Sustainability is important to me. It’s a word that gets thrown about and misused by companies greenwashing and trying to gain sales from a positive lifestyle change. It’s a lot more difficult and time consuming to be a sustainable business but I wouldn’t want to work any other way. Things take time to change so below I aim to unpick in which ways I’m working towards being sustainable and what I’m working towards changing.
This list will constantly grow and please do get in touch if you know of other ways I can help look after this lovely planet of ours.
My prints are from 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 and my printing at home wasn’t quite cutting it. Also I was having a few fights with my printer that resulted in quite a few misprints and therefore more waste. The paper I use from dStudio is beautiful and they’ve also introduced a set of eco papers including Hemp that I’m planing to explore and see how I can incorporate into my work. They’re a bit more expensive but I’d love to offer them as an option.
Where items are sent directly from me, such as original work or Lokta paper prints, I aim to make my packaging have as little impact as possible.
- Recycled Greyboard – I use this as backing to protect prints in the post and when stocked in shops, available here. Sometime I draw on these when posting them so they are hopefully kept and framed or inspire reuse – perhaps something for a child to paint onto.
- 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 from printed.com
- 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 greybeard 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. I’ve not found I’ve needed this yet but if you use 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. I had in mind that I would eventually set up a shop on Amazon Handmade but I’ve heard criticisms of the ethics of the company.
Etsy on the other hand 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.
To be continued….