• Emma Louise Castle

Let's Talk Sustainable Wedding Stationery.

Updated: Feb 7

Last year I had the pleasure of being interviewed as part of a Harpers Bazaar article on how to make your wedding as sustainable as possible. Before, during and after this it dawned on me that I haven't really been shouting enough about what I am doing as a small business owner where the planet it concerned. In my personal life taking care of our beautiful planet is something I care a lot about, you have probably picked this up already but I am a keen gardener and spend as much of my time as I can outside immersed in nature, so naturally I have transferred this passion into my business.


I thought it would be good to share with you some of the ways I do my bit in the studio, with your invitations, in my products and packaging and how I hope to keep on improving the sustainability of my business, because there is always more we can do!


Right, let's talk about making your wedding stationery sustainable..


When it comes to your invitations, I always try to adopt the reduce, reuse, recycle approach. (Are you also now singing Jack Johnson,... I thought so!) I think considering the impact of your invitation in no ways needs to compromise on how beautiful they are. So here are some of my top tips:


REDUCE


  • Team work makes the dream work! - A little trick I love is combination stationery... double sided signage, menu's which work as place cards, postcards RSVP's (no need for extra return envelopes) and cleverly folded invitations to save on those additional sheets of printed paper. My concertina invitations have a cleverly perforated final page so your guest can teat it off, pop on a stamp and return to you, easy peasy!



  • Can any of your invitations go out digitally? Obviously, I am a massive fan of a beautiful paper invitations, but did you know I can create the same illustrated invitation in digital format.. this means you have the option of printing invitations for perhaps your immediate family and your closest friends and then sending out digital invitations to the rest of your loved ones. This cuts down on paper usage but you will still have a beautiful illustrated artwork to share.

  • Travel miles - For a lot of your on the day stationery, small runs of invitations and anywhere else possible I use my local fine art printers Jackson & Young who are just 0.1 miles away from the studio (you can’t get much closer than that!) This reduces the travel miles of your printing significantly. (If you are also an artist looking for print services I would 100% recommend getting in touch with the girls at Jackson & Young, their paper choices and print knowledge is spot on!) Anything I can’t print locally is always printed in England, with a company who re-use all their ink cartridges, are a zero landfill business, certified to Forest Stewardship Council® standards and ISO Management standards.

REUSE


  • Plantable paper - yes it's a thing and yes I am fan. Plant that invitation out in the garden after the wedding and watch those flowers grow! Great for you and great for the bee's. Win, Win!

  • Recycled paper - I think this might need a whole blog of it's own to be honest with you. But to summarise, recycled paper has got preettty luxe recently. I have a variety of 100% recycled papers available for use in all my wedding stationery and any non recycled paper will be certified to Forest Stewardship Council® standards and recyclable.

  • Keep those beauties! Now this one is probably my favourite, also something most of my couples tell me they do, which is extremely lovely.... frame those gorgeous invitations.


Part of the joy of bespoke invitations is how much heart, soul and personality goes into them, so my aim is to make them so beautiful for you that you'll want to keep them, pop them up on your frame wall or display them on your shelves. They are a beautiful long lasting wedding day memory, make the most of it!!!

RECYCLE


This one is simple. I make sure everything is suitable for easy, at home, recycling by avoiding any printing techniques which make paper non recyclable such as digital foiling or plastic coating and tape.



In the studio...


Looking around the studio you won’t find an inch of watercolour paper I haven’t painted on. It seriously compromises the tidiness in there but I like to think of it as creative chaos! My watercolour paper, paints are brushes are brought from the local art shop which cut's down on travel miles.

All invoicing and paper work is managed digitally, I only print an email if I really have to and all studio waste is recycled.


PACKING


I avoid excess packaging and branding material where ever possible. I want your parcels to arrive looking beautiful but not at the cost of the planet. So I keep things minimal and everything is always recyclable and more often than not recycled to begin with so I can keep the circle going.





The branded stickers used for packing are all printed in England, they are vegan and bio-degradable made from 100% recycled waste and bleached without the use of chlorine! I also use stamps for branding boxes and envelopes to reduce waste material, these too are made in England and the ink pads I use are vegan, acid-free and made in a a solar-powered, green-certified, family-run business.

Any parcels finished with ribbon will be either recycled silk ribbons which is naturally died using plant dyes in North Devon (these are so beautiful I strongly recommend reusing them for wrapping lovely presents or tying bouquets perhaps!) or with Dartmoor jute twine which is home compostable.


What's next?


The options for making my business as eco friendly as possible are always growing, and I always try to think of new ways to cut my footprint. If you think there is something I am not doing that I could be I am always happy for feedback so send me your tips!


Emma x





Beautiful studio blooms by the talented and lovely North Devon flower farmer Sweetpea's and Sunflowers

Photo's by the wonderful wedding photographer extraordinaire Kirsty Louise Photo






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