What are Vegan Inks? Why are they better than normal inks?

  • Christina Dymiotis
  • 1st September 2022


Vegan-friendly inks can help the environment in various ways. From including no animal derivatives, to enabling greener creative projects, it’s a great step into an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Our printed cotton bags are part of this movement!  

Having your logo or design printed onto bags is exciting but can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’re a first-timer. For this reason, you will need to find a reliable printer, like BIDBI who can print your tote bags as per your specifications and in the most eco-friendly manner. 

Not only do BIDBI bags look great, if we say so ourselves, but most of them are completely natural, even down to the vegan ink we use! By supporting us, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment as well.  


Why are non-vegan inks harmful?   

Many people are unaware of how polluting normal inks are, as they are made of very harmful materials. This includes; petroleum oil-based, microplastics, glycerine from animal fat, bone chars and gelatine to help bind the ink. Some inks even contain beetle shellac (crushed beetles), to give colour. Also, most non-vegan inks contain heavy metals including lead and mercury.  

That’s why it’s difficult for products printed with these types of harmful inks to biodegrade naturally and promptly. Therefore, sustainable companies such as BIDBI have been using vegan and eco-friendly inks from day one!  

What are vegan inks?

Eco-friendly water-based inks do not contain hazardous chemicals and do not pose a threat to the end buyer.  In addition to this, water-based inks do not contain any PVC or phthalates. In most cases, when soy or water-based inks dry, they emit very few (sometimes zero) VOCs, which are compounds of carbon.   

The European Commission reports that offset printing consumes around three million tons of hydrocarbon-based inks and chemicals every year. These inks and chemicals release VOCs that can contribute to global warming and be harmful to the health of print workers if not properly managed. 

Print shops that have transitioned to soy or water-based inks typically report much better air quality and working conditions for their employees.  Additional VOCs can be released when presses are washed between print runs. Petroleum-based inks require harsher solvents and more VOCs are released. Whereas water-based and vegan printer inks can be cleaned from machinery with less water and solvent.  

MagnaPrint inks 

At BIDBI we use MagnaPrint inks for all of our screen-printed bags. MagnaColours is known as one of the most innovative companies for producing screen printing inks. 

MagnaPrint inks are environmentally sustainable and we screen print our bags with ISO 14001 (International Environmental Standards) water-based inks to reduce the negative impacts on the environment. MagnaColours produce the most environmentally sensitive inks that are free of harmful toxins and chemicals. 

They are supplied in 120kg drums which are then returned to the manufacturer to be refilled meaning that waste plastic is produced from the containers. In addition, almost zero wastage is produced due to the pigment-based mixing system, meaning mixes can be achieved with much higher accuracy. 

Read our Blog explaining our vegan inks more in-depth here



With more than a decade of experience in eco-friendly cotton bag printing, we’re highly aware of the positive impact environmentally responsible bag printing has on the environment. We live in an age of increasingly conscious consumerism. People are looking to buy less and are investing in quality over quantity.  If you are printing cotton tote bags for resale, being able to market them as an eco-friendly and ethical choice helps to remove a barrier to purchasing for your future customers. 

There’s nothing we love more than talking to our wonderful customers. If you’d like a little more information on our eco-friendly inks and cotton tote bags then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our friendly team here or you can visit our Instagram and say hello!