Sustainability & Ethics

At the heart of Solstice Studios is sustainability, creating arts without harming the environment or creatures living in it. We can choose better options for our daily needs, food and things we buy. I consider all factors when making and selling products, such as using materials that are plastic free, biodegradable and have a low carbon footprint. There is almost no waste produced at Solstice Studios.

The products have a low carbon footprint, with sustainability in mind meaning they can be made and end their life without a negative impact on the planet. Materials are sourced from suppliers that follow good environmental and social practices. Whenever possible, I use suppliers that are local or share the same land mass, in order to reduce the air miles covered by the materials.

  • Plastic Free

    Plastic exploded into the world around 110 years ago. Since then, it has been used in practically everything, but it doesn’t break down and degrade like natural matter. It will be here for thousands of years and we are just now beginning to see the devastating effects; killing marine life, polluting soils, polluting water supplies, eventually ending up as microplastics in our food and our bodies. Single use plastics have been abused to satisfy our desire to have everything wrapped and appear perfect, but is a luxury that serves no real purpose. Solstice Studios avoids using plastic in any of the products, shipping, materials, glues, or raw materials. Plastic has become essential in certain industries, however, now is the time to start using plastic only where absolutely necessary.

  • Clay

    The clay used is sourced from the UK, from which a lot of it recycled clay. Hopefully, in the future we will be making clay ourselves.

  • Precious Metals

    When possible I buy recycled Sterling Silver & Gold.

  • Leather

    The leather is always vegetable tanned to avoid the Chromium salts used in normal leather. Tanning leather with Chromium salts results in large quantities of hazardous waste and dangerous working conditions.

    The leather sourced from animals as a by-product of the meat industry, meaning no animals were killed for the sole purpose of obtaining their leather.  Although it is an animal product, I believe that it is a far better alternative to plastic. It is totally biodegradable, hard wearing, and can be repaired.

  • Textiles

    Organic cotton is used, if a non cotton alternative cannot be found. Non organic cotton requires pesticides, herbicides, oils, and waxes. 1kg of cotton can require up to 10,000 liters of water, so where possible I will use hemp, bamboo or more sustainable alternatives. I would love to use Linen more often, but sadly Scotland is loosing most of its skilled workers and industries when it comes to Linen production.

  • Glues

    Homemade glues are used such as casein glue, This is a pre PVA. Occasionally I use water based glues such as ‘EcoWeld’.

  • Inks & Dyes

    All of the stamps and printing inks are made from natural ingredients. Wherever possible, I make my own inks and dyes. The screen printing inks are UK made and water based in order to avoid the toxic PVC inks widely used in this industry.

Recipes for the homemade glue, inks, and dyes can be found on the articles page.

All of the packaging is 100% plastic and petro-chemical free!

  • Paper

    I use sustainably made paper, or recycled paper. I would like to one day make all of my own paper, but my premises as of now prohibit that.

  • Cardboard

    Until I can make cardboard, I will continue to use recycled cardboard, sourced and made in the EU/UK.

  • Tape

    I use solvent and acid free recycled kraft paper tape. It uses a natural latex based adhesive, is completely biodegradable, compostable, and vegan. Sourced and made in the EU/UK.

  • Filler

    Over years of receiving packages, I have saved the paper and cardboard filler so it can be re-used when sending out packages. This is the most sustainable way to recycle packaging.

There is very minimal, if any, waste produced while making these products. Any waste is correctly recycled.

  • Ceramics

    The sustainability of ceramics is very good, due to the fact there is little to no waste! Any clay that drys out, or can’t be used gets recycled and used for later projects.

    The firing process uses an electric kiln, instead of gas to avoid the carbon dioxide release. Occasionally, (2-3x per year) we fire the wood kiln, which uses local recycled wood.

  • Jewellery

    Any silver/gold pieces are saved for melting down in the future.

  • T-Shirts/Clothing Printing

    Any left over ink is put into a container and re-used. I am yet to make my own clothing, but when I do begin this, all textile material will be chemical/plastic free so will most likely end up in the compost.

  • Leather Products

    The small amount of leather cuttings created are degraded in the compost.  Larger pieces are kept for later projects.

  • Soap

    There is no waste made in the production of the soap. The final product is the sum of all the ingredients.

If I can, I’ll make as much equipment as possible. The screen printing press and frames are made from local FSC Approved wood, milled by a local business and put together using the homemade casein glue and stainless steel staples.  Unfortunately, a Polyester mesh is used for the screens, but silk mesh suitable for printing is being researched. 99% of the industry has switched to using Polyester due to cost.

Most tools are 2nd hand, or passed on by family. Any old tools are restored, and are often better quality than whats available now.

Green hosting service by Green Geeks, which puts back 3 times the amount of power they use over the year back into the grid. This appears to be the greenest option currently available.

If you have any questions about the sustainability practices, supply chains, or the materials used, don’t hesitate to get in touch.