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Can You Really Create An Eco-Friendly Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is a very personal experience that requires a lot of trust between client and artist.  It's important to have faith in your tattoo artist and trust not only in their work, but also that they will carry out the procedure safely and responsibly.  For many people, choosing the right tattoo artist extends beyond their designs and safety procedures - with many customers now specifically seeking out tattoo studios who provide an eco-friendly tattooing experience that is both ethical and environmentally friendly. 

In recent years people have became a lot more environmentally conscious, with public figures like Greta Thunberg raising plenty of awareness around climate change and the environment.  There's a much bigger push for more sustainable materials to be used globally, which also extends to the tattoo industry.  Just like with many global industries, the tattoo industry generates billions of pounds each year, but not surprisingly the industry contributes a huge amount of waste.

Although there are many tattoo studios that are environmentally conscious with artists who are passionate about doing their bit for the environment, a tattoo session can sometimes unavoidably fill a bin bag full of waste, and for the most part, the waste produced is clinical waste, which must be disposed of properly.  The procedure of tattooing requires a lot of single-use disposable materials such as kitchen roll, ink cups, clip cord sleeves, clingfilm, couch rolls, bottles, and gloves, to name a few.  That's a lot of waste produced by every tattoo studio each year.  With more and more studios using disposable products and leaving autoclaves in the past, it's not always easy to keep waste to a bare minimum.  Some tattoo studios don't have a large budget, so exclusively sourcing eco-friendly products all of the time isn't always possible, especially for new artists who are starting out and may not have much of an income.  There are ways in which we can combat some issues though, and provide a more sustainable environment in tattooing. 

There does seem to be a lot of environmental awareness within the tattoo industry, with many tattoo artists and tattoo collectors alike being vegan and trying their best to live a cruelty-free lifestyle.  This doesn't just mean giving up meat and dairy products.  Ethical consumption includes things such as running an eco-friendly car, or exclusively purchasing clothes and cleaning products that are sustainable, and this also extends to tattoo supplies and inks. There's a lot of great community spirit and encouragement within the tattoo industry with  artists using their Instagram platform to promote a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle that extends to the tattoo studio. Likewise, we as suppliers try our best to ensure that we source as many eco-friendly options as possible for our customers. 

Although yes, disposing of waste is an unavoidable aspect of the job, that doesn't mean that every consumable has to be ecologically unfriendly.  Fortunately we're seeing an increase in the number of eco-friendly items out there at an affordable price than can be a big help when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint.  Take Ecotat Clipcord Sleeves; they're made from  naturally derived, plant based and renewable materials, and are an eco-friendly alternative for their single-use, fossil fuel derived plastic counterparts. They're thinner and lighter than their plastic clip cord sleeves, yet just as durable, so using them will minimise your environmental impact whilst tattooing.  

Plastic ink cups are also something that artists use every day, and we've recently introduced 'MTS Eco-Friendly Paper Ink Cups' which are environmentally friendly and made from a natural paper pulp, giving artists a much more sustainable alternative to plastic.

We also stock a huge range of vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free tattoo supplies which include tattoo inks, carbon paper, process butters, aftercares, and much more.  Ethical and cruelty-free consumption is more sustainable for both the artist and the client, and so more and more studios are trying to implement an exclusively vegan-friendly and cruelty-free tattoo set up. You can check out our vegan friendly section right here.

We as a tattoo supplies company are also trying to do our bit to be eco-friendly.  We're taking conscious steps to ensure that we're operating as sustainably as possible in order to reduce the impact that we have on our planet.  Our packing nuts are completely eco-friendly; produced from plant starch, (wheat starch) they are water soluble & will disappear when they come into contact with water. This makes them very easy to dispose of in a completely environmentally friendly way.  

We reuse our cardboard boxes wherever possible, recycling other boxes from different areas of our operations department.  We always use suitably sized boxes to pack your orders to reduce unnecessary waste, but we're always looking for ways to do more.

Although there's still a long way to go for the world of tattooing to become 100% eco-friendly, the industry is making great steps towards a more sustainable environment that's better for the planet.  We're excited to be introducing more environmentally friendly products to our range of supplies, and will keep you posted when we add new eco-friendly products to our website. 

Making Greta Thunberg Proud - Ecofriendly Tattoo Talk
Going Green - Vegan Tattoos and Eco-Friendly Tattoo Studios

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  • Antonia McLoughlin