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Sweatshop Free on a Limited Budget

Help! I Want Sweatshop-Free T-Shirts But I Have a Limited Budget!

T-Shirts are a great way to get your organization’s message out there. But, they can take up a sizable chunk of your budget, especially when you want to make sure to buy an ethically sourced option. So how can you get the best bang for your buck to purchase ethically and still not break the bank? Choose USA Made, union printed tees that guarantee you are supporting good jobs, and follow our tips to shave cost along the way.


When should you pick this option?

  • Your design is one color
  • You need good quality printing at a low cost
  • You want help fitting T-shirts into a smaller budget
  • You would like a union bug printed near your design


Tips to help you save time and money on T-shirt orders:

Pick one location for your print. Multiple locations means more screens, more time, and more money via run charges per each location.

Print as few colors as possible. Each color requires its own screen, and each screen requires a screen charge.

Purchase white or natural colored T-shirts, which cost less because they aren’t dyed. They are also easier to print than dark shirts; dark garments also typically require a base coat before ink can be applied, which is another small charge you can avoid.

Stick with standard inks, or digital printing if you must have a more complex image. Specialty inks and processes are for projects with larger budgets.

Order as many shirts as you can at once. Higher quantities require about the same amount of labor as lower quantities, so use economies of scale to your advantage! Large orders also have larger price breaks per shirt. The more you order, the cheaper they are per shirt!

Plan ahead to save money. Waiting until the last minute could add rush costs from the printer for them to hit your deadline! Typical production is 2-3 weeks before they ship; on the same note, try to avoid expedited shipping by factoring in a few extra days for delivery. UPS Ground is our cheapest option and will take up to 5 business days (depending on your location from the printer!).

Provide a clean art file for your design. We provide artwork free of charge for small changes and projects. But if you have a complicated design you can make yourself, then you can provide us with a vector file to ensure lowest cost.

10% Solidarity Discounts are available for Non Profits and NGOs for first time orders. If this isn’t you but you think your work might qualify as “solidarity” in some way, please ask us!

Use Ethix Merch for all your ethical custom promo products. When we already know your organization, artwork, and preferences, this will save you time and money!


We are here to help

If you’re in need of screen printed t-shirts, Ethix can offer you competitive pricing on ethically-sourced tees, whether they are Made in USA, Union Made or Fair Trade Certified. For the lowest cost screen print option, we are here to help. We can design a graphic that pops using just 1-color printing on one side of your garments, and we can deliver it to you in record time.

Plus, all of our printing can include a union bug (at no additional cost!) to show that good labor conditions were used to print your shirts – even the quick-turn, inexpensive prints. Ask us how we can fit your design idea into your limited budget and timeline.

Contact us for a custom quote today or view our USA Made, union printed t-shirts here.

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