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élan hair design

hair heroes green salon


ingredien a team with ambition

paka marín navas sustainability and graphic design sustainable design: the clever way forward

what is CSR? CSR - in my and your world malaga fashion show

Petra De Boer, Ecodrukkers sustainable packaging

sustainability in print design

When you have a responsibility to make a difference Sometimes you get across knowledge, which makes you realize that from now on you have got a new responsibility which you can never turn your back onto again. I strongly believe this is what has happened for all participants in the ISCI project when understanding the challenges ‘hairdresser’ and ‘customers face’. Unfortunately a lot of people get sick from their work. Hairdressers are risking their health every day to make others look beautiful and feel better about themselves. Hairdressers face problems with their body and skeleton from standing and walking for hours. This can be difficult enough. But the even more dangerous part is the chemicals and acids which are put in the products they use. Believing you are safe when using ‘organic´ products is unfortunately in many cases just a marketing trick – only 2% in a beauty product has to be organic in order to be called organic. The rest of the product can be made of dangerous chemicals, which may cause allergies, can affect reproduction, etc. Every day hairdressers get sick or invalidated from their work and customers suffer from allergic reactions. It is time for us to wake up and understand that there are ways to do things differently. In the ISCI project, 5 schools across Europe have taken important steps to be role models for sustainability. Implementing sustainability in the hair and beauty industry will take years. Some have to show that it is realistic to change one step at a time. In this magazine you will get a better understanding of some of the problems in the hair and beauty industry. You will also be presented to some of the ways to avoid endangering your health as a professional hairdresser and as a user of hair and beauty products and treatments. Enjoy and rest assured that from now on you will select your hair and beauty products with care. Louise Okon Willie, Project Coordinator, AARHUS TECH

ÉLAN HAIR Having created a niche position for itself in a fiercely competitive local market, Élan Hair Design has worked tirelessly to improve upon its position as ‘the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon.’ Key to this innovative approach has been a commitment to incorporate almost every conceivable environmentally-friendly initiative – as demonstrated by a major ‘green’ refurbishment of its Inverurie town centre salon, completed in 2012. The ongoing project includes the use of recyclable materials; PV panels to generate electricity and solar thermal panels to provide energy for hot water; LED lighting that uses 80% less electricity; and, an air-source heat pump, saving 80% on heating costs. The salon understandably uses large volumes of water but thanks to the installation of a new basin system, water consumption has fallen by 64%. Élan has also made substantial reductions in its carbon emissions and the amount of waste it sends to landfill. This includes sending customers’ hair clippings, along with other biodegradable waste, to be spread as compost on local farmers’ fields. The business, established more than 40 years ago, is led by Lorna and Gordon Milton along with their daughters Lanice and Lauren. Lorna Milton, owner and director of Élan Hair Design, said: “We made the decision to imple-


DESIGN ment the new eco-friendly approach on the back of customer feedback which indicated they wanted a greener and more sustainable service. “Since then the business has grown significantly with increased turnover as well as a rise in the number of customers visiting our salon. “We have continued to make major inroads into reducing our environmental impact. This includes putting in place initiatives which have seen us reduce our carbon emissions by 90% and increase the amount of the salon’s waste successfully diverted from landfill to 95%. “We believe these changes will help ensure the long-term success of the business.” Élan Hair Design is unique, not only in the north-east of Scotland, but in the wider UK market too. Indeed, the environmental and commercial benefits gained by Élan could act as a template for other like-minded businesses throughout the country to follow.

HAIRDRESSING HEROES In the long term I hope my research will influence ESD developments


“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is about using education to highlight and address environmental issues such as climate change, population growth, the use of finite resources and social inequality. The Sustainability in the Creative Industries European College project is an example of ESD practice whereby the College partners share knowledge and experience to promote sustainability. At Fife College, one of the exercises to promote sustainability in the hairdressing curriculum has been by using the Hairdressing Heroes workbook. The workbook started as a work placement project with Dumfries and Galloway College as part of my MSc in Carbon Management. As a result of this work I am now the Sustainable Development Adviser in the College and a Project Consultant with the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges. In both roles I aim to promote sustainability in the curriculum across College education in Scotland. I believe there is no area of the curriculum where ESD cannot be incorporated, however work is required to ensure staff have the knowledge and confidence to engage effectively with ESD. Care also needs to be taken to avoid extra pressure on an already overstretched curriculum so that links can be made to existing course provision to incorporate ESD. Through this work I met Christine Laing from Fife College and realised she shared my passion in addressing sustainability issues through education. To help achieve this Christine is determined to build a ‘green salon’ in the College as a valuable teaching resource for hairdressing students. We decided to work together and Christine asked if I would meet with the Hairdressing students to show them links between environmental issues and hairdressing practices and also possible solutions to reducing the environmental impacts of hairdressing. Leading on from this, the students are now working with the Hairdressing Heroes workbook to further their sustainability understanding. This Hairdressing Heroes workbook is designed to be used either directly by students, or by staff to assist them in embedding sustainability within their course delivery. The workbook aims to link sustainability with current hairdressing teaching and practice, where appropriate, but it also addresses other areas of our lives that raise sustainability issues. The workbook also utilises core skills teaching wherever possible, by using activities that incorporate literacy, numeracy and IT skills. These activities can also strengthen employability skills by identifying financial savings by changing hairdressing practices.

