I grew up on the Prairies of Southern Wisconsin. Since I was a little kid my father was strict about teaching the merits of environmental and wildlife conservation. I remember vividly being the only little kid at conservation galas and fundraisers, seeing how everyday people could get together and do amazing things like protect incredible expanses of wetlands, reversing the fate of endangered species in a matter of years rather than decades.
Granted, at the time I was mostly there to try and win a free shotgun from the raffles because my favorite thing to do in nature was shoot ducks. But the lesson stuck nonetheless.
I now live in Minnesota with my family, which has more shoreline than any other state in our country due to it's incredible number of beautiful glacier-formed lakes. (You need to come visit us here! You won't regret it.) Needless to say, water conservation remains important to me. So when I found out about the way commercial use of water for the garment industry impacted the environment I frankly was a bit shocked.
The number one environmental risk factor in the production of textiles is water pollution. It's no joke either. Did you know that the volume of water used in conventional dyeing and textile print processes could fill the Mediterranean Sea every two years! The amount of water currently used, wasted, and polluted is truly staggering.
An industry shift towards cutting edge printing practices will eventually go a long way towards reducing its environmental impact. I have hopes it will get there soon, but we're not waiting for it to change and have moved to a 100% waterless process to print our shirts at Liberty Maniacs. No toxic pretreatments, steaming or washing that creates unnecessary waste that needs energy use and water treatment to mitigate. It's one reason you may smell a slight vinegar odor when you open your new shirt's package. We print and package immediately to lessen the need for pre wash processes, so you're literally getting a whiff of the off-the-presses inks.
We hope you don't mind. We estimate that the water saved alone from this practice is roughly the water consumption of about 65 families a year!
While our inks are water-based, it's called waterless because each application is printed on directly with literally each drop accounted for to maximize output and efficiency without the aid of ink mixing, dying, or other water-intensive processes. The inks are absolutely free of heavy metals, formaldehyde and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APE), making them non-hazardous, non-toxic and biodegradable unlike most mass-produced decorated garments. As part of our waterless printing system, our biodegradable ink and energy saving process makes every shirt you buy from Liberty Maniacs about as eco-friendly as you're going to find.
Protecting the environment is not just a trend for us; it has been part of our strategy since day one. It's just the right thing to do. We strive to reduce the environmental footprint of our company while producing the highest quality garments and other items we can for you. It frankly is an easy choice.