Printful sustainability

Sustainability and Responsibility at Printful

Getting better one print at a time

We’re working on being kinder to the planet we all share, while still offering high-quality products and helping customers grow their businesses.

We know that sustainability is important: for our customers, our team, and of course, the planet. We also know that all the sustainability challenges in the fashion industry don’t have a quick fix.

As many as 81% of Printful customers we surveyed stated that sustainability is important to their business, so we’re continuously putting our efforts into becoming the sustainable company you want us to be. We value your trust and avoid promises we can’t keep, so we’re taking realistic steps that make a difference based on data. We’re keeping an open mind and a realistic approach, looking at things we can change now, and figuring out what could be improved in the future.

To help you incorporate Printful’s social responsibility and sustainability practices in your brand messaging, feel free to download these visuals and copy templates to place on your website.

Sustainability responsibility

Planet

Always changing for the better

Doing the right thing—for the planet and people—is what we’re learning to do as we grow.

Made to order

Every purchase, big or small, has a footprint. With each purchase, you have a choice. You choose the size of the mark to leave on the planet, and we want to help you choose wisely.

Around 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills, making it a major contributor to environmental damage. One in every five garments reaches a landfill without being worn even once. By choosing print-on-demand, you choose apparel that's created only as the order is placed, creating less fabric waste than conventional manufacturing.

Sustainable clothing

Limiting waste

Printful products are made using the made-to-order production approach, fulfilling only the items our customers actually want. But we still have a lot to learn and do to make our production process more sustainable.

One of the main ways we’re reducing waste is by improving our packaging, starting with two of our most popular categories: DTG and posters. We used to wrap our DTG single-product orders in an additional plastic mailer. Now, we use only one poly mailer bag to package them.

For posters, we started using triangular boxes to replace tubes with plastic end caps.

As a next step, we’ve started using packaging made of post-consumer recycled plastics for all apparel orders shipped from our in-house facilities.

<span class='wysiwyg pf-d-block'>Limiting waste</span>
Environmentally friendly fashion industry

By making these changes, we’ve saved more than 55,475 lbs (25,163 kgs) of plastic since February 2020. We also donate damaged and returned products to local charities, like the Red Cross, the American Kidney Fund, and Goodwill.

To take care of fabric waste in our Mexico and Charlotte facilities, we’ve partnered with waste management services, such as Geocycle and Martex. In total, we’ve sent 162,886.95 lb (73,884.28 kg) of fabric waste to recycling.

But to reduce waste from being produced in the first place, last year we optimized all-over print product layouts. Previously, all-over-print products generated 42% leftover fabric, but last year we lowered it to 35%. We hope to reduce this even more.

Efficient shipping

81.8% of Printful orders are delivered in the same region they’re fulfilled. Having fulfillment centers close to our customers is good both for the business and the planet. Strategically located fulfillment centers allow for faster shipping times and lower shipping costs, and it also helps with reducing the CO₂ emissions produced when transporting orders.

We have facilities on both US coasts—in Charlotte, North Carolina and Los Angeles, California. We also have fulfillment centers in Canada, Mexico, Latvia, Spain, and fulfillment partners in Australia and Japan.
A map of the world is shown that highlights where Printful fulfills your orders: Riga, Latvia; Barcelona, Spain; Birmingham, The United Kingdom (Coming Soon); Amakusa, Japan; Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia; Toronto, Canada; Charlotte, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX (Coming Soon), United States; Tijuana, Mexico, Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Coming Soon). Melbourne, Australia Partner facility Brisbane, Australia Partner facility Riga, Latvia Łódź, Poland Birmingham, UK Barcelona, Spain Los Angeles, CA Charlotte, NC Dallas, TX Toronto, Canada Tijuana, Mexico São Paulo, Brazil Partner facility Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Partner facility Amakusa, Japan Partner facility Facility coming soon
Eco friendly clothing

Products

Quality you can rely on

Since quality is sustainability, we're dedicated to giving you products that last.

Reliable quality

The better the quality, the longer the product lasts. Before we add new products, we do durability, wash, and wear tests to make sure they’ll stand the test of time. Producing long-lasting products means reducing new purchases.

We work with suppliers that produce high-quality products that last many washes, keeping print colors vibrant and the fabric soft. To provide you information about product sourcing or manufacturing, in 2020 we added the product certificates that are available to us—such as GOTS and OEKO-TEX—to all our products that have been certified.

Sustainable home living products
Quality sustainable fashion

Eco-friendly products

Our eco-friendly product collection consists of items that are made of at least 30% sustainable, recycled, or biodegradable materials.

Since we’re seeing increased demand for eco-friendly products from our customers, we're happy to provide even more conscious fashion choices. Our eco-friendly product collection is growing along with the needs of our customers. In 2020, we've added 10 new eco-friendly products, and plan on adding 20 more in 2021.

Efficient printing

A significant part of our products are printed with the direct-to-garment (DTG) technique. With DTG, ink is sprayed onto the garment, which helps it soak better into the fabric and makes the print less prone to fading. To learn more about the difference between DTG and other printing methods, take a look at this article.

Eco friendly printer

For our DTG prints, we use Kornit machines and inks. Kornit uses high-quality, water-based vegan inks that they formulate, test, and produce in their own factories. Kornit inks are non-hazardous, toxin-free, biodegradable, and certified with an OEKO-TEX Eco Passport.

We print our posters with Epson inks that are certified by GreenGuard. For our all-over print products we use Mimaki printers—their inks are also certified with the OEKO-TEX Eco Passport.

Corporate social responsibility

People

Growth-driven and constantly curious

We value and celebrate people for who they are and stay committed to creating a work environment that is safe and welcoming for all.

Green office and mindset

People are the core of our company. We encourage responsible thinking and work on creating a positive environment around us.
Sustainable office space
Sustainable office supplies
We use LED lamps and recycle paper, plastic, batteries, and electronics
Sustainability in office
We try to process as many documents as we can electronically to reduce paper use
Sustainable company
We organize walking and cycling challenges to promote greener commuting alternatives
Ethics and social responsibility in company
We give back to our community and employees
We act with integrity and always strive to be better
Business ethics and social responsibility
We're not afraid to ask tough questions and go against the grain
Examples of corporate social responsibility

Growth culture

Our team is constantly curious, welcoming experiments and changes as part of our daily routine. We respect and care about one another, work together to reach our goals, and act with empathy and kindness.

We've created the Printful Green Team—Printfulers from all our facilities dedicated to exploring new and environmentally conscious ways of doing things. They're continuously working on improving our internal recycling system and keeping coworkers informed about best practices. Since late 2020, The Green Team has held recycling training for 30% of our employees, which is now included in our onboarding process. The rest of the Printful team will go through training in 2021.

Socially responsible companies
Giving back

Giving back

We’re committed to giving back. Printful’s sponsorship activities focus on supporting informal education methods that help people develop skills to succeed in the age of tech. In Latvia, we host a free annual programming summer school to mentor people interested in IT. After the two-week course, we extend job offers to the best students. 

Printful also has a long-term partnership with Junior Achievement Latvia—a non-governmental organization and an expert in business education in Latvian schools. Since 2013, we’ve been welcoming high school students in our Latvia office once a year to show them various job opportunities and realities of everyday work.

We plan on creating new initiatives and activities in other Printful locations.

The journey of becoming more environmentally aware is a long one, and we remain open-minded and welcome customers' suggestions and opinions. We're starting with realistic, tangible goals, and looking ahead to find new ways to improve.

FAQ