I was thrilled when Christine asked me if I would present Hairdressing Heroes at the Sustainability in the Creative Industries event in May 2013 at Fife College as it gave me a chance to meet staff and students from the other European partner Colleges. This project is invaluable in sharing experiences as there is always something we can learn from each other to enhance teaching practices and sharing sustainability knowledge is a positive step towards addressing environmental concerns. The Hairdressing Heroes workbook is now being improved through feedback from staff and students by research being conducted in a number of Colleges in Scotland, including Fife College. As the European partners Colleges have also requested access to the workbook this could provide another means of testing the effectiveness of the workbook to incorporate sustainability into hairdressing teaching. Work is now underway to produce sustainability workbooks for other areas of the curriculum and the existing workbooks have also been adapted into online learning resources. The first workbook in the series, Introduction to Sustainability, has also been formally accredited by the Scottish Qualification and Credit Framework. All of this work is taking place at Dumfries and Galloway College; however the feedback received from other Colleges in Scotland and also from the European partner Colleges in the Sustainability in the Creative Industries project, will all help to inform future developments in embedding sustainability into the curriculum. Being part of the European project has given me an opportunity to discuss my ESD work with Colleges I would never have had access to, which I know will prove invaluable to my research. In the long term I hope my research will influence ESD developments in Scottish College education and if this can be shared with other European Colleges through projects such as this then even better. Meanwhile, in the short term, I will assist Christine in any way possible to realise her vision of a ‘green’ hairdressing salon in the College. The ‘green’ salon could provide an example of best practice of incorporating sustainability into hairdressing teaching to be shared with Colleges across Scotland.


Kathja Bjerregaard

- about working in a green salon

I step into an inviting room, the smell of etheric oils hits me straight away and I sense a calm atmosphere. I’m straight away met by a friendly face who welcomes me and offers me a cup of organic coffee. I am here to meet Kathja Bjerregaard who’s a 4th year apprentice in the green salon Haarfein in the heart of Århus. Harfein is a certified green salon, founded by Bonnie

By Maria Jacobsen

Sørensen in 2005. At Haarfein there are no compromises with quality and service, and the cleanest and gentlest products on the market are used. Kathja is 24, born and raised in Randers, but moved to Århus to pursue the dream of becoming a hairdresser in a green salon. Kathja comes smiling into the room with a little tray with coffee and a piece of organic chocolate and almonds. We sit by the window in a sunny spot.

Kathja, why did you decide to move to Århus and become a hairdresser? I’ve always been interested in the beauty business but I didn’t want to compromise nature, myself and the environment. I have astma, and couldn’t subject myself to work in a traditional solon. There’s a high percentage of work related injuries in the ordinary salons. Things like astma, rashes and headaches are just some of the big problems in this industry. So I thought that there must exist other options. I did a little bit of research and found out that green salons existed. I thought Århus was the best place for me because of the big city vibe and a lot of possibilities. I applied for an apprenticeship at haarfein, and was lucky enough to get it, I was really happy with that. How come you chose haarfein? The reason is that there weren’t that many green salons in Jutland, and at the time there were only 5 in Copenhagen. Besides that Århus is close to my hometown, and I think that the salon looked very appealing and there was a relaxed atmosphere. I’ve been very pleased with my choice and I couldn’t imagine being any other places. What are the advantages of working in a green salon? Straight away when you step into the salon and take a deep breath, you feel the how clean and free of chemicals the air is. For me it’s an advantage to work

What does it require to become a green salon? 1. The manager has knowledge of chemistry and health of products. The manager has participated in the Green Salon Course about chemistry and health and safety in the hairdressing industry.


2. The owner/manager of the salon and the employees all have the 4-year hairdressing programme. This does not apply to interns.

in this environment, precisely because that I don’t inhale the toxic fumes and my skin is not exposed to dangerous chemicals. Personally, I think that I’ve become much more conscience about the green choice and it has rubbed off on my private life and my lifestyle in general. I’ve become much more focused on organic food and I try to do something for environment wherever I can. What are the advantages, as a customer, to choose a green salon? As a customer in a green salon, you’re sure that dying your hair isn’t environmentally harmful or in any shape or form is damaging to you or the hairdresser. You won’t be exposed to endocrine disruption chemicals such as parabens. You won’t be exposed to chemicals such as silicone, EDTA and a long line of other harmful chemicals, which are used in conventional products. What does a salon have to do to in order to become a green salon? There are many rules to follow for a green salon. These are rules but in place by the EPA and the energy agency. Both with regards to coworker; they have to use gloves in all situations to prevent work related injuries. There are also rules for the room and equipment; cleaning equipment has to have the Nordic Eco Label, paint and equipment should be as environmentally friendly as possible. For example FSC-marked wood and towels

3. None of the products in the salon contains chemicals, which are on the Green Salon’s ban list This also includes products for resale.

