Environmental Opinion: Jo Clark, founder of Jo Clark Designs

The cats and dogs she depicts on her greeting cards maybe rather naughty, but Jo Clark, founder of Jo Clark Designs toes the green line as far as upholding her company’s own environmental credentials, wrapping all her cards in compostable bags.

Jo Clark on her stand at January’s Top Drawer exhibition.
Jo Clark on her stand at January’s Top Drawer exhibition.

Where do you stand on whether cards should be individually wrapped? “I’m not sure that it would be practical to have unwrapped card products in a retail environment, where browsing is encouraged, as there would be an increase of worn and damaged items. I think we should all be aiming to use a biodegradable wrapper where possible. This demand would push suppliers to come up with a suitable sustainable solution.

One of the great Naughty Dogs designs from Jo Clark Designs
One of the great Naughty Dogs designs from Jo Clark Designs

 

I think in an online market place where the retailer sends cards direct to the customer, the cellobag is not necessary as they will be packaged in a postage envelope, which goes directly to the customer.

So, in short, yes we need to wrap the cards for high street stores, but in the most environmentally friendly way possible. However, we don’t need to wrap at all for the online sales, which in turn will save a few pence on packaging, so it’s a win win!”

The Blue Planet II programme brought the environmental issue very much into focus for everyone.
The Blue Planet II programme brought the environmental issue very much into focus for everyone.

What other environmental measures do you feel the industry should be investigating? “The BBC’s Blue Planet programme really opened our eyes to what’s happening to our rubbish after we have used it for a fleeting moment. We can look at our outer packaging and packing tapes too, perhaps opting for paper sticky tapes rather than the plastic ones. We need to keep thinking about environmentally-friendly glitters and embellishments and avoiding any unnecessary plastics being added to the cards. I think we should also be concerned with what inks and papers we use for printing our products, opting for a sustainable vegetable-based inks and making sure they contain no animal-derived ingredients – very important as there’s a vegan revolution happening and we need to keep up!

A Jo Clark Cat design.
A Jo Clark Cat design.

We need to move forwards towards printing technologies, which use other types of papers, for instance carefully selected bamboo, which has less impact on our environment and is a more sustainable resource. I also imagine the print-on-demand industry becoming a much more sustainable way of getting our products to customers resulting in less wastage in general. I’m no expert by any means, but if there is a way we can help by making small changes I think it’s something that may well result in bigger changes throughout the industry.”

MORE NEWS
 
End of school provides growing market for card and gift-giving...
 
Hallmark teams up with Bliss and ITV’s Good Morning Britain to launch new range, sparked by weather presenter Laura Tobin’s...
 
Leading card and gift retailer joins with Just the Tonic to sponsor the Big Value Comedy Show...
 
What’s going to be hot for Valentine’s and Easter next year?...
 
Richard Catherine, owner of Simply Cards, Beccles, Suffolk and Wymondham, Norwich, reveals his store’s hot sellers....
 
New scheme aims to partner children and care home residents with the same name...
Get the latest news sent to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily newsletter