Cool Bikini Printing Techniques at Hot-As-Hell
You probably know about bad-girl-gone-good swimwear brand Hot-As-Hell, but probably haven't heard about their rad, eco-friendly ways to minimize waste and conserve water by using the latest in printing technology. Below, Jilli Joffe explains all about the brand's choice to go digital with printing, and care a little more about the environment.
BIKINI: What's the process of digital printing and why is it eco-friendly?
JILLI JOFFE: What we do is use a sustainable fabric. It's called EFL; it is a combination of sustainable fibers made from corn sugar and lycra. They somehow managed to create this fabric that acts like polyester. Right now, the only fabric that you can digitally print on is polyester, which is obviously not an eco-friendly fabric. Thanks to this innovative EFL fabric, we’ve been able to rely on digital printing solely. It's amazing for two reasons, one because it's eco-friendly and two because it’s an amazing quality print. You can almost get photoreal quality whereas in regular screen printing, you can get 12 colors maximum. With digital, you don’t have restrictions on amounts of color usage, so you end with amazing quality. As far as eco-friendly properties, digital printing requires 95 percent less water than traditional printing. So you're already using minimal water, which is normally polluted and becomes toxic waste that's poured back into the environment. It's even more eco-friendly because you actually cut down on the amount of fabric waste drastically; we’re able to use 90 to 99 percent of our fabric yield versus traditional methods, which use about 80 to 90 percent — that extra 10 percent is just garbage.
BIKINI: Why are you able to save 10 percent of the fabric when printing digitally?
JJ: Because of the cutting. Normally you would print the fabric, then you would cut it the patterns but with digital printing, you can engineer the prints to fit exactly where the patterns will fall so only tiny edges get cut off instead of extreme amounts.
BIKINI: Does Hot-As-Hell only use digital printing?
JJ: Yes, we only use digital printing.
BIKINI: Why is an eco-friendly printing method so important for the brand?
JJ: Our CEO and founder is 20 years in the fashion industry; she worked at Victoria's Secret for 13 years and other huge corporations. She saw how terrible the amount of waste is in the fashion industry was and one day she had enough. When she was at VS, vendors would present this EFL fabric and every year she wanted to use it but she couldn’t because it was too expensive for the swimwear development budget she had. She knew that this incredible fabric existed, but she couldn’t use it because of pricing restrictions. That’s where one of our taglines came from, “It costs more to care.” When you use better fabrics and actually care about the making and how it's affecting the environment, it's going to cost more, but ultimately worth it.
Shop Hot-As-Hell here to support this eco-friendly movement.