Sustainability at Printfresh

As an eternal optimist I fully believe that there is a way to produce products with great care. And as a creator and business owner, I fully acknowledge that our choices as a company (no matter how small) have an impact on the world. In an effort to provide transparency into our sustainability and ethical fashion efforts, we will continuously update this page and provide an update every six months or so. 

It is our hope that by sharing our process and methods, we can make it easier for other entrepreneurs to adopt sustainability efforts in their own businesses. For our customers, we hope that you can sleep well in our pjs knowing that tremendous care went into the planning and production of our designs. 

Some things may change over time as we gain new information or different resources become available, and I also fully acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers. But regardless, I am very much committed to continuing to find the best way to manufacture our designs. Our pajamas are truly meant to spark joy – and what better way to do just that than knowing they were mindfully produced with sustainability best practices in mind.

– Amy, Founder

Sedex Audited Factory

There is a ton of greenwashing in the fashion industry and we believe the only way to really challenge those claims is through clear and transparent checks and balances. Third-party audits to push for responsible manufacturing have become a guiding force in the ethical apparel industry, and we are happy to share that the factory that makes our apparel is regularly Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) reviewed. 

Having a 3rd party auditor routinely evaluate our factory partner's facilities helps ensure their practices are ethically and environmentally aligned with our own, and also offers them guidance as they make continued improvements. We look for factors such as safe working conditions, work that is voluntarily chosen, fair wages and compensation to name a few. Sedex conducts audits worldwide to ensure ethical and responsible business practices as well as to share performance information about registered companies.

Reducing Waste in Mailers and Packaging

We agonized over choosing mailers, since there are a million pros and cons to different materials. To save you some of the effort of researching mailers, here is a great breakdown of why compostable mailers aren’t quite as good as they may seem (they can’t compost in a landfill and let’s face it most people don’t compost). We also found paper mailers to be less than ideal because of the increase to our carbon footprint (they take up double the space, which means they require more room on a delivery truck). 

After research and testing we landed on using mostly 100% recycled ivory poly mailers made from 100% recycled content and 50% post-consumer content (ours are from EcoEnclose). Here are a few other reasons these seem to be the best solution:

– They take up half the space of paper mailers, effectively reducing our carbon footprint.

– They are tear and weather resistant, which helps our customers and cuts down on replacement orders due to damage.

– They also feature a reusable tear strip in case you need to do an exchange or use it to mail something to a friend.

Waste Reduction in Fashion and Textile Production

Our pajamas don’t produce a lot of waste during the manufacturing, but we have also looked for other ways to reduce waste at every stage of our production process.

Production:

Our cutting marker (the guide used in the cutting process) allows for really good consumption percentage of the fabric, and our pattern master efficiently lays out our patterns before hand cutting. These efforts mean that there are very few leftover fabric scraps.  

Our sewing factory partner is one of the cleanest, light filled and environmentally responsible factories we’ve seen. They recycle wastewater on site and are solar powered. Their printing facility (a different location) recycles the waste water from printing and rinsing through a private pipeline, processing and returning it to the facility for reuse. 

Packaging:

There is nothing worse than shopping from a ‘green’ brand only to receive a vacuous cardboard box with a bunch of useless packaging. With that in mind, we have pared ours down to only the essential. Initially, we designed a fabric pouch to hold our pajamas (which we LOVED). But after seeing how many of you ordered pajamas in multiples, we didn’t want you to be saddled with a bunch of bags (even if we did share a number of ways for you to reuse those bags, including DIY masksdog bandanas and coasters).

Totes & Gift Wrapping:

As a lower waste alternative (while still offering customers a great unwrapping experience!), we decided to create limited edition tote bags that are included with each order. It is a quick and reusable way to give the pjs as a gift OR to use for yourself (which we are in full support of).

For a special gift statement, we have a special paper gift bag available for purchase. This bag is handcrafted in Jaipur, made from hand-made recycled paper and is hand silk-screened. It will hold up for future gift giving and makes an awesome gift for someone who deserves something special.

Transporting Inventory by Boat

We’ve changed the method of importing the majority of our collections via cargo ship to reduce our carbon footprint. We produce our collections with artisan printers in Jaipur, India so our items travel from India to New York, then to our third party, woman-owned warehouse facility in Maryland. This change requires more planning and time – we’ve added an extra three months to our design schedule in order to receive items on time. But this planning allows us to fit all of our season in 1 shipping container. That paired with the slower method of moving the goods reduces emissions. Here is a helpful article on the topic if you wish to read more.

