About Say it Green!
Co-founders, Kira and Andy, met at Princeton University in 1998. Andy studied Chemical Engineering and Kira; while, Kira studied Comparative Literature and Andy. They currently reside in Utah where they enjoy parenting their two kids and transforming their yard each year into a permaculture food forest garden.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 801-368-9602
- Say it Green!
- PO BOX 526060
- SLC, UT 84152
- Hours: 10am-6pm Mon.-Sat. MST
Even though Say it Green! is a for-profit business, we do not delight in encouraging American over-consumption. Instead, we strive to not only honor our customers with environmentally and socially sound goods and services, but also empower our customers by providing education and transparency about the real impacts of the t-shirt printing supply chain.
We are constantly looking for better and more creative ways for our customers to express themselves. One project that Kira is working on is printing on recycled clothing. She regrets all the waste that goes into the one-time shirts that are given away or sold at events, but she understands the solidarity and joy these shirts express. So why not take advantage of and reuse t-shirts people already have in their closets by printing new designs on them, rather than using new materials?
Andy enjoys giving customers an avenue for self-expression and a means for putting their creativity on display. As a scientist, he was part of the research team that developed the water-based ink we use to print with (the most environmentally friendly inks available!) and as a programmer, he is constantly working to improve the design part of the site.
Our products are not the only environmentally friendly part of the business. Say it Green! uses CFLs in the workspace, runs on wind power, composts scraps, and maintains an organic garden (where we use our compost!). We only use re-used or 100% recycled shipping materials. Also, Andy desperately wants to install a geothermal heating and cooling system for the workspace, which would take a significant chunk out of the business's heating and cooling greenhouse gas emissions (30-50%)!
Say it Green! offers products made exclusively from organically grown materials and produced by adult workers who have been paid a living wage.
All of our products are 100% certified organic cotton grown in Texas and California and overseas in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nicaragua. The cotton is then processed into yarn and fabric and sewn into shirts both overseas where the cotton is grown and in the U.S. The farming practices and manufacturing are monitored annually by third-parties to verify compliance with organic farming and manufacturing methods. The dyes used in our shirts are low impact, azo-free dyes. Testing is done to ensure that the t-shirts remain free of formaldehydes and other hazardous metals. Our suppliers hold Control Union (formerly SKAL) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certifications.
We are proud that all of our products are made with fair labor practices: produced in a healthy and safe working environment by adult (not children) workers who are paid fair wages, work fair hours, and have the power for collective bargaining.
Most of our cotton products carry GOTS and/or SA8000 certifications, which serve as a guarantee of fair labor practices. In its certifications for organic farming, GOTS includes standards for living wages, collective bargaining, and no child labor.
The "Fair Trade" movement, however, goes beyond basic fair labor practices to insist on businesses having a commitment to a long-term investment in their communities. Fair Trade not only sets fair labor standards for producers, but also gives producers incentives for investing in their workers and the communities where those workers live. For instance, one of our suppliers manufactures their t-shirts at a cooperative-owned factory (worker owned co-op) that has a goal to provide financial assistance for its workers to peruse further education or provide education for their children. Because of this co-op's partnership in producing t-shirts for our supplier, the co-op has enough income to have a general fund that they can use toward things like education or other worker-chosen programs.
Currently, there is not yet an international fair trade standard in the textile industry, so it would be tricky for Say it Green! products themselves to become Fair Trade Certified. However, cotton from two of our suppliers is certified Fair Trade by FLO-Cert, which guarantees that this cotton was purchased directly at a fair price from farmer cooperatives with which our manufacturers have a long-term relationship. For more information on the Fair Trade movement look at Oxfam, who are advocating for international fair trade standards across industries, and FLO-Cert to see their certification process.
At Say It Green!, we want to support the Fair Trade movement, and to work towards sourcing our products according to fair trade principles. We hope that there soon will be an international standard for textiles that will streamline the third-party certification process and make it more accessible for small textile suppliers to obtain Fair Trade certification. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this.
At Say it Green! we use only the most environmentally friendly inks available for printing on our organic, fair-trade clothes: water-based inks in a direct-to-garment inkjet printer.
Now, our inks are not environmentally perfect. They are just better than anything else that is out there for apparel printing. For example, though our inks are “water-based” (meaning that water is the primary carrier fluid for the ink colorants), they still include petroleum-based solvents to ensure that the ink prints properly on the shirt. If those solvents weren’t there, we would have two problems.
-- First, the ink would spray out of our printer indiscriminately. This might be amusing to watch, but it probably wouldn’t make for a very nice print.
-- Second, once the ink landed on the shirt it would spread all over and not stay where it landed. (If you want proof, take a cotton shirt you don’t care about, put a drop of food coloring on it, and watch the drop expand!)
Not sure whether or not to believe this crazy claim that we use the most eco-friendly inks available? Read on for a summary of an independent, 3rd party review of existing ink technologies; done by a consulting firm with expertise in textiles that we did not hire.
Econscious, an organic clothing shop, hired a consulting firm to do an independent review of existing ink technologies and published the results on their website. Their conclusions?
Ranking of existing ink technologies by environmental friendliness:
1) Ink jet garment direct printing (with water based inks if possible) – that’s us!
2) Water based printing
3) Water based discharge, we prefer non-formaldehyde systems
4) Non-PVC / Non Phthalate inks
5) Plastisol Inks (typical screen printing inks)
You can imagine how pleased we were to see that our printing technology (inkjet garment direct printing with water-based inks – that’s us!) was ranked #1 for environmental friendliness by this 3rd party review! If interested, you can read the full results of the 3rd party ink review here.
So, knowing that we use the most environmentally friendly inks out there, please go check out our wide range of organic and fair trade shirts, baby onesies, and more. Find something you like, then use our wind-powered design site and have a blast customizing it and making it unique to you!
Why we don’t print white ink
We get asked about this one a lot. Here’s the answer.
There are two ways to do white ink: screen printing and discharge printing. Now, we don’t do screen printing (and screen printing generally uses plastisol inks: boo!!!), so option #1 is out. That leaves option #2: discharge inks. If you follow the above link to the 3rd party ink review, read the section called “discharge printing” and you will see why we won’t do it. Basically, aggressive chemicals have to be used in this type of ink to achieve some measure of “white” printing, and we decided to draw the line and “just say no.” We wouldn’t be comfortable putting discharge-printed shirts on ourselves, so we don’t want to offer them to you. Hopefully everybody is cool with that.
Since a white ink technology that we are comfortable with doesn’t exist, we unfortunately can’t print on dark colored items (like black or dark blue shirts). So, if you really really want that black t-shirt, I am very sorry but we don’t have it. Of course, take a second to consider what inks/chemicals might be on the black shirt that you so desperately want, and maybe (just maybe) you might find yourself willing to consider a different color.
Of course, as soon as a white ink technology comes out that is as eco-friendly as our current inks, we will start using it. Until then, we sincerely appreciate your understanding!