Made for big impact with a small footprint

We’re passionate about creating a more sustainable future—both in the custom apparel industry and the world as a whole.
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We believe that shirts matter because the people who wear them matter.

We’re committed to delivering the best results possible for our business, our employees, our communities, and our planet—because we believe that looking your best today doesn’t have to come at the cost of the planet’s best tomorrow. 
A gray shirt draped over a sign in a wooded park.
Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond our decision to be kind to the planet. We believe in meeting each of the three pillars of sustainability—planet, people, and profit.


Our inks
Industry-standard plastisol inks are made with polyvinyl chloride (aka PVC)—which was dubbed the “Poison plastic” by Greenpeace.It goes without saying that plastisol is terrible for the planet. It’s also itchy, uncomfortable, and prone to cracking & peeling after just a few washes—but that’s another story. 
Our water based ink is completely free of PVC resin and is water-soluble—making it easier to clean, safer to print with, and better for the environment. As an added benefit, water based ink also soaks directly into your garment (rather than sitting on top of it), which means that it gets more comfortable with every wash.

An eco-friendly green shirt with a cute little turtle on the front, printed with water based inks

Our products
We are intentional about partnering with sustainable suppliers in order to provide you with a variety of ethically produced, sustainably made apparel from wholesale partners like Bella + Canvas®, Allmade®, RoyalApparel®, and Econscious®.‍

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A screen ready to be used to print a custom design with eco friendly inks

Our process
In addition to printing with eco-friendly water-based inks and providing sustainable garments, we also work hard to make our entire workflow more efficient in an effort to reduce our output. By utilizing new technologies (including two new Roq presses, a new dryer, and a new auto-reclaim machine that cuts down significantly on water usage), we are able to create a system that increases efficiency and quality simultaneously. 

Within the realm of apparel printing, there are naturally some mis-prints, glitches, and bugs to be worked out. Traditionally, this creates a lot of waste. We are committed to finding creative ways to reuse or recycle garments—whether that be donating non-damaged garment samples to local charities or upcycling damaged garments (maybe even turning them into reusable shopping bags one day—stay tuned 😉 ). We still have a lot of room to grow here, but in the past year we’ve also made strides in our effort to reduce our plastic footprint. 

Beyond our internal production process, we actively encourage our team and our customers to practice earth-kindness both in the workplace and in their personal lives.


We are pleased to work alongside good-doers (from individuals to organizations to small community groups) near & far as they seek to positively impact their communities—and are also passionate about making a difference in our own personal community. With that, every Real Thread employee is given one full paid day off to volunteer for a cause they care about.

Speaking of employees, sharing overall organizational profit with the whole team is a fundamental part of our business model. After six months with Real Thread, every employee is eligible to receive monthly profit share payouts based on tenure, as well as another payout at the end of the year.

A shirt with a green plant design on the front.

We also offer a non-profit discount to 501(c)3 organizations—so be sure to talk to the team before placing your order!