about our process

What is the purpose of a T-Shirt?

It’s a simple question, but a lot of projects go to production without much consideration for the answer. Whether as a uniform, a promotional item, or just a way to make a statement, T-shirts should be made to be worn. There is nothing promotional about an article of clothing that people only wear once. Not to glorify it too much, but a good looking, comfortable T-shirt will promote your brand, your company, your band, or your event to both the wearer and everyone who sees it. An uncomfortable and poorly designed T-shirt will only be seen inside the closet or at a thrift store.

At Friendly Arctic, we pride ourselves on making things that serve a purpose and serve it well. We work with our customers from concept to completion to ensure that they are happy with the product they spend their money on, and that the people who end up wearing what we make appreciate the design, durability, and comfort of the clothing we provide.

The Environmental Choice

At Friendly Arctic, we are committed to providing excellent quality in all that we do, as well as maintaining environmental integrity throughout our production process. We have researched the most environmentally-friendly options available for screen-printing and have implemented as many as possible into our own work practices.

Why we use water-based inks…

Most screen-printing shops in the U.S. currently use industry-standard Plastisol inks. These inks, however, contain PVC, phthalates and other toxic chemicals which are not only damaging to the environment but have also been connected with many medical illnesses. Screen-printers have continued using Plastisol inks because they have historically been cheaper, easier to use and often provided a better quality print than their water-based counterparts. Although there are major environmental consequences and health concerns related to the use of Plastisol inks, as well as the harsh solvents necessary for their clean-up, they have been utilized simply to save a little time and money. These are sacrifices we are not willing to make.
Water-based inks do not contain PVC, phthalates, lead or any other toxic chemicals at all. They also do not require the use of harmful solvents to clean the screens (all you need is water) and they can be safely disposed of down any drain. The only draw-back is that they are a bit more time-consuming to work with because they dry naturally through exposure to air and thus take longer to properly cure to the garments. In the past, water-based inks did not provide the same level of overall quality as Plastisol inks, but this is no longer true. Permaset Aqua Inks, made by Colormaker Industries in Australia, were developed specifically to provide an environmentally-friendly product that also maintains an opacity, brightness of color and durability that is equal, if not superior, to other inks. We are sure that you will be as pleased as we are when you see and feel the final product and realize that you no longer have to sacrifice environmental concerns for outstanding quality.