Pacific North Press is the result of two well loved Portland Screen Printing shops joining forces. We have printed literal millions of t-shirts over the years and have learned a lot a long the way. The good people here are driven by their craft to create the best work, in the most thoughtful way.
One of our biggest goals is to be sustainable on every level. Because of that, we’ve carefully considered our techniques, admittedly all techniques used in this industry are destructive. From the heavy metals in the ink pigments, to the chemicals used in the process. Don’t be fooled by the greenwashing. Here are some things we do to stay sustainable, and the reasoning behind them:
**Update!** We’re bringing in some new tech that uses waterbased inks, uses NO chemical cleaners or reclaimers, the only byproduct is recycled, and the quality and hand of the print is as durable and high quality as screen printing. We can’t wait to share it with you!
- Full wind power offset, while sadly we don’t run our own turbines, we replace our power usage 100% with wind credits.
- Poly-bagging – We don’t do this, and neither should you. This is a pretty bad habit of the apparel industry that solely leads to more material for the landfill. There are better options to poly bags we are happy to discuss with you.
- We have opted to stop using water-based inks in favor of plastisol. Plastisol is a PVC based ink that uses the same pigments as water-based inks. However, while water-based sounds more green than plastic, the hidden problems include significantly higher ink waste (when the water evaporates, the ink dries up and is unusable, when we’ve activated the ink with Zinc Formaldehyde Sulfoxylate to make it discharge, this enters the water supply along with the heavy metals in the pigments, and gives the ink a 6 hour usable life). Not using water-based inks allows us to mitigate a very large amount of ink waste that would otherwise end up in the waterways. (If a print shop says their clean-up chemical is just water, don’t buy it, rinsing heavy metals down the drain is not eco-friendly!)
- We recycle every single thing we are able to. There is a constant flow of packing materials in this industry, and recycling is the way!
- We encourage the use of sustainable brands like All-made who use recycled and organic certified materials in their construction. Standard and cheap cotton garments tend to have a massive carbon footprint, from water to fuel use, each shirt can travel 6 or more times across the world before they’re in your hands.
- We use double filtration and chemical recycling. We operate a closed circuit screen cleaning unit that is double filtered to 70 micron to reclaim our screens, allowing us to reuse chemicals far beyond a typical usage and contain them when used up to recycle with our hazardous waste recycling. These chemicals are also soy and citric acid derived, and not the solvent-based or petrochemicals once common to the industry.
- We stopped using vinyl. The secret about vinyl is that there will always be more waste than product. Generally there is 50-95% waste in any vinyl project, whether its a sticker or vinyl window installation. We did produce vinyl for several years but ultimately could not cope with the extreme amount of forever waste.
And finally, we strive to make the absolute best product for you, because the most important aspect of sustainability is that it sustains. It’s our mission to make you the best printed and embroidered goods so not only will they represent you the best, but so they stick around too.