It’s really important to me to run my studio in a sustainable way, so all of the materials that I use are carefully chosen for their quality and their sustainability. It’s absolutely possible to produce beautiful stationery and be mindful of the impact on our beautiful planet!
There are so many options for beautiful paper, and I’m proud to source some of the nicest and the greenest. All of the paper that I use for printing is either 100% tree-free cotton, recycled, or Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. I’m also excited to be trialling a new paper soon, made from recycled paper coffee cups!
As with paper, there’s a surprising amount of choice for pretty and eco-friendly envelopes in a range of lovely colours. The standard envelopes that I use are recycled, but I also have FSC certified options available.
All of the clear sleeves that I use are made from sustainable vegetable starches sourced from renewable crops (corn, potato, etc), instead of petrochemical-based plastics. The sleeves are fully biodegradable and compostable, breaking down to CO2 and H2O. I actually tested them in my own compost bin just to make sure and… they made some lovely compost!
In a move to cut down further on waste, I’ve taken the Naked Card pledge and stripped away unnecessary plastic in my product packaging. If you place an order with Sarah & Maude online it will be packaged in a simple (easily recyclable) paper sleeve, instead of a clear biodegradable one. Products stocked by my lovely retailers will be packaged in sleeves until I find a suitable alternative, but the sleeves are fully biodegradable and compostable.
If you'd like to learn more about the Naked Cards movement, visit www.nakedcards.co.uk
In addition to materials, I’m constantly working to improve my printing and clean up process in the studio. I only clean with rags (cut from old clothing and linens), and now I’m working hard to reduce (and hopefully remove) the solvents that I use when cleaning the press.
To minimise waste during printing I use paper offcuts for testing ink colours, and I set aside any not-quite-perfect prints and use them as test sheets when setting up to print. Back in 2015 I decided to turn these test sheets, with their bright overlapping colours and patterns, into bookmarks which have proved really popular and are still available online.
Making sustainable choices doesn’t stop with printing, so I’ve also taken time to carefully choose my shipping materials. Envelopes and mailing boxes are all reused, recycled, or recyclable. Even the humble packing tape that I use is an eco paper alternative to regular plastic tape and is fully recyclable. And it looks nicer too!