From the offset, I can say that 'being sustainable' is not the easy route. There is a lot more effort, a lot more reflection of your own actions, a lot more additional time and so much more costs involved. It is an active decision to choose something different and far more expensive. It is far far easier (in terms of finding suitable materials, costs and profitability) to buy non environmentally sound products or use companies which do not share the same ethos as you do.
I am not aware of a formal definition or criteria when phrases such as 'sustainable business' and 'eco friendly' are used. They seem to be words that are thrown around a lot but without much meaning and explanation. I have chosen to look at each of my component materials and how it's made, the small businesses I use to source materials, my own processes and methods and adapt it so that, as far as I can feasibly do so currently, the art I make for you has less negative impact on the environment.
Ways Bert and Roxy is being sustainable
I have taken a lot of time researching and sourcing materials from small businesses who believe in the same values as I do, to the best of my ability. There are some limitations, and there are always areas in which I can improve on, so it's best to take the transparent approach.
Sustainability and quality
I am constantly working on this, so you should see this list change and grow. Please get in touch if you are aware of better ways I can work.
- My giclée prints are printed by a UK based small business who are a certified studio for Digital Fine Art Printing, Fine Art Trade Guild ArtSure certified and are a carbon neutral studio. I choose to use Hahnemühle's Eco Fine Art paper, a paper manufacturing company who are world renown for their high quality luxurious paper. Their Eco Fine Art range of papers use renewable plant resources whilst maintaining the high specifications expected of fine art printing paper.
- My greeting cards and postcards are all made from recycled and FSC certified papers.
- My thank you notes are printed on recycled FSC paper. I like to design these so that they can be little keepsakes too. If you no longer have use for them, please recycle or compost them.
- I am very conscious of creating unnecessary waste from my art processes. Linocut tends to accumulate a lot of waste offcuts. I have adapted my printing methods to reduce this as much as possible. I no longer use vinyl based relief blocks and only use hessian backed linocut which is made from natural materials and fully compostable.
- I use professional oil based printmaking inks with a high light fast rating (meaning that it has very good resistance to fading when exposed to light). These inks are linseed oil based and use pigments that are sourced with strict environmental policies. These inks can be cleaned up with warm water and do not require the use of any harsh solvents that are highly irritant and toxic to yourself and the environment.
- Any remaining relief prints which have used vinyl based printing blocks will continued to be used until they have warped and are no longer printable or the edition has fully sold out. I've had conflicting information on whether these can be recycled (if you know, please let me know). Until I know if they can be recycled, or if I find a good use for them, they will be stored away in my studio.
- All single use plastics has been eliminated from my packaging. All orders are packaged in plastic free packaging using 100% recyclable paper tape, paper and card packaging or compostable cornstarch sleeves. I also reuse clean cardboard from my own deliveries to reinforce your packages.
- The paper I use for linocut printmaking is sourced from Awagami Factory in Japan. They are a family run company specialising in luxurious acid free fine art washi paper. Their washi paper uses renewable plant resources and eco friendly traditional papermaking methods. I am aware that the paper has travelled far to get to my little home studio in the UK, but I have not been able to find another paper of equivalent quality in terms of it's fine art credentials or beauty.
- I use a delivery provider who are committed to reducing their impact on the environment. They have made changes including using more bio-CNG vehicles and electric vehicles within their fleet and aiming to continue cutting their greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero.
- My online stores are set up through Shopify and Etsy. Although both of these platforms are very large companies, they are investing heavily to offset their carbon emissions and reduce their carbon emissions. Last year, Etsy managed to offset all their global emissions from shipping and runs 100% on renewable electricity.
Please see here to see the sustainable art I have on offer for you.