Sustainability is a word that gets thrown about a lot without much explanation as to what a business is actually doing to be sustainable. To be honest it’s a lot more difficult and time consuming to be a sustainable business but I strive to do what I can and keep working towards being better. Things take time to change but below I share the actions I’m taking to make my work have less impact on the planet.
This list will constantly grow and please do get in touch if you know of other ways I can work better.
My prints are printed by the wonderful dStudio and any online orders are sent directly from them. I do have less control over the use of materials for packaging by drop shipping but they share my values and use minimal plastic. Previously I was printing myself but the decision to drop ship was due to the fact I think it’s better to put something of higher quality into the world, plus as it’s print on demand it reduces waste of unwanted back stock. The paper I use from dStudio is beautifully made in the UK by St Cuthberts Mill.
Where items are sent directly from me, such as original work or Lokta paper prints, all packaging is recyclable and where possible made from repurposed materials and without using plastic.
- Recycled Greyboard – I use this as backing to protect prints in the post and when stocked in shops, available here.
- I have my own tissue paper printed by No Issue who have a very good sustainability ethos.
- Thank you notes are printed on recycled paper postcards from printed.com and I try to make these as keepsakes rather than throw aways.
- Board Backed Envelopes. The best ones I’ve found are from here. They have A5 and A4 sizes and are made from 100% post consumer waste and you can select to offset your delivery carbon.
For Shop Displays I use the same recycled greyboard as above and biodegradable cello. I’ve read it’s not the greatest solution, but surely better than the proper plastic stuff. I’ve tried glassine which I love but the lack of clarity doesn’t really work for shop displays. Available here.
A few extras:
- Washi Tape. Made from paper instead of plastic, super cute for packaging things but not as strong as sellotape. I have my own designed 🙂 available here. (Currently out of stock)
- Gum Backed Paper Tape. Instead of plastic brown packing tape and need something stronger than washi. Available here.
- I’ve started making my own paper from misprints and old sketches. Keep your eyes peeled for a video on how to make your own paper coming soon (or google it – it’s actually quite easy).
- For my printer I use HP instant ink where they post the ink cartridges when mine are running low, and they include a return package so you can send back your spent cartridges for them to recycle.
I’d highly recommend listening to this podcast episode by Ruth Poundwhite, she had me thinking about the other impacts that we can have, not just from our products but how we do business.
My shop is set up through Etsy who as a company is working to offset all their carbon emissions from shipping and run their offices on green energy. I know they’re still a big company but I feel that they’re the best in terms of a sustainable platform to sell from.
I’ve recently started experimenting with drawing with natural and foraged inks hand made by Kathryn John from plants.
To be continued….