Latest trends in fine stationery, custom invitations and announcements from the Stationers Guild

I was recently drawn to a news article published December 4, 2008 in the New York Times entitled “How Green Can a Christmas Trees Be?“  The article strongly suggests that buying a Christmas tree free of pesticides and fungicides is like finding a needle in a haystack.  The article infers that the vast majority of the 31 million trees sold in the United States last year contain some form of chemical treatment.

As stationers, we are sensitive to environmental concerns and monitor evolving trends in the industry.  Many of the leading boutique design firms have clear environmental guidelines on the materials used in producing fine stationery and custom invitations.  This is particularly true for many firms that design letterpress wedding invitations.  Many insist on using only papers produced from organically grown cotton and most have shifted from using oil-based inks to vegetable inks.  Smock Paper has gone one step further in producing beautiful letterpress invitations from bamboo.

Letterpress on Bamboo by Smock Paper

Having attended several conferences on the environment, I must sadly conclude this is a complex subject and that there are many shades of “green” when it comes to intelligent debate.   What disturbs me the most is the vast number of unsubstantiated claims made by merchandisers anxious to get on the “green” bandwagon.  Scot Case of TerraChoice Environmental Marketing described Six Sins of Greenwash at a business conference last summer.

As consumers, we want to be seduced by the notion that we are “doing the right thing for the environment” by using recycled paper for wedding invitations.  Don’t you feel cheated when you find out that only 30% comes from recycled paper? Did you stop to consider that paper made from cotton and recycled cotton rag from textiles mills has been a “green” choice for over 200 years?  Granted, the carbon footprint left behind by the production of paper and the use of pesticides and herbicides are serious concerns, but one needs to step back from the green “hype” or “Greenwash” and make decisions on what you see in front of you.  As Scot Case of TerraChoice says, “all decisions you make inevitably leaves a carbon footprint, the real challenge is to make the ones that are less harmful to the environment.”

Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood to learn more about how you can make informed decisions about the environment.  Choosing a green wedding invitation may not be as difficult as you thought.

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