I love the Earth, and I knew from the beginning when starting my own business that eco-friendly packaging would be a high priority for me.
Priority 1: Biodegradable
I always prioritize biodegradable materials over recyclable ones.
I’m certain a lot of my customers would happily recycle their packaging, but it’s not always as easy as that. First off, not all places in the world have recycling systems in place. So if there’s no place to recycle your materials, how are you supposed to recycle them?
Having lived in areas with limited (or a lack of) recycling facilities, I know how stressful it can be to want to recycle your plastics, but simply not having a place to do it. When starting my own company, I knew that I wanted to keep this burden off the shoulders of the people who kindly supported my work. This is why I prioritise biodegradable packaging over recyclable packaging. But, ideally, I’d like my packaging to have both of these features.
Priority 2: Plastic-Free
My no-plastics-policy is something I’m still striving to maintain. I don’t use any plastics for my own packaging, and I do not actively order plastic packaging. At this point in time(as far as I’m aware), my business uses plastic in only three areas:
- Some of my manufacturers wrap their products in plastic bags before shipping them to me.
- My washi tape comes delivered in shrink-wrap plastic packaging.
- Acrylic charms (my clear acrylic charms are made from recycled acrylic, and are recyclable).
It’s a big goal of mine to eliminate the use of plastics from my business entirely. I’m phasing out acrylic products, and I’m always on the lookout for manufacturers who offer plastic-free packaging.
Continued Plastics Reduction
Manufacturing update, April 2020: One of my enamel pin manufacturers and I developed a system where enamel products can be wrapped individually in tissue paper rather than plastic. The only exceptions to this method are:
- Items with screen-printed details (the tissue paper could destroy the print)
- Items made with soft enamel (the tissue paper would not be strong enough to protect soft enamel)
The majority of my enamel pins are made from hard enamel, and do not use screen-printing. I predict that this tissue-paper wrapping method will cut my pins’ plastic waste by 75-85%.
Vinyl stickers, often popular for being waterproof, contain a plastic polymer called PVC. In mid-2019, my sticker manufacturer introduced a PVC-free alternative to waterproof stickers. This material is slightly more expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it in my opinion.
Priority 3: Responsibly Sourced
I use a lot of paper and cardboard for my packaging, and it’s very important to me that these products are sourced responsibly, in a hope to preserve as much of the Earth’s natural habitats as possible.
Recycled Paper & Cardboard
I use recycled paper and cardboard for my packaging whenever possible.
- Cardboard Mailers: the majority of my mailers are made from at least 60% recycled materials and are both recyclable (cardboard) and biodegradable.
- My kraft paper packaging tape uses natural adhesives and is both biodegradable and recyclable (paper).
- My backing cards and business cards are made from recycled and/or responsibly sourced paper (I always pick recycled when available).
I love the high-quality aesthetic of recycled backing cards, and I’m so happy that it’s actually the more Earth-friendly option.
I use tiny bag pockets to protect my pins from scratches during storage and transport.
- Some of my early collections use cello bags, but towards the end of 2019, I decided to phase cellophane out of my business completely. I still have leftover stock from these, but will not be restocking them.
- I now use glassine pockets to protect my pins and stickers. Glassine is made from paper, it’s water-resistant, recyclable (paper), and biodegradable.
Glassine pockets have a lovely, semi-translucent, almost “milky” look to them, which I love. My manufacturer uses responsibly sourced paper for their glassine pockets, which is a huge plus.