Wearable Art Revisited
I have been searching for a sustainable and ethical source for customizing single and small batch orders of t-shirts and tote bags for wearable art. Though my first choice is to support local, I was unable to find a printer near me who allows custom designs smaller than 50 of the same item while also offering low-waste, eco-friendly printing. So I looked into online print-on-demand sources and have yet to find an option in the US that meets my needs for transparent, sustainable printing. But I did find an online resource out of the UK who is doing everything right. Though the distance an order travels to the US takes consideration, the option of making my art available to international friends is appealing.
The company is called Rapanui. They are an award-winning ethically accredited company devoted to environmental sustainability (wind powered, certified organic, non-toxic inks, low waste) and are completely transparent about their supply chain and products.
Feeling good about this resource, I went to work preparing my store front and ordered a sample of each of my designs. It took about 10 days for my order to arrive after shipping. Though international orders do not come with a tracking number, I was able to get an updated estimate by checking my order online. My ordered arrived in a plant-based bio packaging with a code for tracing the origin of my products. (The company is switching to recycled and recyclable packaging this year.)
The quality of t-shirts is superb— super soft organic cotton and fits true to their size chart. The tees feel equally soft after washing them in cold water and letting them air dry. The tote bags are organic cotton twill rather than a thick canvas and are well made. The art printing is consistent and matches what I see on screen. I couldn't be happier!
There is a small collection of tees and totes available with current art designs on them. You can find them HERE or by clicking on the shop link in the menu.
P.S. If you happen to know of a sustainable, ethical print-on-demand option in the US...I would love to know about it.