Eco weddings, where to start? Let’s just get something quite clear from the out, this is not going to be me telling you that you should have your wedding in a marquee on a farm, eat only vegan food and make all your stationery out of brown paper & recycled string (although if that’s your thing – go for it!).
Weddings shouldn’t have labels, eco or otherwise, it’s your day and you should do things your way. I firmly believe that every couple should be able to have the wedding of their dreams, full of beautiful things. But, I do want to show you how you can do this with a little less waste and impact on our environment.
My invitations and stationery are not just for eco weddings, I make beautiful stationery for all weddings and it’s eco friendly too. Why have I decided to take my business in this direction? I’ll tell you.
What’s changed for me, and why eco weddings?
Over the past few years I’ve personally been on a steady journey taking steps to lower my carbon footprint. Focusing on consuming more consciously and generally reducing the waste (particularly plastic) that myself and my family create.
While I’ve been on this journey it’s become increasingly difficult for me to reconcile my commitment to live a greener lifestyle with the inherently wasteful nature of my business and the wedding industry in general. More and more I would find myself creating invitations and stationery with glitter and embellishments that couldn’t be recycled and materials that often had been imported for far flung countries.
I’ll be honest; while I loved the look of them and enjoyed creating beautiful things, it wasn’t making me feel good inside. I’d love to think that every single piece of stationery I lovingly created would be carefully preserved in a memory box somewhere. But I knew deep down that at the end of it’s (relatively short) life, it would very likely end up in the bin. Sad, but true, as is the case with the mountains of pretty things that are bought and used once only for so many weddings every single year.
Time to think: about eco weddings
When Covid hit in 2020 I suddenly had months stretched out in front of me with very little creating to do and a whole lot of time to think and reflect. I went through a vast range of emotions, feeling for a long time like I had just fallen out of love with my business. I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I give it all up and find something more aligned with my ethos? Should I go back to studying and take a completely different career path? Neither of these options excited me that much either.
Then, a lightbulb moment. Surely I could still do what I love doing, creating beautiful things for special days? Did I also have an opportunity to show you how it can also be more eco friendly? Yes! An overhaul of my product range, a review of the materials I choose to use and most importantly an ongoing commitment to myself (and to you) to always try and find a better way and ta da! I have the beginnings of an eco wedding business. One that I now feel excited again to go to work in everyday.
A journey to become more eco friendly
Now, I need to be quite clear. This is not an overnight transformation. I have not (can not) suddenly become a perfectly zero waste, carbon positive business with whiter than white (or greener than green?) eco credentials. This is a journey, and changes will happen over time. I have couples already booked in for this year and next. Many of whom had to postpone their 2020 weddings. I am 100% committed to producing their invites and stationery exactly as originally promised. I’ll be using stock I already have (and buying in more if I need to) to finish these orders.
What’s important to me is to be going in the right direction. Every decision I make and every order I take from now on aligns with my commitment to make wedding stationery more eco friendly. I can 100% guarantee that I won’t get it right every time, but I will always have the best of intentions guiding me. What I can guarantee is that I will always be transparent about my decisions.
What’s changing at By Jo and what’s not
What’s changing? Me, my business values and some of the materials and processes that I use.
What’s not changing? My customer service, my attention to detail and my love of creating pretty things from paper. Since I formed my business in 2006 my commitment has been to do it the best way I possibly can. I’m still doing that, and now I’m striving to do my best for the environment as well.
All weddings, not just eco weddings!
So that’s it, that’s why (and a little bit about how) I’m steering my business in a new direction. I simply want to create beautiful stationery for all kinds of weddings, with as little impact on the environment as possible.
I hope you’ll come along for the journey. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you as I go along. In the meantime, if you want to read more about my commitment to being a more sustainable wedding business, head over to my website.
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And as always, if you have any questions about eco weddings, sustainable stationery, or how to make your wedding more environmentally friendly, get in touch! I’d love to chat with you.