Printful sustainability

Sustainability and Responsibility at Printful

Getting better one print at a time

Printful sustainability

Our goal is to make on-demand manufacturing the norm for a planet with finite resources and people with infinite ideas. It’s an ambitious goal, so we’re taking it one step at a time.

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 our customers stated that sustainability is important to their business, so to easily incorporate Printful’s sustainability practices into your brand messaging, you can download these visuals and copy templates to place on your website.

So far in 2021, we have…

Launched 10 new eco-friendly products, including our first eco-friendly all-over print item
Added a Source tab to every product in our catalog to increase transparency in our supply chain
Introduced packaging consisting of at least 30% recycled plastic for all in-house apparel orders
Provided recycling training to 61% of our fulfillment team

By the end of 2021, we'll…

Launch 10 more eco-friendly products
Begin to map out the waste streams for all of our product categories
Improve upon the available recycling solutions for our damaged goods
Establish a Code of Conduct
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.

As of May 2021, we’ve started using packaging made of post-consumer recycled plastics for all apparel orders shipped from our in-house facilities. The recycled content share in our packaging varies, but it’s at least 50% for outer packaging and at least 30% for inner bags (only used for multi-item shipments). For posters, we’ve started using triangular cardboard boxes to replace tubes with plastic end caps.

By making these changes, we’ve saved more than 55,475 lb. (25,163 kg) 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.

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

Last year, we partnered up with waste management services, such as Geocycle and Martex, to take care of fabric waste in our Tijuana and Charlotte facilities. In total, we sent 206,737 lb. (93,774 kg) of fabric waste to recycling by the end of 2020.

This year we’ve also found recycling solutions for our Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Riga facilities, which has enabled us to recycle a total of 290,321 lb. (131,665 kg) in just the first half of 2021.

To avoid waste from being produced in the first place, last year we started optimizing our all-over print product layouts. Previously, all-over print products generated 42% of leftover fabric, but last year we reduced it to 35%.

Throughout 2021, our leftover fabric waste levels have fluctuated slightly, but we're still committed to remaining at the 35% level by the end of the year and lowering it further in the future. This year, we’re also planning to improve the way we calculate the amount of fabric waste and introduce new product solutions to help us reduce it.

Efficient shipping

Around 81% 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, Japan, and Brazil. New locations are coming later this year in Texas, the UK, and Poland.

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. Learn more about some of our most popular clothing suppliers, their sustainability information, and certifications in our apparel brand guide.

To make our product sourcing more transparent, this year we added a Source tab to every product in our catalog, which tells you about each item's manufacturer and country of origin. You can also download product certificates—such as GOTS and OEKO-TEX—in the Description tab of all our eco-friendly products.

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. This also includes our very first eco-friendly all-over print item—the All-Over Print Recycled High-Waisted Bikini!

Efficient printing

Many 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. For more details about what inks we use for our products, check out the FAQ about our ink types.

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.

In late 2020, any new Printful employees joining the fulfillment team started receiving recycling training—so far, 61% of employees have been trained. We’re aiming for a full training rate by the end of 2021, which we will then strive to maintain in the future, training as many people as possible, one person at a time.

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