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Eco Friendly Screen Printing

Screen printing is an incredible and longstanding print process, which enables quick output at very high quality. It is so fast that 1000’s of items can be printed in a day. We use the finest machinery, regularly maintained, in a spotlessly clean workshop and an extremely experienced print team, to make the best prints possible. Because screen print has been around a long time it’s easy for this process not to be too kind on the environment.

Below we will outline how Banana Moon’s printing is constantly improving it’s sustainability credentials.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing applies coloured inks through a mesh screen to create your designs on a textile item. To create the screen, we print directly onto the screen using a Direct to Screen (DTS) machine. Then in the final step, we use light to expose your design on to the screen, so the mesh will allow the ink to pass through it. The ink is then pushed through the screen by the machine using a squeegee.

Because of the screen making process, the clever part is that the ink only goes through the screen, where the design is! We repeat this for every colour in the logo. For example if you were printing the French flag, you would have 3 screens; One for the blue, one for the red and one for the white.

What’s the main environmental impact of screen printing?

  1. Typically screen print uses large volumes of water in the creation and clean down of the screens. When creating a new screen, water must be used to clean away excess emulsion affecting the design. However, the main issues is the cleaning down of a screen. Screens are all fully reusable, so a typical way to clean a screen is to blast it with a pressure washer and chemicals, which takes some time to do.
  2. It also traditionally uses plastisol inks which are good for colour vibrancy but by its very definition is a suspension of PVC or other polymers in a liquid plasticiser. Clearly this means the ink is a man-made plastic product, so not 100% natural and caution needs to be taken with how the waste from print runs is managed.

Why is our screen printing more environmentally friendly?

  1. We use an Easykleen tank to collect all excess ink, which is disposed of professionally through waste management. 
  2. We use a new process called direct to screen (pictured to the right) to print a design directly onto a screen, which has removed the need for plastic positives to be used for every new design – a massive saving in the use of plastic
  3. We are transitioning across to Zodiac™ Aquarius™ water-based inks from plastisol inks – These have no PVC in them and are much more natural and softer to touch
  4. We have invested in an automated screen washer to clean all screens, which reuses the same water and chemicals for up to 6 months without needing to be changed over – a huge reduction in water and chemical use to clean screens
  5. We have applied an added water filtration system onto our production waste water, which captures anything that may get into our waste pipes and stops it going to the drain – this is collected and taken away by our safety partner for cleaning.

Exact Colour Match to Pantones

Another clear benefit of screen printing is that it can be pantone matched to specific colour or corporate branding guidelines. Our pantone colour match software guarantees consistency for your brand. We know how important your corporate colours are, so we have the latest technology to get them spot on! Our special tech tells us the exact measurements of each colour we need, to match your pantone perfectly. This is the beauty of screen print... we can create literally print any pantone.

Why choose Screen Printing over DTG?

It may seem that both print methods compete with each other, but there is a need to have both. Here are our reasons why you would choose screen printing over Direct to Garment:

  1. You want large quantity runs, and turned around quickly
  2. Your design is more simple i.e. more flat colours or larger areas to cover
  3. You prefer a more vibrant look where the colours ‘pop’ out
  4. You are wanting multiple types of clothing items or fabrics which aren’t just made of cotton

Banana Moon are B Corp & ISO 14001 certified

Banana Moon guarantees that our production is

  1. By a supported and empowered team, treated with respect and kindness, built on an award winning company culture
  2. All in-house and regularly audited to ensure we hit standards in quality and sustainability
  3. Constantly attaining the highest standard in sustainability and net zero targets
  4. Serving the interests of not only our shareholders, but our team, our suppliers, the environment, our community and most importantly, our customers.
  5. Creating products which can be used as a force for good

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