This year will be the first time I am offering reproduction prints of my scratchboard work at art festivals! Once I decided to go full-time, I knew this project was one I wanted to tackle right away and have prints available at my first shows of the year. I'm excited to offer this option so more people can take my work home, as they are a more economical option to my large scratchboard pieces.
While I was planning to get this project started, I knew I wanted to be as responsible, sustainable, and earth-conscious about this new endeavor as possible. Thinking about huge shipments of paper and plastic products landing on my doorstep gave me a bit of a stomach ache. I'm trying to eliminate most of those products from my personal life, so ADDING them to my professional life was hard to swallow. I knew the decision was good for my business and something I wanted to do, so I took to the internet (man, Google is so good!) to see what options I had. I cannot tell you how THRILLED I am to have found some amazing products that are earth-friendly, recyclable, and compostable (yes, COMPOSTABLE!).
My reproduction prints are packaged in a way that I am very proud of! The print is backed with a board made from 100% recycled content. The plastic sleeve is certified compostable and made from plants - lactic acid from plants is used to make the material Polylactide (PLA). Each print has a label on the back that explains the nature of the packaging and that label is made from sugar cane paper, which is also compostable!
The reproduction itself is printed on Premium Presentation Paper with a matte finish - I don't know the source of the paper material, but it is likely not recycled. Material fibers are weakened during the recycling process and typically wouldn't be used for this purpose, but again, I don't know that for sure. The ink is standard inkjet printer ink, so it is more difficult to extract from recycled materials. I am looking into using soy based inks which are more earth-friendly and more easily recycled. Epson, the company I purchase the inks from, has an awesome recycling program that allows people to return ink cartridges and packaging (which are made of 50% recycled content) to them to be recycled free of charge! The last little item that isn't recyclable is the small label on the front of the reproductions that identifies them as such. I'm still searching for small, clear, blank labels that fit my packaging theme. These were, again, compromises between building a successful business and wanting to keep Mother Earth in the forefront. There is a lot of give and take in creating a sustainable business, but it's worth it!!