No Animal Byproducts & Leather

We only use plant-based materials in our products. We do not use fur, leather, down, exotic animal skin, exotic animal hair, angora or wool. Our first production run used shell buttons which are a by-product of the pearl industry, but after recognizing that we would much rather be a fully vegan brand we switched to synthetic buttons (the only synthetic component in our pajamas). 


For any garments that have buttons, you’ll also notice we have sewn an extra button onto the cotton loop tag at the side seam. That way, we reduced the need for a plastic or paper button tag – and made the spare button more readily available should you ever need it (who can ever find the original buttons when you actually need them?!).

Buying Strategy For Reducing Carbon Footprint

We have chosen to follow a different path than many other apparel companies for our inventory buying strategy. Over the 20 years working in the apparel industry, we have seen things moving faster and faster. While we find trends fascinating, they can be wasteful, fill us with materialistic desire and leave us feeling worse than before – so let’s skip all that! 

As a small, independent company, we have a unique opportunity to follow a different timeline and select fabrics and styles that will stay evergreen year-round. We design 2 main collections a year, shipping them into our facility in groupings of 3-month deliveries. This means that the factory isn’t pressed for time and workforce and the goods can travel at a slower pace to help lower emissions. Since our clothes aren’t designed for the trend of the moment, they will be just as relevant when they finally get released.

Consideration for our factory’s human resources and the planet are part of how we plan out our design cycle. You’ve probably noticed that we only work in 1 fabric. It’s not common, but there is a good reason – the cotton poplin we use is woven just for us, is great across all seasons and is made to last. Our patterns and colors may change throughout the year, but no design is isolated to just one holiday or time period. The result is that you get even more wear out of your pjs all year long. We think that is pretty exciting!

Anti-Fast Fashion Discounting Strategy

You may be wondering why we rarely do sales. You may also be wondering what this has to do with sustainability and ethics. Part of creating a sustainable business is acknowledging how all of these things intersect into a long term viable business, and how our choices double back on our mission. 

We believe in paying our talented and hard working employees well, refraining from negotiating unfairly with vendors (the apparel industry is rife with this – and this is an area where a lot of ethics break down). Pricing our products appropriately allows us to choose vendors who are ethical, pay their workers fairly/above industry averages, and are environmentally sound. We also believe in the worthiness of our products – our designs hold their value, are made to last, and are priced as such. 


We have very few sales a year, focusing on product that have had uneven size sell-through or feature a print or color option that will soon be discontinued. Our Printfresh Dream Team Members also get special access to additional flash sales a few times a year on items of which we have excess inventory. The rest of the time, you won’t see a sale section on our site because we truly stand by the quality, durability, craftsmanship and timelessness of what we create. 

Using Natural Fabrics + GOTS Certified Organic Cotton

As soon as we started the line, we knew that we wanted to offer organic cotton. There were a lot of lively debates in the office... Can we do it affordably? Why use organic cotton? Will anyone care? How do we get to the volume where we can get certified fabric? How do we ensure it’s ACTUALLY organic? How do you prove it? Is organic fabric worth it? (Dive in deeper on this topic with us). 

It took us about a year to do the tremendous amount of research, ask the right questions and navigate the process to make sure it fit all of our guidelines and was legit. But now, after a year of work and development, we are overjoyed to be able to offer all of our new pajama designs in GOTS certified organic cotton.

Our Commitment to Pledge 1%

This year we joined Pledge 1%, a global movement that is creating a new normal for companies of all sizes and stages to have a positive social impact through their business.  We are joining over 12,000 companies around the world who have committed to donate 1% of their product, profit, staff time and/or equity to any charity of their choosing.

At Printfresh, we are proud to support GiveIndia, Loveland Foundation, Save the Golden Lion Tamarin charity and the MADE Institute in Philadelphia.

We believe that giving back should not just be a financial contribution, so we are also pledging to give our time back to our community.  We pledge to participate in giving back and supporting the community and to allow employees at Printfresh to share in that effort.  We encourage our employees to donate their time to enhance and serve both the community we live in and the global community.  

We are proud to have joined the Pledge 1% community and encourage other companies to take the pledge and leverage their business as a force for good.

If you have questions or feedback about any of our sustainability efforts, please email us at hello@printfresh.com.