I have to tell you - you're not going to find that here! I can truly and genuinely say that sustainability is a top priority for me. I've spent considerable time, effort, and money to make my products and shipping process as environmentally-friendly as possible, while still leaving room for profit (and mental health... it can be a dark hole to go down sometimes!).
I'll be the first one to admit that the choices I make in my shop aren't perfect. In my ideal world, sustainability would be WAY more feasible for small business to achieve! In the world we currently live in, however, small businesses don;t have the funding/influence/energy to create a system that works for us from scratch, so we're left having to rely on the existing options.
I can honestly tell you that I've spend MANY restless nights, and hundreds upon hundreds of hours trying to find solutions that are simultaneously eco-friendly and also work for my needs. I think I've done a decent job so far, and am excited to continue growing, and putting pressure on big companies to follow suit!
Below, I've outlined just a few of the steps I take every day to ensure my business is ethical and sustainable. If you ever have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me and ask questions (or give me new good ideas, if you have any!)
For items that I ship myself from my studio (in other words, all items that aren't Print-On-Demand), all packaging materials (down to the peel-away backs of my shipping labels!) are recyclable, compostable, or upcycled.
On top of that, a lot of my shipping materials can be used again, either for shipping new packages or for other purposes - so I encourage my customers to get creative!
- All backing cards, note cards, business cards, and other printed paper products you may find in your package are printed on 100% recycled paper, with eco-friendly inks.
- Washi tape does not come in plastic packaging, and is instead wrapped in paper.
- Pins do not come in any plastic packaging, and come "naked" on a 100% recycled (and recyclable) backing card printed with eco-friendly inks.
- Vinyl stickers and stickers sheets sometimes have a plastic peel-away label, but will not come in any additional plastic packaging
- Socks and silk-screened apparel shipped from my studio ships plastic-free
Additionally, I work with all my bulk manufacturing partners (pins, stickers, socks, silk-screened apparel, washi tape, etc!) to reduce plastic when I get new stock shipped to me - and I'm happy to report that most items are shipped to me in very minimal plastic packaging!
- For example: my enamel pins are all shipped to me in cute little tissue paper "burritos", with each batch then being placed in a single plastic bag to protect them from moisture. Usually, pins come shipped in INDIVIDUAL plastic baggies... so we've literally saved thousands of plastic bags using this method!
For Print-On-Demand items, I unfortunately cannot control the shipping materials used since I don't ship these items myself. However, I have done thorough research on the shipping materials used by the companies I partner with, and offer as many items as possible in plastic free shipping. There are also certain things I simply won't allow: For example, you will NEVER get anything on your doorstep packaged in styrofoam (and if you do, you'd better tell me so I can give them an earful!!).
Here is a quick run-down of how different Print-On-Demand items might arrive at your door:
- Items fulfilled by:
- Everything ships plastic-free, every time!
- Hats and camping mugs ship plastic-free, unless sometimes when ordering in bulk when there is some bubble wrap added
- Art Prints are shipped plastic-free
- Phone cases come with minimal plastic packaging (one small plastic sleeve)
- Other apparel from Printful will come in at least 1 poly mailer, sometimes with an additional plastic garment bag. The poly mailers are usually 50% recycled, and can be re-recycled (is that a word?) or used again!
- Kin Custom
- Apparel from Kin Custom (mainly Swim Trunks) usually arrives in a box, with each item in a plastic ziploc-style garment bag (made from recycled materials). These are super handy to keep around the house for other purposes!