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Eco Friendly Changes

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Disclaimer: In this little blog I’m going to use the word ‘board’…a lot.

LizCat and I have an ongoing debate on whether I can say ‘board’ or whether it’s too industry speak. So, for clarification it’s just the way we talk about the stuff that our card designs get printed onto. Mostly so we don’t have to say “the card that our cards are printed onto”, because that would sound silly…or say “cardboard”, because that only makes me think of cardboard box forts. In the card industry, it tends to all be talk about paper, or board. Anyway…on with the show and all that…

 


Update on our sustainability

Jelly Armchair Cheltenham ShopI thought it was high time to give you an update on our sustainability practices here at Jelly Armchair as it’s something we increasingly prioritise as we grow our little business. 

If you’re new to our company, we’re two sisters, Cat – who does all of the illustrations and comes up with all of the puns, and me – Liz, I look after things like getting the cards produced and making printing and publishing decisions within the company. We also have a wonderful member of staff, Liv who helps us out with all of the order packing and it’s highly likely she’ll be the one who packs your orders – especially during the lockdown whilst it’s sensible to avoid having more than one person in our little card shop at the same time!

 

When we started the company in 2015, we had no idea about what board was, what options there were, and so we made our decisions based partly on recommendations from printers as to what would work for our designs, and partly on price – we were hugely overly reliant on supplying large retail chains at this point, and as the margins on these sales comes down to pennies, you really have to watch them!  We knew we wanted to be as eco conscious as possible, and have actively made the decision to avoid flitter (card glitter!) and special finishes that might impact recyclability – as such, you’ll never see these on our cards. For our original board choice we opted for a relatively basic coated board to showcase Cat’s fantastic illustrations, we made sure it was FSC certified and fully recyclable but beyond that we did not think too much about it.

 

During 2020 we designed an entirely new range of greetings cards which we called Pundemic™️, these are the most exciting cards we’ve created in terms of special features, so they required a bit more research.  Whilst we were researching and developing these cards (they’re really cool, they have lift the flap bits and a super secret fold out section and everything…seriously, you should check them out!) we discovered a new type of board, named ‘Revive’, that we could use to produce these cards. This board is fully-recycled, FSC certified, and carbon balanced – we love it! We’d tried recycled boards in the past, but nothing had quite passed, a lot of them cracked on the creases, or made the colours look dull, but with Revive we loved the way our print looked on the card. We introduced the board for our new designs in 2020 and the feedback has been great. 

 

As we’ve grown as a business our eco status has become increasingly important to us, we made the decision at the start of this year, 2021, that we want to continue to put environmental sustainability in the forefront of our minds for every product we sell, this meant looking back at our existing collections as well as forwards to new additions. We’ve not taken the time to reconsider our board choices for our signature ranges since 2015, partly because we’ve never stopped for long enough to consider changing cards that are already being sold (2020 changed that as we’ve had no large retail orders for many months owing to the shops being closed) but also, in the industry, it’s generally accepted that once you’ve decided the board choice for a range of cards, that tends to be how it stays, especially if it sells well.


Moving Forward

 

We have decided this excuse isn’t really good enough. Now that we’ve found a recycled board that we really love, and our customers love too (we used it for Pundemic™️, Herbivore, and Sequential Silliness last year), there really is no excuse not to change it up for all our ranges. We hope that you’ll come with us on this journey of transition from our old, coated board, to our new carbon balanced recycled board.   In the meantime, your order may come on a mix of different boards, even if the cards are both part of the same range/collection. Rest assured that the current coated stock is still 100% recyclable and FSC certified. As a little extra perk, we’ve noticed that we much prefer handwriting onto the new card when we’ve been writing cards to send straight to the recipient, it’s also much nicer to touch and handle which we’ve definitely noticed more now that we’re plastic free 🙂

 

 

Text at top 'Sending You...' In four panels, 'A bear hug, 'A heart felt hug', 'A giant hug', 'and a moose seive hug'. Each panels shows the different hugs.

 

You’ll hear more from us in the future regarding sustainability as we work towards really looking into our carbon footprint, and work out real ways we can make a positive impact as a company.

You might even hear more about board…if you’re very lucky. 

 

Board board board boardy board board.

 

Liz 


 

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