Why we decided to not pack our cards anymore
We got a lot of reactions to our announcement that from the 1st of May 2020 we will no longer package our letterpress cards in plastic cellophane bags.
Fortunately, the vast majority of you are very positive about this decision. There were of course also a number of questions / comments / feedback. Thank you for taking the time to send them to us!
We would like to respond to a number of comments in this blogpost and, in particular, to include you in our thinking process that preceded this decision. It is anything but a reckless decision.
Are our customers ready?
We think so.
Europe is ready too. From 2021 there will be a ban on disposable plastic in the EU.
In other words, there is no escaping. As an entrepreneur, we simply like to be proactive.
More so: at Studio Flash we regularly receive an e-mail or DM asking why our cards are packed in plastic.
People (end customers!), who take the time and effort to look us up and contact us online. In our opinion, that is a tip of the proverbial melting iceberg (pun intended) of people who are annoyed by disposable plastic.
Why not biodegradable plastic?
Biodegradable and compostable plastic (PLA) at first glance appear to be ecologically very interesting, but in practice they are not.
Yes, they are technically biodegradable, but the conditions in which they are biodegradable are so specific (50 + °C, CO2 needed etc etc) that it is simply not such a good alternative to regular (PPO) plastic. In practice, they are often only industrially compostable, and are not collected separately as such.
Moreover, this type of plastic is NOT recyclable, in fact, it currently contaminates the recycling process of regular plastic.
And also, biodegradables are more fragile and sensitive for humidity and sunlight. Not really handy as well.
Doesn’t sound ideal right? That’s because it isn’t …
There is a term for that, people call this greenwashing.
(want to read more?
Aren’t the cards going to get dirty faster?
In fact, it’s the envelopes that get dirty faster than the cards. We therefore decided to include a number of free spare envelopes with every order, in proportion to the size of the order.
We did a months long test case here in our studio. The letterpress cards did not become crooked or discolored by sunlight. And our test carousel stood by the window, next to a door that regularly opens and closes. Very similar circumstances than an average store. Remember: our cards are high-quality letterpress printing, not an off set or digital print! An important difference in terms of being resistant to the natural elements and enthusiastic customers. So don’t compare our cards with a collection of unpackaged postcards that you may already have in your store, that is a bit of comparing apples and pears.
More so: we strongly believe that the quality of the letterpress printing and the colors stand out much better without plastic around it.
In the evening light at sunset, for example: breathtaking! I tell you.
Will the cards sell less?
As mentioned: at the moment we already receive direct questions from end customers as to whether we do not sell our cards without packaging.
A number of our own customers (stores) even consciously remove our cards from the packaging and thereby indicate that they see no difference in the sales figures of the cards.
In our opinion, no end customer will have a problem with the fact that the cards are not packed, but they clearly have a problem if they are packed.
Admittedly, from a practical point of view, it is less handy in nature, those unpackaged cards. But more beautiful and more sustainable. It seems to us that this is precisely why customers come to you and not to the large (online) chain around the corner or the Amazons of this world. Someone must dare to stick their neck out and take the lead. Let’s do this together.
Fuck the sidelines, doing business is daring (to change), going for it and making the world a better place. There is no planet B, let’s just join forces and create a beautiful earth!