Everpress describes itself as a “marketplace for independent creativity.” It serves as a tool for artists to attach their designs to t-shirts, and as a platform through which these can be sold. Everpress acts as a kind of middleman between the artist and the t-shirt consumer. Their focus is on waste reduction through a limited-edition, pre-order system of these garments.
Everpress lays out its fundamental foci as environment, community, team, and governance. They have also used their platform to engage with charity-based collaborations with artists, such as donating £1 for every garment sold on the campaign to Single Homeless Project. Everpress is mostly transparent to consumers on their products - where the money they spend goes, as well as emphasising how this money directly supports the artist of their purchase. I sense authenticity in the sustainable attitudes Everpress puts out. Overall, I am very keen on Everpress’ pre-order system and can see this style of business model really picking up in the next few years.
Since April 2020, Everpress has been phasing out the use of non-ethically accredited suppliers, with 92% of their garments offered to artists being from ethical suppliers - such as Stanley Stella, and Continental Clothing Co. Although Everpress does not explain the standards by which they define their use of the word ‘ethical’, from what we know of their ‘ethical’ suppliers, this generally means the use of 100% sustainable cotton certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard as well as the Global Recycle Standard (which tracks and confirms the content of recycled materials in a final product and throughout the whole supply chain). Sustainable cotton is defined as being grown in such a way that it can maintain levels of production, can support the communities producing it, and can do so despite long-term ecological difficulties, and pressures socioeconomically.
Unfortunately, I found no straight details on the the inks or pigments used for the designs. Are they non-toxic or accredited with anything, i.e. being GOTS certified? (GOTS is a textile production certification indicating the use of fewer / no harmful chemicals).
Everpress has not yet reached the exclusive use of ethical suppliers; they express the difficulty of this process on their website. Being an independent business, I can understand the difficulty of transitioning between suppliers at a particularly quick rate. It is still good to see Everpress making the effort to do so anyway as well as being transparent that this process may not happen overnight.
Everpress transitioned to the use of 100% recycled mailer bags from Grounded Packaging at the beginning of 2021. These are composed of waste LDPE (low-density polyethylene plastics). Everpress explained their reasoning behind using these, as opposed to compostable bags, is that their research indicated that compostable bags are still most likely to end up in the bin, as opposed to being composted. While I can understand their reasoning, the LDPE type of packaging needs to be taken to a specific supermarket drop-off point or recycling centre for disposal. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically see the majority of consumers doing this rather than putting the packaging in the (usually) brown food and garden waste bin of UK households that gets collected for composting.
Creators use Everpress’ tools to add their design to a garment, choose its profit margin and retail price, and are encouraged to push the campaign on social media (if desired) to boost orders. Once a creator reaches over five orders on their campaign, their garment goes into production. The pre-order model Everpress utilises has, they claim, saved over 336 million litres of water as well as 124,000 t-shirts from landfill. Fewer t-shirts are printed than if they were calculating stock accounting for expected sales, and thus avoids waste when ordinarily that dead stock would go unsold. I really do think this kind of business model is valuable: the use of social media campaigns and the limited-edition element both generate hype around products and calls attention to the creative talent which goes into their design.
Everpress claims to record and reduce their greenhouse emissions during production - i.e. screen-printing by hand. This is good to hear, but I’d hoped to see more information on figure-based achievements of emission reduction and whether total or partial offsetting is ensured. Everpress is pretty clear on their printing process from a technical point of view, but less so from a sustainability perspective. The screen-printing should produce fewer emissions than an automated machine printing the garments, but there would still be emissions from the heat curing process, for example. We also don’t know exactly where the t-shirts are printed, and thus how far the plain garments traveled from their original location of production, to where they are printed, and finally to the consumer. Everpress hasn't really addressed their carbon footprint regarding this kind of travel.
Everpress is very transparent about their pricing costs and breakdown so that both buyers and creators know where their money is going. They have laid out their roadmap for diversity and inclusion in their workforce on their website, engaging in Bias and Racism training for the whole company, plus offering mental health support and opportunities for staff to have days off to participate in activism days. In 2020, they claim to have donated £87,150.51 to global charities such as NHS Charities Together, the Lebanese Red Cross, and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Everpress is putting their money where their mouth is, and I enjoy seeing the broad areas to which this money is going.
By 2022, Everpress hopes to have every t-shirt they sell supported with the option to return it for recycling or upcycling once the customer no longer wants it in exchange for a discount on a future purchase. They also have aspirations of being B-Corp accredited by the summer of 2022, which seems these days to be the ideal for many sustainability-orientated businesses. A B-Corp is a business that meets some of the highest sustainability standards with its performance. Although, as I’ve touched on in a prior review, my issue with B Corporation is their lack of transparency on exactly what it means to be a B-Corp (i.e. the unclarity of their scoring system). However, it is certainly better to reach the fairly rigorous standards required to be a B-Corp than not. Everpress also has a goal for total climate and water positivity by 2025, meaning the elimination of fossil fuels and damaging water practices as a result of their operations.
What brings Everpress’ score down is mostly down to the fact that their goals haven't all been achieved yet, and the fact that I have no way of knowing how on-track they are to complete them in the given timeframes. Although, this is semi-understandable since they are not currently as large or long-standing a corporation as some other businesses that have achieved similar goals. Considering their scale, they seem to be making good progress with the goals they have already completed, though, and their mind is certainly in the right place to create an eventually wholly sustainable company. But, there is still the issue of lack of transparency regarding the sustainability of their printing inks and progress tracking for their yet to be achieved goals.