Sustainable Studio

Sustainable Studio

By Mimi C

Sustainable Studio

Our products and packaging are designed with the earth in mind. We want share our approach to building a sustainable business and be transparent about how we make our products. 

Our Packaging

Our packaging is now shipped in 100% recycled and recyclable material. We source our packaging from the following places:

Small changes make a meaningful difference, such as moving from clear tape (not recyclable) to water-activated paper tape (recyclable), or vinyl sticker closures (not recyclable) to compostable stickers (recyclable). We even considered things like the backings of our shipping labels—usually not recyclable, but we learned about one that is 💛

Our Products

Our prints, cards, and totes are made in the USA. Our books, notebooks, and metal accessories (pins, keychains) are made in China with manufacturers we trust.

We avoid unnecessary plastics in our products as much as possible. We now ship our art prints in paper wrap instead of plastic sleeves. We offer free exchanges for any prints that are weather-damaged due to this change, but so far have had no issues. Our notebooks still come in plastic sleeves but will be phased out in the next design. The main product we have that cannot be recycled is the vinyl stickers, due to their coating that makes them durable and waterproof. 

We have previously tried print-on-demand as a potential way to increase our sustainability practices, but decided the trade-off in customer experience quality was not worth it. Thus all of our current products are produced and then shipped from our studio in Los Angeles, CA.

Our Approach

We love our planet and do our best to build a sustainable business. We believe everyone can make a meaningful difference through their choices and actions. We spend extra time finding more sustainable alternatives to materials we use. We ask our manufacturers if they have eco-friendly packaging options and pay extra for them. We share our resources to hopefully inspire others to do the same.

That said, I want to add some perspective here. While it's great to champion eco-friendly practices, we should not get overly critical of small businesses who are unable to be completely eco-friendly. First of all, it's often more expensive to do so. It not only costs more financially, but it takes extra time and effort to research these less common alternatives. Small business are usually short on both time and money. The collective effort small businesses and individuals can have, even if they do everything right, pale drastically in comparison to what a difference corporate and government change would make. The latter is where we should focus our power of persuasion as consumers.

Second, even the most well-intentioned eco-friendly business is at the end of the day still creating a consumable product. That by definition is not as eco-friendly as simply making nothing. So no product company, even a digital one, can truly say they are not causing any harm to the environment. We must balance the pros and cons of our actions and move forward as best we can. I think creating things is important to our humanity; but then our creations should honor the materials it took to make them.

We are constantly learning and keep improving and want to contribute to this conversation. When it comes to sustainability, I believe it's best to encourage individuals to do the best they can and work together to share new ideas and approaches. I know the environmental situation is serious. Still, I personally approach sustainability from an actively optimistic, humans-are-creative-and-can-solve-problems viewpoint rather than a frantic doom-and-gloom humans-are-the-worst viewpoint. I appreciate artists such as Leigh Ellexson taking the time to share her eco-friendly resources. My motivation for sharing my own experience and resources is the same. We will continue to share more details of our resources to pay it forward.

Thanks for Caring

Thank you for learning more about our sustainability efforts. If you have any questions or recommendations, please feel free to email us at hi [at] mimochai.com.