We thought we’d take a look at t-shirt printing and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). It’s a term we often mention because ethics and sustainability are an increasingly important consideration in the world of customised clothing. Are you thinking about placing an order for t-shirts to be printed or embroidered? Does it matter how the blank shirts are made? It might not be high on your priority list right now, but that could be something that changes in the future.
Choosing to print eco-friendly t-shirts isn’t just about lowering our impact on the planet and being fairer to the folk who produce our raw materials. It’s a pretty good idea in purely business terms. Strike the right balance, and you strike gold. Yes, your conscience will feel better, but the bottom line will also benefit. It’s all part of the deal. More and more consumers are concerned about the sustainability and ethics behind the products they purchase. For many, it’s a decisive factor, the thing which means that they buy your shirt or use your company. So, let’s get into it. T-shirt printing and GOTS.
What is GOTS?
It’s worth mentioning that the relationship between t-shirt printing and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is only an example. GOTS is one of a number of ways that customers are able to judge the source and ethical nature of products. We recently published an article about the eco standards and certifications that are commonly found in UK clothing customisation. Click Here to read that, and read on to learn more about GOTS and t-shirts.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is acknowledged as a leading worldwide standard for textiles that are made from organic fibres. It was introduced in 2006 and has grown in relevance alongside the general growth in awareness of ecological and ethical issues.
And with consumers ever more conscious of the consequences of their buying choices, GOTS has effectively become a shopping tool. Furthermore, a reliable way of knowing that the claims made by any given supplier are true. It’s a valuable mark. Being independently monitored and authenticated denotes a level of trustworthiness which is important to people.
T-Shirt Printing & GOTS Organic Cotton.
When you see a t-shirt (or any item of clothing, for that matter) with the Global Organic Textile Standard tag it ensures a number of different things. For sure, organic content is one, but the assurance stretches beyond the crops and how they’re farmed.
- Content – the garment contains a minimum of 70% organic fibre content.
- Chemicals – there are none of the harmful chemicals typically found in conventional textiles.
- Energy – sensible energy and water usage are factored into the overall equation.
- Discrimination – no child labour, no prejudice, and safe working conditions are part of the package.
- Supply – the supply chain is measured and quantified and has to meet the necessary standards.
- Additional – the other bits, like zips and poppers, need to be okay if the garment is going to pass.
Let’s look at some examples. It’s all very well waxing lyrical about GOTS, but you need to see some shirts. It’s even better when you feel the softness of cotton against your skin, that’s when you really understand another big difference. Organic apparel actually feels better. Oh, and by the way, it also prints better.
Global Organic Textile Standard T-Shirts.
We’ve chosen six great examples of Global Organic Textile Standard t-shirts. They’re supplied by three brands that are rock steady when it comes to quality products designed to be printed and embroidered. Stanley Stella, Earth Positive (part of Continental Clothing) and AS Colour. We work closely with all these guys and know that they’re solid. There are obviously lots more organic tops out there. The choice of t-shirts from GOT accredited sources is growing all the time. These offer a flavour of the excellent variety, style and value that you can expect.
Stanley Stella Creator.
Quite rightly described as an iconic unisex t-shirt, the Stanley Stella Creator has quickly gained a lot of fans. It’s 180 g/m², single jersey 100% organic, ring-spun combed cotton. Take your pick from 70 (yes, 70) colours.
Stanley Stella Rocker.
Reckoned to be an essential unisex t-shirt, we certainly think the Stanley Stella Rocker is rocking the casbah. Single jersey, 150 g/m² and tubular construction. And 20 colourways is nothing to be sneezed at.
Earth Positive EP01.
The EP01 is a classic jersey tee (4.57oz / 155g) that carries the standard in style for Continental Clothing’s Earth Positive range of clothing. Another beautifully versatile unisex shirt which has a stunning 31 colour options.
Earth Positive EP18.
However ethically produced, a great tee still needs to look good. The Earth Positive EP18 scores on both fronts. A heavier one at 5.6oz / 190g, available in a respectable 15 shades, it’s just begging for a spot of premium printing.
AS Colour Organic 5005.
A short sleeve winner from the ever reliable AS Colour. Their 5005 t-shirts are slim to regular fitting and a nice lighter weight option at 150g / 4.4oz. Another one which is suitable for both men and women.
AS Colour 5029G.
We had to include a long sleeved shirt and what better than the AS Colour Base 5029G. Cuffed sleeves are always the best and most popular choice for customisation. This beauty weighs in at a mid weight, 180g / 5.3oz.
We’ve decorated all of the above and got outstanding results. The suppliers are committed to finding fairer, more sustainable ways of working and we agree with that ethos. We’re proud of our heritage, but we’ve never been stuck in the past. That’s why we decided to specialise in customising products from GOTS-certified, Fairtrade and Fair Wear audited producers. These are some of the blank merchandise brands who have been leading the way. But, as we say, there are more and more ethically sourced garments every day. We think that the combination of printing t-shirts and the GOTS is something that’s here to stay.