``Sustainable printing is a must, not an option. After seeing all the material waste, harmful inks and technology in the production industry, I knew that I wanted for my company to be different. Sustainability and responsibility to both our clients and the environment are part of our core values.``
GREEN PRINTING COMMITMENT
One of our values is to be environmentally conscious. The production industry, whether it’s printing or fabrication, needs to own up to the harmful practices and material waste that it's producing. The truth is that in an event-based, rush-jobs environment, often the last thing on someone's mind is what happens to all that was produced after the project is done, the photos are taken, and the set lights are shut off.</p> <p>What makes the commitment to green printing practices even more difficult is that there are many materials that are considered eco or green in the industry but are merely branded that way. Well, we love printing and researching the best materials, and dug deep to find the true green substrates and eco-friendly practices that hold up to their name and to our values.
Eco Print Technology
Here at NVS, we can print with UV, solvent, and inkjet ink, but one of our favorite technologies to use is latex. It’s a water-based ink that is more bio-degradable than the other types. Latex is also flexible enough to print and cure on many different surfaces.
We do not require minimums for prints, and we don’t believe in screen-press or off-press technology. Everything we print is produced digitally. This minimizes waste and eliminates the use of harmful chemicals and solutions needed for other methods, such as screen-burning and traditional CMYK processes.
Green Rigid Materials
There are only a few truly “green” substrates stable for large-scale printing. In our flatbed printing process, we opt for a recycled and 100% bio-degradable yardstick product or boards. Our print techniques still allow us to achieve a solid print, on craft paper or paper with a duller finish, so that the final visuals look identical to gator and foam board prints.
And if card-stocks are not your cup of tea, we can print on wood. Our flatbed printers have a clearance of up to 6” thickness. If you need the wood painted and treated before printing, we got you covered.
Sustainable Vinyl Wrapping
Almost all vinyl is plastic, which means it usually needs to be laminated before printing and installing complex objects. We are committed to our sustainable goals, and creating an eco-friendly vinyl wrapping approach was a tough one.
First, we had to find the few films that are PVC-free. There are only a few, but they do exist.
Second, we had to find the right ink combination to avoid compromising on print quality with our green-vinyl, to stay true to our sustainable printing commitment.
And lastly, we trained our installer for an unusual skill in the wrap world: wrapping without the need for lamination. Even when it’s almost impossible, we opt for no-lam. Not laminating vinyl literally reduces the waste by 50% for the entire project! This is a huge deal to us, and we’re very proud of the skills our team has gained through the hours of long and complex installation projects.
Banners are great for events, but they have two environmentally detrimental aspects to them: they are large and often used for a very short period of time, sometimes only a few hours.
In the past, we struggled to find a recyclable solution for printed banners, which was nothing short of a challenge. We partnered with animal shelters that used them as covers for outdoor crates, and we contacted local artists and schools to reuse them for art-school projects. But the rate at which we were printing did not match our recycling goals.
After some additional research, we found vendors who supply PVC-free banners that actually have buy-back programs. The returned banners are recycled for raw materials used to make more banners. This was a game-changer that got us a step closer to fulfilling our zero-waste initiative.
Sustainable Textile and Apparel Printing
This might be one of the most fume and waste-producing types of printing. The heat and energy required to print on textiles is astonishing. Dye-sublimation produces vivid colors that look great. But this method involves first printing the image onto paper and them heat-pressing that onto fabric, which creates a lot of waste.
To combat this, we tested directly printing latex onto fabrics. After long months of testing on many fabrics, we found products that are very comparable to the traditional dye-sub prints, and providing a sustainable printing for textiles.
And we went a step further. Branded apparel is a big part of our production, but the traditional silk-screen printed technology requires a lot of chemicals, solutions, and water. We had to come up with a more environmentally sustainable process. And we did.
In 2020, we welcomed a commercial DTG printer from Aeoon to our arsenal of equipment. Now we can print on any apparel or bags with completely water-soluble ink, and there is no need for any screens. Better yet, there are no minimums for any of our printed apparel products.
Sustainability is one of our responsibilities in the production industry. We are committed to minimizing waste, and offering Green-print solutions to every client.
From ideation to implementation, we take care of every step. We design, produce and install all under one roof. Big ideas should live in the real world and make a tangible impact. If you have a large-scale production project, let us do all the work. What creative vision can NVS Visuals bring to life for you?