About our products and packaging
Environmental Issues Update Note - June 2018
This note outlines our present position regarding packaging, recycling, etc. Click the link below to open or download this PDF.
Cards and Cello Wraps
Our cards are fully recyclable in standard kerb-side recycling - see below for more info on this.
Cello wraps - We are currently investigating options for fully bio-degradable cello wraps with several of our artist members. Otherwise the environmental update note linked above discusses how our cellos can be recycled.
We try to be as considerate as possible with our packaging but we have to balance this with the fact that the cards are quite fragile and that you want to recieve them in good order.
We rely mainly on 'voidfill' in our boxes, and many people contact us with concerns about the environmental impact of this. Here's what our supplier says about this voidfill, which is called 'EcoFlo' and which is very carefully sourced:
Manufactured from starch material, EcoFlo is a fully compostable voidfill material and is 100% biodegradable. The product is fully soluble when saturated with water which takes away this issue of litter. It also conforms to EN13432. The manufacturing process for our voidfill material is a single stage process (compared with the manufacturing process for the polystyrene version, which is multi-stage, uses more energy so is less environmentally friendly). Starch is also an annually renewable resource.
1 - We re-use and recycle bubble wrap that comes in to us with our print deliveries etc.
2 - We use green (literally) bubble wrap which is bio degradable.
3 - We have recently started to use 'paper bubble wrap'. This is 100% recycled and 100% recylable so we are using it quite a lot. It does have a faint smell of goats about it - but what can you do?
Cards and Papers Used
All cards and papers are FSC certified and ISO14001 Environmentally certified.
We receive feedback every day from people praising us for the superb quality of our cards. Much of this is, of course, down to the fabulous content created by our artists, but in addition there are some very important factors that we have been very careful to design in to LFTA:
The card used on our standard size cards:
We produce our standard cards on a material called “Invercote G” (300gsm) which is not only a fantastic base material for cards but is also a carefully sourced product with extremely good heritage and environmental credentials.
More information on this card and its specifications can be found here: Invercote G Info
The card is manufactured by Iggesund whose own ethics fit very well with ours at LFTA. From their website: “Iggesund Paperboard is part of the forest industry group Holmen, which owns more than 1.3 million hectares of forest in Sweden. This allows us to take care and think quality from seed to paperboard. Our foundation is sustainably managed forest, and we make our products in state-of-the-art, bio-powered mills.”
See the Iggesund web site for more information.
The card used on our smaller 'pack' cards:
As of mid June 2019 our small cards also use the Invercote G 300gsm paper.
Papers used for our SRA3 print products (Artists' stock products only)
All papers used are rated as acid-free and long-life to ISO9706 'Permanent' grade.
The card stocks (papers) we use are very well suited to use with digital print technologies, and this forms another key factor in our product design strategy. We print our cards digitally and we print ‘on demand’ to meet our order needs. Printing on demand means we minimise waste and is, to us, a perfect and considerate approach to producing greetings cards.
Printing digitally also means we can offer such a wide range of designs because each and every card we create is unique and each next card in the run can be of a completely different design altogether.
Contrast this with the traditional long-run print approach of the cards industry (which, these days probably means manufacturing cards in the far-east and importing huge quantities of the same old designs for the shops). The way cards are created traditionally means that most of the beautiful designs out there never get to see the light of day because the card companies only invest in the most widely appealing generic designs to give the best return on the investment in such huge print runs.
Doesn’t help you find that exact card for that exact person though! In our approach, you might be the only person ever to buy one specific design of card, but, if that’s the card you need at that time, then that’s our job done properly. Creating that one card will have meant no waste – created as required, when needed, just for you.
Traditional card companies create a lot of waste by investing in designs that don’t do so well in the shops, or that become outdated. It all has to be recycled without having ever been used for the intended purpose. Digital printing on demand, however, is one of the very best ways to keep your operation green by simply reducing the amount of print to that which is actually needed.
Recycling and our print methods:
We at LFTA have been involved in producing greetings cards with digital print technologies for many, many years, most of it for the bigger card companies and their various online offerings.
In our industry it is almost a given that cards must, if being digitally printed, use a wet or liquid toner type technology (Indigo), but we made a very deliberate decision early on in our thinking about LoveFromTheArtist that this was something we did not want to do.
Our research suggests that there is a significant problem with de-inking cards produced this way (a vital step in the process of recycling the cards). We know that a lot of our cards will eventually find their way into the usual domestic recycling facilities around the country, and, as it seems that these liquid toner type cards need very specialised facilities and, to all practical extents, seem to be essentially non-recyclable, we did not and do not want to create such an environmentally unfriendly and inconsiderate product.
So we conducted experiments to find the best combination of materials and technologies to make a better product – better in terms of straightforward quality and in terms of recyclability. We found that printing with a dry toner Ricoh system (we use Ricoh Pro C series 5-colour press technology) and with the fabulous Invercote card stock produces a card that will rival that by any other manufacturer out there, but that is far, far more environmentally considerate.
Our cards, therefore, are fully and simply recyclable.