energy usage challenges that screen printing ink presents. Learn everything we are doing to make screen printing ink environmentally sustainable.

Organic Products

We began offering our first organic tees in 2008. We have continued to add new organic products as they become available. Many of the garment manufacturers we like are adding organic and recycled t-shirts to their product lines. See our selection of organic products.

CPSIA 2008 Compliance

CPSIA 2008 is the best thing to happen to the t-shirt industry. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 [link opens in new window], or CPSIA 2008, requires testing of all products marketed to or intended to be used by children ages 12 or younger. If a screen printing shop sells youth sizes and adult small or even adult medium sized t-shirts then they fall under this requirement.

Why this is important for all screen printers? Traditionally our industry is very bad at product safety and environmental awareness. We hope this law will set our industry on the correct path to being proactive and responsible when it comes to health, safety and environmental concerns.

Please learn how we are complying with and exceeding the requirements of CPSIA 2008.

Better Choices
  • Instead of aerosol can based glues, we use a spreadable glue on shirt platens
  • Instead of laser toner, opaquing spray, or film we use wax to image screens
  • Cleaning solutions for screens are citrus based.

Chemical Flowchart

This is the first step in determining how we can improve the environmental and safety & health concerns of the chemicals used in our company. We will describe each chemical used at every step. This flowchart is almost complete and will be posted to this page when it is available for viewing.

Chemicals are listed at each station with pictures and instructions for use. This is part of each workstation's training and task posters. Our goal is to ensure that each chemical is used in its proper proportion and in the specified manner. This reduces waste due to inappropriate chemical use and it further safeguards our employees.

While our flowchart will help us find more opportunities for improvement, please see the sidebar for some of the choices we've already made that we are proud of. In addition to the efforts already underway, we are currently testing soybean based cleaners and screen reclaiming chemicals.

Manufacturer Spotlight
  • Gildan® Brand

    The vast majority of the items we sell are Gildan brand. Gildan is a leader in the garment manufacturing industry for environmental, corporate responsibility, and health issues. A sample of their efforts:

    • Fair Labor Association Accreditation - First vertically integrated manufacture to achieve this!
    • Implemented a waste management program in late 2007, completing by end of 2008
    • Conducting ongoing greenhouse gas emissions inventory
    • Entire activewear line is Oeko-Tec Standard 100 Certified since 2004

    Visit Gildan's corporate citizen site.

Garment Manufacturers

We have a wide choice of garment manufactures to chose from, we could just post them all up on the site, but we pick specific manufacturers based on a variety of factors. We look for the standard mix of quality and availability, they have to be the best quality shirts and we have to be able to get them in for your order. (Cost of the blank is not too much of a factor for us.) Less expensive t-shirts are usually lower quality and therefore not considered.

But even after these considerations are taken into account the field of garment manufacturers is still very large. How do we decide? We look to a factor just as important as the quality of the garment, how that company operates it's business. We feel that if a company does not take care of its employees and the environment, how can it make a quality product?

We look into the practices of each manufacturer and choose based on that manufacturers commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. View our page about garment manufacturers and why we picked them.

Recycling

We follow the 3 R's approach: Reduce, Reuse and then Recycle. We will quantify the recycling program over the next year. Each department has its own recycling program:

Office
  • We recycle printer cartridges, batteries, all type 1 and type 2 plastics, aluminum cans, scrap metal. Our entire recyclable paper waste stream is contributed to Greenfiber.
  • We reuse dead battery backups by buying replacement batteries and recycling the old batteries.
  • Misprinted paper that does not contain any confidential information is reused as note paper.
  • We print on a duplex printer whenever possible to save paper.
  • We buy a minimum of 50% recycled laser paper.
  • Towels are used in break room for cleaning, reducing paper towel use.
  • The paper towels that are purchased are made from 100% recycled materials.
  • Ceramic dishes and mugs are provided for use by employees to reduce the use of paper or plastic plates. We do provide paper coffee cups with lids for employees to spill proof their coffee until we can find a better solution.
  • We reuse all newspapers as matting and as an absorbent for screen cleaning stations.
  • We turn out the lights in an office when not in use.
  • We use tube fluorescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs for all internal lighting.
  • We send our used fluorescent bulbs to Veolia for recycling.
Production
  • All misprints, customer returns and garments that do not meet our quality standards are first used as test print shirts and then cut up and reused as rags. This extracts the very last bit of usefulness out of them - we have never needed to purchase a rag!
  • Excess ink is reused as much as possible. (As described above.)
Shipping
  • We reuse the majority of boxes that come in as shipping boxes. We also reuse the majority of incoming packaging materials. Some boxes that are damaged cannot be reused and are instead recycled.
Waste management
  • When reusing and recycling is not an option, all waste is crushed or reduced in volume whenever possible to reduce landfill volume.
Future Recycling Ideas
  • Find a location to recycle plastic types 3-7
  • Assign a person to head the recycling efforts
  • Document all trash over a month period to determine other reuse and recycle opportunities.
  • Document the quantity of recycling and its benefits
  • Our county's recycling program is lacking, but they are expanding it and we hope they will provide additional recycling options soon.