8. Sustainability

The honest truth is that we aren’t a perfectly sustainable company - but we do our absolute best to minimise our business’s ecological footprint. We have carefully chosen the materials we work with because they’re of the very best quality available. Quality matters. The prints we produce are artefacts to treasure and be passed down through generations, and choosing premium materials gives them the best chance of standing the test of time.

Short-run printing (aka print on demand) is more resource-efficient than offset/large-run, and printing on an as-needed basis eliminates the impact of wasteful overprinting. As we print to size, what minimal paper waste we do have is either used for samples or in the case of smaller scrap or misprints, recycled with Visy. Our process is water-free, and we use no solvent inks or resin based papers.  Our inks are aqueous (that is, suspended in water instead of oil, alcohol or other chemical compounds), so there are no harmful chemical emissions from our printers or process. All our ink cartridges are recycled through Close The Loop

Fine art papers must be "virgin" papers, meaning they use no recycled content and meet archival standards, avoiding chemicals, lignins, or bleaches that compromise print quality. Recycled paper is unsuitable for fine art printing due to the chemicals and toxic by-products produced during the de-inking process. Ironically, recycled paper production involves extensive chemical processes and high energy consumption, making it less eco-friendly than many realize. Fine art paper production has a smaller ecological footprint. Cotton papers use linters, a by-product of the textile and oil industries, making them environmentally friendly as no additional cotton is grown. Bamboo, Agave, and Hemp papers are also sustainable, requiring no pesticides and minimal water. 

We're proud to say we’ve eliminated 95% of plastic from our packaging. Our tubes and print boxes are made from recyclable content, and are recyclable (if you don’t plan to reuse them). Our tubes and print boxes have been designed specifically to avoid the need for wasteful plastic-based bubble wrap, and we use paper-based voidfill and cardboard reinforcements.  

— so, what’s the 5%?
Archival sleeves, mostly. These are a non-negotiable for us - it’s important that prints of this quality are protected by stable, archival materials and polypropylene is the best option we’ve found. However, we understand that you might prefer to forgo this for your order - just let us know.  We also use plastic-based tape to provide moisture protection for seals on tubes, and some parcels. In the cases where plastic based-protection is required (ie foam), we re-use materials rather than buying new.  

We work on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri people. Always was, always will be.
© Hound & Bone Studio 2024.