Our role in environment awareness

environment-worldOn a global scale we are paying a lot more attention to the ecological impression we make on the planet than ever before. Quite rightly we all want to do our bit to reduce the impact we cause in our everyday lives.

Research is telling us that whilst no manufacturing process is without impact on the environment, Digital Textile Printing is certainly one of the friendlier in todays UK textile industry.

Digital textile printing is growing in popularity for designers choosing a more environmentally aware process compared to many of the other traditional printing and dyeing methods . It’s reputation as the eco-friendlier of the printing processes is predominantly measured through the reduced amount of waste inevitably produced.

Here at the Silk Bureau we are mindful of the waste that is easily created in our manufacturing process and therefore take steps to reduce it to a minimum. We don’t stop at just monitoring our water and coating consumption. We ensure that we are fully compliant with the UKs waste framework directive by paying for specialists to dispose of our waste by-products.

Here are some points to consider when choosing the Silk Bureau to print your designs;

Digital printing – Creates less wasteink-cartridges
  • There are no screens or plates to produce (as for screen print or rotary printing) and so needs less setup equipment.
  • Printing direct to fabric means less wasted surplus ink (unlike dyeing) through precise applicaton of the artwork.
  • The inks we do use are certificated as Azo dye free.
  • Using the best quality inks through the print heads stops clogging and waste.
  • Many of our fabrics also have a OEKO-TEX certification or are to European REACH standards.
  • There is less use of chemicals and water than traditional methods. Use of water is unavoidable however, by investing in high tech equipment we have reduced our water consumption to the minimum required to achieve production. The disposal of waste water is treated through approved channels and vetted by the local authority as effluent friendly.
  • Our machinery is designed to last. We are diligent with our maintenance programs and our staff are highly trained in their operation. Taking care of the machinery prolongs its lifespan.
  • There are unavoidable fabric off-cuts caused by rolling on and off the printer beds, testing print heads, etc. Mindful not to clog our landfill sites and to protect your copyright, we send all wasted fabric for recycling. Our waste fabrics are collected by a recycling specialist who shreds them and uses the resulting fibre as bioenergy, incinerating it to create heat sources and electricity. Plain fabric offcuts may also be donated to education and charity facilities.
Sublimation printing – Zero wastegreen swirl
  • This process is possibly one of the friendliest.
  • Artwork is first printed onto a transfer paper, which we source from sustainable forest crops, after use it is then recycled through a specialist waste collection service.
  • The dyes we do use are certificated as Azo dye free.
  • The dyes are cured using a combined pressure and dry heat process that does not require water.
  • No excessive wasted consumables involved.

Our B2B focus is on those designing quality individual pieces and not the mass produced, throw away clothing that swamps the market.

Eco FabricsGreen-eco-label

We have included some eco-friendly fabrics in our range such as *Tencel, *Bamboo and *Linen created with sustainable organic substances.

*Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics available. Regenerated from sustainably grown wood cellulose. (Currently only available in silk mix)

*Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass. The Bamboo used to produce fabrics (not the same as Panda food) is considered one of the most sustainable plants because it grows quickly and does not require chemicals or irrigation and biodegrades quickly. (Currently only available in silk mix)

*Linen is made from Flax. Flax is a natural product that does not require irrigation during growth, and needs little or no chemical treatment. All parts of the plant are used, so there is no waste. Linen fabric is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.


We are aware that all forms of textile printing will have an environmental impact – it’s just apparent that our digital textile printing methods are among the friendliest and that we at the Silk Bureau are striving to do our bit where ever possible while still meeting our customers demands. This does all come at a cost. We make no apologies for sourcing top quality products that abide by commercial ethical standards. We are proud to be a conscientious British company abiding by British manufacturing standards. As our customers, we are aware of how passionate you also are about our environmental impact and the part we all play in protecting our environment.

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Made in Britain