Ink manufacturer MagnaColours has launched a new eco-friendly standard for water-based inks used in textile printing.
The mark is also designed to reassure consumers who buy printed textiles and apparel that no harmful products have been use in their manufacturing.
Inks and products marked with GNA are guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals such as PVC and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) and must be water-based formulations.
“There are so many standards on the market from people like Bluesign or Eco Passport, as well as around 50 major retailers that all have different standards, but these don’t work so well for water-based inks,” said MagnaColours executive chairman Tom Abbey.
“At Magna we’ve always tried to lead the industry, and we’re hoping that the development of GNA will continue that work. Textile inks are a high compliance risk and therefore can be a big concern for brands, this standard will bring reassurance to them, as well as their customers."
"GNA is our way of leading the garment printing industry into more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, and of changing the industry for the better. We wanted to think bigger than our own brand, and the development of GNA really underlines what we stand for.”
He explained that systems like Bluesign and Eco Passport look at production formulas and analyse CAS numbers that relate to individual chemicals. However, water-based printing ink is based mostly on polymers, which do not have CAS numbers and therefore cannot be adequately analysed.
“We analysed some of the certificating systems already in place in the industry such as Bluesign and Eco Passport, and while they are the best standards in place, we felt we could provide one that was more appropriate.”
Abbey explained that MagnaColour's method, which takes place in independent laboratories, tests individual products and can guarantee there is no residual formaldehyde or APEO, for example, in the inks.
The aim, he said was to adhere to the strictest Restricted Substances List (RSL) in printing inks for the textile printing industry globaly, so that GNA compliance results in compliance with all major brand's RSLs as well as other standards such as Eco Passport.
"GNA is not only advantageous for printers, but also retailers and consumers. If more printers comply with this strict environmental standard, then retailers will have more manufacturers to choose from when sourcing their products."
"Consumers also stand to gain peace of mind from GNA, if they see that a product is GNA accredited, they know that it adheres to the most stringent standards," Abbey concluded.
The company said the GNA standard was being market heavily and he anticipated it would be the majority standard for water-based inks globally within 12 months.
For almost two decades, Magna has been at the forefront of the development of water based inks, on a mission to take away the necessity for the use of harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, in screen-printing. In that time, the demand from consumers for more sustainable products has increased exponentially.