Why Waterbased Inks?

Why we use waterbased ink. Besides, what makes some inks not vegan?


Have you ever caught yourself glancing into mirrors and checking yourself out wearing one of our stylish 
t-shirtscrop topshoodies, or any other of our fashionable designs? Did it ever prompt the question - how do we make all of our clothing using waterbased inks, and why?

A growing number of consumers are becoming warier of where it is they are spending their hard-earned cash. People want to do some good with their wardrobe by purchasing clothing that actually does some good for Mother Earth, starting at the production stage. 

And while some clothing companies have adopted ethical marketing, sadly, as a fad (read: greenwashing), rather than an ethos in which to operate, we are proud to say that Plant Faced Clothing has been practising what we preach since day 1. We ensured that our ethos is embedded in every aspect of our production, including the ink that we use to create our cool clothing. 

As a conscious consumer, you can feel great about the fact that every time you reach for one of our clothing items, you are reducing the amount of plastic in landfills, minimising your ecological footprint, and looking damn good while doing it.

Keep reading to find out how and why we use water based inks in all of our clothing! 

A quick history of ink

Ink is defined as the liquid or semi-liquid material used for writing, printing, or drawing. 

Ink has been around since the stone age (e.g., writing in caves). Back then, the ink was made of whatever people could get their hands on, including fruits and vegetables. As time went on, however, the creation of ink relied on animal products. For example, an inventor from China created ink using pine tree soot, lamp oil, and gelatin made from the skin of a donkey. India produced an ink made with charred bones and tar known as ‘masi.’ Animal fat was another popular component of ink. Ooft - not very vegan-friendly!

Ink continued to evolve, however, and today, there are so many types of ink used for the printing of clothing, including:

  • Plastisol 
  • Silicone 
  • Glow-in-the-dark

Last but not least, our favourite ink: water based

What is waterbased ink?

Waterbased ink is defined as any ink which uses water as a solvent base to carry the pigment. There are several types of waterbased inks, including:

  • High Solid Acrylic Inks (HSA)
  • Ready-For-Use Inks (RFU)
  • Discharge Inks
  • Low-Solids
  • Medium Solids
  • Wet on Dry
  • Wet on Wet

Brands are certainly taking notice of this type of ink for multiple reasons. In addition to the high demand amongst conscientious consumers, waterbased inks feel great and are incredibly breathable in clothing, as well. 

WTF is wrong with regular ink?

When consumers decide to take an ethical stance in regards to their wardrobe, the type of ink businesses are using isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, consumers are warier of things (also equally relevant) like:

  • Unethical fashion production 
  • The exploitation of workers
  • Eco-unfriendly packaging and production

This is totally fair. These issues are a lot larger in the scheme of the fashion industry and should be evaluated by you, the consumer! But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the importance of ink, and why it matters, shall we?

Using water-based ink is a huge step towards improving the health of people and the planet by reducing the negative impact regular ink has to both - for example:

  • Most ink is created using non-renewable resources
  • Pigment in ink is created with carbon 

So, why waterbased ink?

Waterbased inks allow businesses to partake in sustainable printing practices. While printing with waterbased inks certainly presents other challenges, the eco-friendly pros certainly outweigh the cons. 

✔ Eco-friendlier ink 

Waterbased inks have a much smaller environmental impact than regular inks do. In addition, colour on clothing doesn’t lose any of its vibrancy when using waterbased ink. This is clear in many of our vibrant designs! 

✔ Softer feel

Clothing printed with waterbased ink is also long-lasting, comfortable. If anything, waterbased inks provide even more comfort than other toxic alternatives. “The ink penetrates deep into the fabric and becomes a part of it instead of merely sitting on top, giving your prints unparalleled softness and flexibility. This makes garments printed with water-based inks much more comfortable for the wearer and safe for use against delicate skin,” says Permaset, a leading waterbased ink brand.

 Healthier

And, of course, using waterbased inks eliminates toxic byproducts used in regular inks. Unlike inks like plastisol (read: plastic!), waterbased inks are made of natural substances e.g., water (duh). Waterbased inks do not contain any plastic (which eliminates petroleum and fossil fuels in production). “Because they are free from harmful chemicals, water-based inks are safe not just for the environment but for printers to use as well. There are no harsh chemicals or solvents that the user can inhale, and they wash up easily in water,” states the Permaset website.

waterbased inks

Lastly, the fashion industry is making strides towards being a more environmentally-friendly one. We believe that products that are not eco-friendly or cruelty-free will slowly become materials of the past, like leather or PVC, for example. As a forward-thinking clothing company interested in sustainability, we always want to stay ahead of the game, which is why we insist on making ALL of our clothing using the best eco-friendly option - waterbased ink.

In a walnut shell, waterbased ink printed clothing looks and feels better, and its production is better for Mother Earth! Check out some of our most popular items, here

At Plant Faced Clothing, we are always striving to be as transparent as possible in all aspects of the business, right down to the waterbased ink that we use. We are especially aware of the challenging times people are facing around the world right now, and collectively, we are all wary - which is why it’s essential you can count on us to continue to bring you cruelty-free clothing.

For more information on our mission and founder, check out Our Story

And for even more inspiration, tips, and tricks to help you live your best eco-friendly life, be sure to stay up-to-date with our Plant Culture Journal (aka our bangin’ blog)! Our page will give you all the info and inspo you will ever need. 

Get your fix today with these awesome reads! 

  • 21 must-see vegan documentaries to binge during quarantine 
  • What exactly is recycled PET made from? How are our recycled water bottle hoodies made? 
  • 8 vegan comfort food dishes that will boost your immune system
  • 7 vegan girl crushes killing it on Instagram 
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