Keeping up with the latest fashions, and routinely updating your wardrobe with hot new lewks, can be incredibly fun. As appealing as the fashion world can be, however, it also has its dark side. Over the past few years, clothing companies have faced increased scrutiny over their sustainability practices, with the bulk of the criticism focusing on overproduction.
Simply put, overproduction is a big problem in the fashion industry; and in many ways, it’s built into the business model. Clothing companies have no way to predict exactly how many items they’ll sell, so they tend to take the cost-effective approach of producing in bulk. The result? About one out of five outfits end up in the landfill, having never been worn.
This is wasteful, to say the least, and it has rightly brought the fashion world some heat. The good news is that there are alternative business models that are considerably more sustainable. And print on demand companies are at the vanguard.
How Print on Demand Fosters Sustainability
The print on demand model is entirely different from how other fashion companies operate. That’s because, with a print on demand store, clothing and personal apparel items are only created when a customer places an order. In other words, there’s no overproduction baked into the print on demand model; products are printed individually, in order to fulfill specific orders.
What this means is that there’s no bulk production involved, and thus no items that wind up in a landfill having never even been worn. As such, the print on demand model can reduce waste by 20 percent or more. As shoppers increasingly seek more sustainability-minded options, print on demand e-commerce stands out as an increasingly viable, attractive model.
What About Print on Demand Product Quality?
Another important facet of the sustainability discussion is product quality. Naturally, print on demand sellers want to provide their customers with high-quality custom apparel, items that people will be completely satisfied with. But that’s just one component of quality. The quality of your printing process will also determine how long the product will last, and what ultimately gets thrown away.
What do we mean by this? First and foremost, products that are made to last a long time, and to hold up to plenty of washing and drying, won’t get discarded or replaced as quickly. In other words, products that are made for durability are inherently more eco-friendly.
Sooner or later, all print on demand products will reach the point where they can no longer be worn, but even here, quality is a key concern. One of the best ways to ensure high quality is to print custom apparel with sustainable materials, such as organic cotton. This also means that, when the item is no longer usable, it can be recycled or organically broken down in some way, rather than just clogging a landfill forever.
Responsible Printing at Gooten
Here at Gooten, we are passionate about sustainability, and we do everything we can to help our partners maintain eco-friendly e-commerce practices.
One way in which we do that is by relying on world-class printers. Specifically, we partner with Kornit, whose printers are widely considered to be among the best in the world. Kornit printers utilize the wet-on-wet production method, which basically means that for every piece of custom apparel you order, there’s less water waste and less overall pollution. In addition to that, the inks used by Kornit printers are all approved by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), which means they are safe both for consumers and for the environment more broadly
Learn More About Print on Demand Sustainability
Clearly, sustainability is a big issue in our world, and it’s an area where clothing manufacturers have some blind spots. Print on demand sellers have a natural leg up. And here at Gooten, we are proud to work with our print on demand partners to ensure the highest standards of eco-responsibility.
Are you ready to learn more about the sustainability advantage of print on demand, or of Gooten in particular? We’d love to chat with you whenever you’re ready. Reach out to our print on demand experts today!