Sustainable Production: Turtle Fur x Transfertex
Each year, we takes steps to make our production process more sustainable. As a company built in the mountains of Vermont, we have a deep appreciation for our planet - in all its splendor, and for all the adventures it can offer us (we would not exist as a company if it weren't for big peaks, snowy days, and mountain adventures).
Some of the sustainable initiatives we've taken over the past few years include:
- Transitioning Comfort Shell™ products to Repreve®, a recycled polyester made from plastic bottles
- Working with bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified suppliers
- Being a member of the Higg Index which allows us to review our sustainability efforts as well as learn how others in the outdoor industry are innovating
- Having a printing process for active performance fabrics that sets a high standard of quality and sustainability
Today, we're diving into that last point. When you get technical performance gear (and want a sustainable product), you're probably looking for products with tags that have a recycled logo. But what you might not consider is how that beautiful pattern (that caught your eye in the first place) is transferred to paper, and then transferred to the fabric. That's where Transfertex comes in.
We use Transfertex for the patterns printed on our Comfort Shell products. Transfertex works to reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout their entire process.
With a dry printing process, there is no water pollution. They also only print what is needed, so there is minimal waste. And with global reach and representation in 40+ countries, they keep transportation costs low.
This is where the process really gets interesting. Designs are actually engraved on reusable cylinders! The cylinders are then reworked in their German factory for the next cycle of use. The circular design system via use of the cylinders also ensures high-quality designs that are reusable and shared throughout retailers.
The paper used for printing is FSC-certified (FSC = Forest Stewardship Council). This means that the paper is created from trees in forests that meet the highest environmental and social standards. 95% of the paper left behind from the process is reused (for things like floral bouquet wrapping paper) or recycled. The inks the facilities used are also recycled in their factory using a proprietary ink recovery technology.
Examples of Totally Tubulars with prints created via Transfertex technology
It's important that when we look at sustainable products and transitioning to a more environmentally friendly system for the production of our goods, that we are looking at the WHOLE process. Not just the fabric. Not just the hang-tags. Not just the packaging.
We have a long way to go. But by working with Transfertex, we're ensuring that one part of our production process (for one of our highest selling fabrics) has sustainable practices in place. It allows us to yield results that we can be proud to present to our customers in knowing that the product is of the best quality, and the process used to create that product is helping us all reduce our carbon footprint.