Home Vendor News Active Apparel Group Embraces Toxin Reduction

Active Apparel Group Embraces Toxin Reduction


CULVER CITY, CALIF.—As part of a broader initiative to reduce environmental impacts and keep ahead of evolving global chemical regulations, Active Apparel Group (AAG), manufacturer of performance apparel for the leisure/lifestyle and active market, is embracing water-based OEKO-TEX 100 Class 1 Standard Printing Inks in their manufacturing process.

Common and inexpensive inks used in the global manufacture of apparel contain a wide range of toxic chemicals, including phthalates, petroleum-based co-solvents, PVC, and other volatile organic compounds. AAG’s initiative to use OEKO-TEX approved, water-based inks creates benefits for factory workers, people living local to these factories, consumers, and everyone downstream. The benefits of water-based inks are numerous.

“Reducing toxic chemicals from the manufacturing process is the right thing to do for our employees, for people living close to our manufacturing facilities, and for anyone buying the apparel that we manufacture,” said Daniel Hawker, CEO of AAG. “Moving away from toxins also allows us to keep ahead of increasingly stringent environmental regulations, allowing our customers to stay profitable in a quickly changing global marketplace.”

Water-Based Inks Used for all Digital Printing

AAG offers a range of printing methods to address a variety of customer needs, including: digital printing, screen printing, and heat transfers for on-garment logos and care instructions. OEKO-TEX certified water-based inks are used for all of its digital printing and for the majority of its screen printing. These non-toxic water-based inks offer a socially and environmentally better alternative to the more commonly used Plastisol inks.

Making a sizable environmental impact, the printing service of AAG’s business is significant. Digital printing averages 25,000 meters per month with screen printing averaging 60,000 garments per month.

The use of water-based inks requires a skilled production team and training of employees is ongoing. AAG currently employs 30 people at its printing operations in Ningbo, China.

OEKO-TEX 100 Class 1 Standard Printing Inks are a specialized category of printing inks (typically used in textiles and fabrics) that comply with the stringent OEKO-TEX 100 certification, ensuring they contain no harmful substances and are safe, even for the most sensitive skin. Compared to industry standards, these inks offer substantial environmental benefits by significantly reducing the risk of allergens and harmful chemicals leaching into the environment.