Commitment to Ethics and Sustainability
Sustainability and ethical production is the way to a future that is better for our environment and people everywhere. That's why Char is taking steps to make sure they're part of the movement!
1. Made to Order:
Each product you see in the catalog is made on-demand—once you place an order, we produce it specifically for you. This allows us to avoid overproduction and textile waste.
In traditional made-to-sell retail stores, products are made in large quantities and often exceed market demand. Around 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills, making it a major contributor to environmental damage.
It takes time for us to create and send out the product, but making each order on-demand allows us to avoid overproduction, you can check out our delivery times here.
2. Printing Methods:
Most of the printers we use in production are energy-efficient: they use less electricity, water, and chemicals than standard industry printers.
All clothing is printed with the direct-to-garment (DTG) printing method. The printing tech used is made with sustainability in mind, DTG printers use almost zero wastewater and less energy, keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible! The inks used are water-based and free of harmful chemicals. For our paper prints, like framed posters, we use Epson ink that has a low environmental impact., plus there is always care taken to dispose of any left-over ink according to the ink supplier guidelines, so we’re not harming the environment.
3. Waste Reduction:
Our suppliers are learning to reduce the amount of produced waste, so they're working on improving packaging—they've saved almost 3.5 US tons (3,222 kg) of plastic as of February 2020.
(We also donate damaged and returned products to local charities instead of destroying them like many retailers do!)
One of our goals for 2020 is to expand our eco-friendly product catalog, as a part of that initiative we're also working on optimizing our cut & sew production line to reduce the leftover fabric scraps.
Our cotton products come from our W.R.A.P. certified supplier that manufactures organic cotton. We trust our suppliers to deliver high-quality products that'll last many washes, keeping the colors vibrant and elasticity great. On top of that, we conduct our own quality checks when launching every new product to ensure print quality and material durability.
4. Reducing Carbon Emissions:
Our suppliers are also always looking into new ways to make the best of our resources and reduce the CO2 produced when transporting orders, therefore they've opened fulfillment centers close to customers from all over the world:
They have facilities on both US coasts—in Charlotte, North Carolina and Los Angeles, California—to route orders where we can fulfill and ship them as fast as possible.
There's a fulfillment center in Mexico
To improve order fulfillment in Europe, they’ve opened a facility in Spain and one in Latvia
They are also in the process of opening a facility in Mississauga to enhance the fulfillment for Canadian customers as well!
5. Caring for People:
We value and celebrate people for who they are and stay committed to creating a work environment that is safe and welcoming for people of all backgrounds.
Discrimination is not accepted by Char or by any of our suppliers. We are committed to an equal opportunity workplace. All hiring and employment decisions, including those relating to compensation, benefits, promotions, training and development, discipline, and termination, are made solely on the basis of skills and performance, not on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics.
Our suppliers have cultivated a startup culture and growth-oriented environment where every employee is valued. their employees have access to in-house libraries, internal training sessions, professional development courses, and opportunities to attend conferences. They make sure the team always gets honest, coherent feedback, and support.
6. Eliminating Plastic Packaging:
Printful currently has six operational fulfillment centers across the US, Mexico, and Europe, offering to fulfill and ship more than 230 products. There isn't a single one-size-fits-all packaging solution because different products require different packaging types.
The change is going to be gradual, and we're moving forward one step at a time:
we've eliminated the second layer of plastic packaging for all single-item shipments in all locations;
we're testing the best paper tape to switch over from acrylic tape;
to eliminate the need for plastic caps in poster packaging, we’ve switched from cardboard tubes to triangular boxes;
adding recycling instructions to the poly mailer bags we're currently using;
looking for ways to replace plastic packaging.
This is all just a start, as new methods of production, packaging and day-to-day operating become available we aim to adjust our own practices accordingly in a timely and effective manner.