Packaging. All sellers, especially online, need it. If you're a seller who does the odd in-person market or craft fair, you definitely need it. I love people coming to my stall, picking up a print or card and having a proper look at it. But, at the same point, if that person doesn't buy that item, it still needs to be clean and presentable for it's next prospective purchaser. This is where the dreaded cellophane wrapper comes in. Those transparent pockets of plastic that stop grubby fingerprints from wrecking your lovely fine art archival prints that won't appreciate having oily marks on them.
But, as we are all aware, we should be reducing the amount of single use plastics we consume per person. From having a metal water bottle, to a reusable cotton wool bud (yes, I've got one, its made from recycled ocean plastic), most people are looking to cut down their plastic. And this is something I agree with. As my cards and prints are the main culprits of plastic usage, but also the most handled items, I made the decision to move them over to Nativia biodegradable wrappers. These are a compostable film made from renewable sources. However. Don't shoot me if you buy a card (please browse cards) that's not in an eco-wrapper. I still have some old stock that is in cellophane wrappers, which it would be even less environmentally friendly to take out of the cellophane, bin the wrapper and then put into a new wrapper.
This also includes my prints. I still have a pile of cellophane wrappers to use up, as I'm loath to waste them. I mean, the more prints I sell, the sooner I can start using the eco-friendly ones *cough*.
If you come and see me at a craft fair, there’s a strong chance you’ll be given a second hand paper bag to carry away your purchases in (it’s my excuse for going clothes shopping, I need more bags for craft fairs!) Or, if you’ve spent over £60 with me that day and I have them in stock, I have reusable cotton shoppers with my logo on that Leyann at Evan and Arrows did for me which I hand out as a thank you gift for buying from me. She also did my logo flags that you will see on my stall, which I ADORE. And, no plastic signage for me. Yes, it’s bigger and easier to see, but it doesn’t fit in with my brand values, or the aesthetic of my stall.
However, even the packaging I send out website orders from, I try to reuse as much as possible, or at least buy recycled. Sadly, this means my mailers are currently a sludgy grey colour as they’re recycled plastic if you buy a tea towel, but I have ordered some lovely green ones which are eco-friendly too. Any bubble wrap or cardboard that I get a parcel delivered in I keep to wrap paintings and framed artwork in for posting. I had some prints delivered recently with a load of those packaging wotsit things.. I’ve kept them for packing mugs up. I use a paper tape which not only makes my parcels look pretty, it’s easy to recycle as well.
Even the insulation in my studio is as eco-friendly as possible. I use Thermafleece, which is made from sheep’s wool and recycled materials. Not only does this make it less challenging to use than fibre glass insulation, it helps the environment and the sheep! The wool all comes from British farms, which makes me happy, as the wool industry in the UK is really struggling at the moment, and sheep need to be sheared to keep them healthy. I mean, can you imagine wearing a thick wooly jumper in the middle of summer?
And the best bit of all this? By reusing so much packaging, this keeps my costs down, which means I can keep offering free postage!