UK-based MagnaColours, a specialist in water-based ink manufacturing, has launched a new eco-friendly standard for water-based inks used in textile printing which is likely to become the global standard soon. Also GNA mark has been developed for use by all compliant manufacturers, printers and retailers in order to push for more sustainable production methods.
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.
MagnaColours executive chairman Tom Abbey said that 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 donâ€™t work so well for water-based inks.
Systems like Bluedesign 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.
They have worked out a method of testing water-based inks that they believe is going to be far more accurate and give far more information.
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.
Most of the apparel market is moving towards banning PVC inks and people are moving to water-based inks; thatâ€™s why standards arenâ€™t really geared towards it. They think this is a better standard for the industry.
Abbey said that the GNA standard was being market heavily and it would be the majority standard for water-based inks globally within 12 months.
Currently gaining accreditation is free but in the future fees would likely be introduced due to the cost of the testing.
They are also trying to tie consumer, retailer, printer and ink manufacturer together to give one solution to the market.
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