Top 10 Eco-Friendly Inks for T-Shirt Printing

  • Posted by priyanshi
  • 2024-06-17
Eco-Friendly Inks for T-shirt Printing

In modern days, using eco-friendly inks for T-shirts has bene by fast the best option.

Mass pollution is already caused by dyeing and using toxic ink like plastisol ink, so let’s know these top eco-friendly inks for T-shirt printing.

The pollution is increasing so high that 20% of the world’s total pollution is because of T-shirt printing. Digital printing in T-shirts is escalating but at the cost of corrupting water bodies and creating a bleak future for the earth.

What is an Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Printing Ink?

People are slowly becoming aware about massive environmental changes.

Let’s look at some statistics.

Globally, almost 73% of people are highly aware of climate change.

Almost 66% of people believe that industry waste is the main reason why the climate is getting corrupted.

And ink pollution is a leading cause in that.

Ink pollution is increasing to a great extent every year.

Annually, over 40 million ink cartridges are get wasted in the UK. Plastisol components are mixed in regular ink, which makes it really worse for climate protection.

Here comes the role of eco-friendly ink in the printing industry.

These eco-friendly T-shirt printing ink means an ink system that’s water-based.

Water-based ink can’t pollute anything because it has no plastisol, no chance of corrupting any water bodies.

Given this immense benefit, so many companies are noticing the change water-based ink makes and embracing it. This ink system is highly demanded, around the globe. Most printing agencies are gearing up for this ink because it has zero negative environmental impact.

Main Merits of Using Eco-Friendly Inks for T-Shirt Printing

Toxic inks are slowly corrupting the environment, and that’s why organic ink is on the rise. So it’s significant to get a quick snapshot of the benefits of using organic T-shirt printing inks.


VOC or Volatile Organic Content means the amount of petroleum mixed in printing ink.

The higher it is, the worse the damage to the environment will be. So the ink used by the printing agency must have a very low VOC.

Eco-friendly inks have a much lower VOC, which makes them perfect for T-shirt printing.

No hazardous impact

Hazardous inks increases impact on the environment. greatly When eco-friendly inks are used, they’re usually water-soluble. This makes them usable and safe for environmental use.

T-shirt printing agency

No toxicity in the composition

There will be some limited toxicity in ink composition, as it’s all a matter of chemical composition. Now, the question remains the degree of toxicity. Eco-friendly inks have way less non-toxic formula, making them suitable for a wide range of T-shirt printing.

Social commitment increases

Your business indeed has a social responsibility as well as an environmental responsibility.

Keeping both things in mind, it should be said that when your firm gets a T-shirt made from sustainable ink, it means you’re contributing to society. Social commitment here means your firm is contributing towards better resource conservation.

Easy washability with no water pollution

Water pollution is a serious thing to consider. You shouldn’t get your employees those T-shirts whose ink may contaminate wastewater quality when washed.

So here’s the thing to notice. Washability must be kept in mind, and eco-friendly ink, even washed badly, doesn’t harm the environment.

These Are the Key 10 Eco-Friendly Inks

Get to know the top 10 eco-friendly inks that are used for T-shirts.

Water-based ink

One of the top eco-friendly inks that can be used for T-shirt printing is water-based ink. The best news is that, in years, water-based ink has evolved highly.
Earlier, the inks used for T-shirt printing consisted of PVC resin solution, which is certainly harmful to the environment. This was replaced by water-based ink, which is highly advanced in fabric rigidity as well as gives the fabric a certain softness.

Soy ink

Now when it comes to knowing what is soy ink, anyone will assume that this ink is made from soybeans. And that’s right! Soy ink was initially introduced as a means to get over with petroleum-based ink. This ink has grown so popular that now so many painting agencies in the UK are using it.

Now there’s a reason for using soy ink as this ink is completely inexpensive and also looks premium.

But an interesting fact, soy ink is found to be good at reducing air pollution. T-shirt printing ink has a high VOC, and soy ink has a low VOC in it. That makes it sustainable for printing.

Discharge ink

Discharge ink is an ink solution that has no toxic dye solution in it. This makes it completely non-toxic to the environment and also makes it highly washable.

Now, discharge ink is based on water solution and not on thick dye-based solution, so that makes this type of ink great to be used in clothing.

Also, you’ll not find any PVC elements in this type of ink, which makes it a great input to be used in T-shirt printing.

Algae-based ink

Algae-based ink has been called the most sustainable ink solution. Why is that? This type of ink is completely based on a bio-based solution, having 6% organic solution.

If you still want to understand what makes algae-based ink a special thing, it’s that this ink is renewable. That means using this type of ink will never impact the climate in any negative way.

UV-curable based ink

UV-curable ink is best for keeping control of air pollution. Air pollution is a rising menace in this world, as WHO has informed us that 2.3 billion people are constantly affected by air pollution.

Worse is, air pollution has gotten so serious that 3.2 million deaths are occurring because of it. UV-curable ink is just the right solution to this, as it doesn’t contain any toxic substance that can harm the air quality.

T-shirt printing company

Aqueous ink

This ink is a specialized form of water-based ink. And that naturally means that the ink solution has no toxicity and neither is filled with any harmful substance. We often use this type as a dye, given that it has very minimal VOC.

Now, this ink type is perfect because it has a vibrant finish, and is ideal for large T-shirt printing.

The quality doesn’t fade away with constant exposure to sunlight or rain, so aqueous ink has created its sweet place in our list.

Reactive ink

Manufacturing reactive ink never causes more pollution, and also is very suitable for those who want their business to be environmentally friendly.

Getting to the point, this ink has so many superior qualities when it comes to manufacturing. Let’s note down them, such as low water usage while manufacturing.

Also, this ink makes a completely dazzling appearance when printed on T-shirts.

Sublimation ink

Sublimation ink doesn’t have any harmful solvents, which makes it rank in the list of eco-friendly ink.

The sustainability score of this ink is quite high. You can imagine the sustainability of sublimation ink quite similar to the sustainability of recycled plastic and uses no dye component.

Having a large water-based content, this ink is very suitable for T-shirt printing. And again, air pollution is kept in control by this ink.

Acid ink

These days many agencies are using acid ink for digital textile printing, mainly because they’re highly soluble in water and also are very comfortable with most fabric types. Many inks are not so great when it comes to printing a silk cloth, but acid ink goes well with most apparel textures.

Pigment inks

Pigment inks are highly sustainable, and very environmentally caring only because of one reason, they’re made from water-based pigment.

Now let’s not get into any Chemistry lesson here because it’s a complex phenomenon of how pigment ink works, but just note that this ink contains zero toxic elements, which makes it perfectly okay to be used in apparel printing.


This list contains all those inks that have a very low VOC. Before you order bulk printing from a T-shirt printing agency, always inquire about the VOC count.

With our exhaustive list of all the ink types, you’ll have a fair idea about using the right ink when you decide to bulk-order custom-printed T-shirts.