Every year on April 22nd, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. To celebrate this very important day 1973 are delighted to announce a new partnership with the forward thinking charity Trees for Cities
As of May 1st, 1973 will sponsor Trees for Cities to the tune of £8,500 per year for the next 3 years. Trees for Cities plants trees in urban areas, improving lives and regenerating forgotten and neglected spaces, whilst creating healthier environments and making people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food. With an active base of volunteers from local communities, 140,000 to date, Trees for Cities have so far planted 1,285,073 trees. We are very excited to be a part of this important charity, as the benefits to us all are huge. We all know that trees benefit the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide, which helps slow the rate of global warming. Trees also reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. Trees are very important for our souls and our mental health, as they bring nature closer to us and can help us feel connected to nature, which is especially important after the tough couple of years we’ve all experienced.
When 1973 started nearly 20 years ago, the founders James and Emma had an interest in using environmentally friendly materials and solutions at the heart of the company. We’ve carried on that ethos to this day, and with education and shifts in business practices and consumer attitudes, we have pushed ourselves to be as green as possible, constantly analysing how we improve and make a difference. Some of our particularly proud moments have been the beautiful Paper Nature card range which was launched in 2005 and was made from grey packing board which was made from 100% post-consumer waste and litho printed using soy inks and then jazzed up with foil detailing. Our printer at the time said we were mad, as the board was deemed too low quality to print on, but we forced their hand and pushed the range through. Paper Nature was a huge success as it was a new style of product for the card market and in turn helped put 1973 on the map, getting us into the likes of Paperchase and other large key retailers of the time.
In 2007 another proud moment for 1973 was when we launched the ‘I love being recycled, I’ve done it once already’ range of stationery. This range used discontinued wrapping papers by chopping them up and mixing styles then collating into notebooks, writing paper sets and notepads. It was a fantastic way of using papers that had reached their sell by date and was picked up on by Oxfam, whose buying team asked us to produce a white label range for them, which in turn wiped us completely out of the discontinued product.
Nowadays all of our letterpress cards are printed on 100% recycled paper and the rest of our cards, which are litho printed, are printed on a board from Sweden, where the factory produces its own green energy using the off cuts from the milled birch wood it uses to make its paper. The surplus energy it generates is then given to the local community, which helps to heat the local swimming pool. All of our other paper, which we use for stationery items, is either 100% recycled, or has FSC accreditation as a minimum. We have recently stopped using cello bags for all cards and now ship them naked with no card clasps, as the wastage in sticker manufacture is vast. Particular attention is given to packaging design, where we look to have 100% recyclable solutions by using paper instead of cello bagging. All our packaging is made from paper, and we use scrunched up discontinued wrapping papers as a replacement to bubble wrap, and paper tape is used to seal the boxes so that everything we send out can be either reused or recycled.
We know we’re not perfect, but we try to push ourselves as much as possible and hopefully, sometime in the near future, we are going to install solar panelling and battery storage to 1973 HQ, which will help us create our own green energy to power our printing machines, heat our building and boil the teams kettle. With the world in such a fragile state, we owe it to ourselves to do as much as possible to help heal our planet so that generations to come can enjoy this wonderful place.
A special thanks goes to Alice Hoffman AKA Bureau Alice for the fantastic illustration used for this blog. We are super excited at 1973 as she has designed a fantastic range of cards and wrap to add to our offering... These are being printed as we speak. Watch this space….