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.
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.
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!”
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!
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.”