Print Renegades is a company that prioritizes supporting local businesses and the environment in all of its business decisions. This includes sourcing equipment and supplies from local businesses, offering a variety of American and locally made blank apparel, holding free community printing classes, and implementing an anti-sweatshop policy. The company also has a resident artist print program, makes charitable donations to artist and music-based charities, and strives to be eco-friendly in its processes. Additionally, they comply with OSHA and CPSIA safety standards, and use phthalate and PVC-free inks.
Research has shown that when you shop at a locally owned business instead of a national chain, a larger portion of your money is recycled within the community through purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. This helps to sustain the local economy. Additionally, locally owned businesses tend to be located in city centers, which reduces urban sprawl and its associated issues such as congestion, habitat destruction, and pollution. For more information, you can refer to economic impact studies on local support, which can be found at http://www.ilsr.org/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail/.
We work tirelessly to make sure we support locally owned and operated businesses in hopes that other local businesses will do the same in an attempt to make sure our local economy continues to thrive. Prioritizing local people and business will hopefully continue to weave the fabric of our LA communities.
While we offer a wide variety of American made apparel, we are continuously keeping our collective eye out for locally made blank apparel. We applaud not only the companies working to make blank apparel here in the US but those that employ our community to make blank apparel here in the Los Angeles area. We also value those who make it a point to use those American made blanks for their branded apparel.
Supporting other local businesses is one of the most important principles that Print Renegades has. Not only is most all our equipment bought from locally owned businesses, but we are also sure to source all of our supplies (including all cleaning supplies, all inks and screens) mainly from vendors in downtown LA and surrounding areas. We love to support all the neighborhood businesses in downtown LA that we have grown with over the years.
Whenever possible, we hold FREE screen-printing classes for our local community, allowing a wide range of individuals (from the creative student to retired grandparents) the opportunity to come to our shop and learn different elements of screen-printing for free. Each of these attendees are able to learn from a hands-on approach, practicing it and doing it themselves, plus they all leave with a customized piece of apparel that they printed themselves during the class.
Print Renegades supports high standards for manufacturing labor conditions that we choose to support. We constantly refer to the Workers Right Consortium and Free2Work websites to check up on companies and organizations that we choose to support, to assure that their standards are on par with ours. Accordingly, we seek to work with suppliers who promote such standards within their operations. We rely upon referrals, reputation and, in some cases, personal inspections to identify such vendors.
Print Renegades is an avid supporter of artist and music-based charities. We make sure that the donations that we give support the industry that we are in, helping other artists and musicians to excel.
Print Renegades has always dreamed of creating a Resident Artist Print Program: a program where we bring an artist to Los Angeles, put them up in their own residence, and allow that artist to use our entire studio to create something that they envision, using the resources that we provide. We would then hold a monthly art show, showcasing the item(s) that they created during their time here. All proceeds of the sale of these goods would be donated to a charity to promote art and music in our community. We continue to work toward achieving this goal in the very near future.
Many of our decisions have dramatic and lasting effects that most of the time, we don’t even realize. In conjunction with the core business of Print Renegades, we constantly strive to expand the environmental consciousness in our processes from start to finish. It’s so easy, in any industry, to cut corners and let the finances influence our decisions (since its usually cheaper to not be eco-friendly). We don’t let laziness trump our true desire to do all that we can as a company and individuals to do our part for the planet.
If environmental impact is important to you, we have a wide range of options for you. While it is possible to produce full color images using water based or discharge inks, it may undermine your goals of achieving the most eco-friendly apparel option. Achieving the greenest product can be accomplished by remembering that LESS IS MORE eco-friendly, especially when it comes to the amount of ink used. We suggest printing less than 4 colors, and keeping your images at smaller standard sizes. Large or oversized prints can result in excess ink and spillage during the printing process.
We are up to date on all regulatory safety standards that regulate lead content in all the inks that we use. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act outlines the mandate about lead content in the ink for children under age 12, and also toddlers ages 3 and under. We are aware of all of these regulations and comply with then fully.
Oil based plastisol inks came out on the market decades ago and just took the industry by storm: mostly because of their low cost, ease of use, super long shelf life and speed of drying. Unfortunately most of these inks contain harmful chemicals and additives that are not good for our environment, or the end user. We have made the move to phthalate free plastisol inks in our shop to be able to give the client the option to still use these inks (given that some of their qualities are good) but have the higher end environmentally friendly versions of them.
Because of our overuse of rags in our shop, we have begun a rag recycling program, wherein all shirt misprints that we have in our shop become shop test shirts, where we test print all over the entire shirt (inside and out). Once the shirt is filled up with prints, we cut it up into pieces and they become rags. Each rag has a different stage of its usage in the shop, until it becomes defunct. All defunct rags are saved, donated and ultimately used to create fabric again.
We aim to reuse every box that comes into our shop for packaging and shipping customer’s orders. While we would love to have custom-printed boxes emblazoned with our Print Renegades logo, we would be throwing away as many as 30 boxes per week (that’s over 1500 boxes a year!!). We believe that reusing the boxes that are used to ship us blank shirts is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint as well as resolve our packaging needs.
Unfortunately, the standards in the screen-printing industry have been set to using harsh chemicals for the cleaning and reclaiming, and this is not good. Because of this, we have switched over to primarily soy-based ink and screen cleaners, along with soy based emulsion and haze removers as well. This has been done because we really got sick of worrying about what those chemicals were doing not only to our earth, but also to our own skin and lungs. Our choice to use alternative enviro-cleaners has been made for the good of everyone.
We offer a wide variety of very eco-friendly blank garments for our clients: from 50/50 blend garments to 100% organic cotton tees, apparel made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, hemp, bamboo and a range of other eco-friendly materials. With the wide array of blank apparel that we offer, we can always find something that meets your standards.
We have always wanted to bring our team together to do something of change, and this year we will be embarking on our very first company tree-planting day. Every employee in the company comes out, we spend an entire day planting trees that help offset our carbon emission output and thru this, and every year that we embark on this journey, we will help offset our carbon footprint.
We are always trying to expand our resource programs and always trying to be at the top of our game with putting the earth as #1. Currently in our shop, we are working on water recycling program (where all water in our shop is recycled and reused, reducing the amount of waste water we have) and a solar panel project (where our shop will run 100% off of solar power). These projects are in the works here at Print Renegades.