If you’d like to find out more about the production and distribution of our very first version of the Sea Soul Blessings Box set, which was created in 2018 – and why we created our current more sustainable version to replace it – you can read all about it below.
The Sea Soul Blessings book and card set (October 2018 – November 2019)
THE GOOD STUFF
The Sea Soul Blessings boxes and bag: Our extensive ‘road-tests’ (you lovely people using the cards) proved that the box and bag were both durable and reusable, and nearly all of you choose to keep your cards and book in these – in particular, their small size made them easily portable, using limited resources to do the job! Our boxes came from the Tiny Box Company, and are made of 40% recycled boxboard.
The Sea Soul Blessing cards: These were printed by Moo on paper stock sourced from sustainable forests, and are ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free), which prevents harmful emissions, minimising the environmental impact of the paper bleaching process.
The Sea Soul Blessing mini-books: Printed by a local supplier (I could walk to collect them) on Forest Stewardship Council paper sheet, the printers told us that their printer toner also has no negative environmental impact. These were the smallest card-accompanying books we’ve ever seen, so again, minimising our use of valuable resources to deliver a great product – but they did test your eyes a little!
Sea Soul Cuffs: (Limited edition – not currently available.) These have been handmade locally for us by an awesome mum supporting her family (much like Pippa!) at Stuff Made From Things and are made from stainless steel using hand tools that are over 100 years old.
The boxes: These came packaged in cotton fill inserts manufactured from industrial polyester waste which is recycled, and could be recycled (if your local facility can’t recycle them, the Tiny Box Company will do that for you). Should you tire of your sea soul cuff, and not have a fellow sea soul to pass it on to, stainless steel is recyclable.
Delivery: We used ‘green’ jiffy bags for all UK deliveries: made with 100% recycled paper fibre lining, they are fully recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.
THE NOT SO GOOD STUFF
The Sea Soul Blessings boxes: The boxes and Sea Soul Blessing cards were both recyclable – but only if you removed the plastic laminate that strengthened and protected them, and that laminate was not biodegradable.
These boxes were supplied to us with a non-recyclable ‘velvet’ insert that we could remove and pass on to others who can make use of it (like jewellers), but it’s pretty likely that their re-use stops there.
The Sea Soul Blessings bags: The bags were made of non-organic material (which means that at least no silk worms are harmed to make them) but they were not recyclable or biodegradable.
We did however find lots of great ideas about how to reuse bags like these over at Raw Botanicals.
The Sea Soul Blessing cards and mini-book: Like the box, the cards were coated with a non-biodegradable laminate – this made them more durable than other small cards (and again – they are smaller than most packs of cards), but it’s also non-recyclable.
Moo don’t currently use their most eco-friendly paper stocks for this product, and neither the cards nor book are printed with vegetable or recyclable ink.
Delivery: While some elements of our products are sourced locally, others come from further afield – generating environmental transportation costs.
Your international packages also arrived in an occasional non-eco envelope until our first stock of those ran out – because they are lighter.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Here are some of the key questions we asked as we moved forward:
- Product packaging: can we source durable sturdy boxes made of recycled paper and without plastic, supplied without any insert? Or find an alternative form of packaging that works?
- Can our cards be printed naturally, and use a biodegradable laminate that ensures their durability (but not for thousands of years)?
- Can we find more sustainable packaging options?
- Is there an alternative recycled metal we might use for our cuffs?
- What more can we do to find the best ways to purchase and distribute, and utilise the most sustainable delivery routes? While transportation is always going to be a challenge for any product-based company, we want to improve on this.
- As Sea Soul Blessings grows, how can we best give back to nature?
You can find out how we are starting to answer these questions over here.