Traditional retailers produce items before putting them up for sale, so they’re always manufactured in bulk to save money. In contrast, Printful only makes products when an order is placed, limiting our stock to items that already have a buyer.
This lets us avoid the overproduction that is widespread in the rest of the industry. Unsold stock is usually thrown out or burned, with fashion retailers alone wasting 92 million tons of textile each year. In POD, waste mainly comes from items damaged during printing, and Printful’s rate of damages is consistent with the industry standard. We also keep our reshipment rate low by taking all orders through a 3-step quality check before we ship them out.
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is more sustainable than other more outdated apparel printing methods, such as screen printing. Not only does screen printing use a lot of water and plastisol inks that don’t biodegrade, but it’s also generally used for bulk orders, which leads to overproduction. In comparison, DTG printing is more eco-friendly because items get printed only when they’re ordered, and this method can be used for single-item printing.