6. Cleaning is done with ecolabeled cleaning products

4. The salon has particular attention on allergies and hypersensitivity. Prior to a treatment the customer is always asked whether he/she is allergic to any particular substances.

8. The owner/manager has to instruct the employees in the meaning of Green Salon, and hand out the Green Salon-folder to them

5. Bleaching of hair can’t get in contact with the scalp

made from organic cotton. Nothings left to chance, everything is environmentally correct and approved by the EPA. What about you products? Are there any special products you use? ”In Denmark it is the Danish EPA who tests new products. Therefore in our salon we always have to keep ourselves updated, and choose our products carefully. As the development is increasing the market for green products has become bigger and bigger the last 5 years. As the growth is right now, the supply and demand will become bigger. ” How do you hope your future looks in the business? I hope to take the next step, like bonnie did when she switched from environmentally friendly to green. I hope I can help to change the business and make a difference in green salons and affect how people perceive the beauty industry. Once the consumers mindset is on the right path, the producers and distributors will follow. As the tendency is at the moment, we’re on the right path, but the world needs more green initiatives and I hope I can contribute. The sunny spot is disappearing and the cup is just about empty. I get up and thank Kathja for the hospitality. For more information visit: groensalon.dk, forbrugerkemi.dk

Facts about green salons

7. If the salon does any kind of serving, the goods has the be organic

Source: www.energitjenesten.dk



le for all ant suitab li fo ex l tura d very It is a na to make an very easy s, e it in pe us ty skin sable to vi ad is . It ply economical need to ap there is no clean , er in ow sk sh the aves the le it d an r moisturize rized. tu is mo and EDED PRODUCTS NE 60 gr. r Brown Suga 20 gr water Distilled 20 gr. Honey N PREPARATIO in a glass preferably y ne ho h Weig container. a beaker. water into e th e ur Meas y. ter on hone xture. Add the wa d to the mi ad d an r ga su mixture Weigh the genize the mo ho d an Shake well ass rod. preferably using a gl container, le ab it su Place in a ass. ng the name made of gl , indicati it l be la nufacture. We need to date of ma d d an t uc has no adde of the prod that as it nd on mi so in ed as Just keep ould be us ves, it sh ti va er es pr . as possible

The craftsmanship of natural cosmetics is a way to prepare and condition your skin avoiding the use of chemicals, and therefore create your own custom natural cosmetic and personal care products. Getting the necessary ingredients for homemade formulas is easy. These are a few examples of what can be done.



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A grea t way to cho it you ose a rself, fragra this w nce is to cre ay you to ela ate a will h borate p e rsonal simple ave th ized s e poss but it c ent. T ibilit can un tivity he pre y leash . It i parati your i s very on is 100% p m a g i i mporta nation ure an n t that and cr d orga scents eanic. T essent to cho here i ial oi ose fr s a gr ls are rose, o m e at var jasmin such a iety o e, ora s: Lav orange f nge bl ender, , gera ossom, bergam nium, sandal ot, lemon, c h a momile wood, mandar , patc cedar, in, gr houli, apefru franki it, ro ncense semary PRODUC , ... TS NEE DED Alcoho l 96% Distil led wa 85 ml. ter Essent ial oi 15 ml. l 8 ml. PREPAR ATION Measur e wate r and Heat u alcoho p the l and mixtur mixed so tha e in a in a g t it b double lass. e comes homoge boiler m ore neous (bainand fa marie) Measur ster t e the o take essent t Let th h e i a e l oil ssence e mixt in a t . ure co that i est tu ol dow t does be. n and n ot eva then a The mi porate dd the xture with t extrac will b tion i he hea t so e init t will t. ially become cloudy Filter c lear. but af the mi ter ag xture Using itathroug a funn h a pa el, fil per co (spray l t he bot ffee fi recomm tle lter. ended) Label . conven i e n tly wi prepar th the ation day. name o f the substa nce an d


History of Jan

»» Products must contain as many certified organic ingredients as possible, without compromising the efficacy of the products



We are a team of “crazy” people who love to have fun, and who really want to do things differently! We like to do things very differently ... The man behind the Hair Team Company Ltd. is Jan Plaugborg Eskildsen from Aarhus. He has previously worked as a hairdresser, and has been in the hairdressing industry for many years. The idea of a product line without harmful substances is based on personal experiences. Three years ago, Jan Eskildsen decided to start a family, which turned out not to be as easy as first thought. His sperm quality was extremely low - A problem that has become increasingly common in recent years, in line with the fact that more harmful and undesirable substances has found its way into our everyday lives. „I was quite shocked and my research in this area began” says Jan P. Eskildsen It was both surprising and disappointing results, he found. In addition to the general problems concerning allergies and endocrine disruptors, which have long been linked with the ingredients of modern products, he also became aware of the fact that hairdressers have an increased risk of bladder cancer and other cancers. The above facts, combined with redundancy due to cost reduction, motivated Jan to try to make products that do not contain harmful and undesirable substances and which do not provide large environmental impact and pollution. The basic idea was to make hair products for animals, for hairdressers and their clients. All products should carry the Nordic Eco-label, so animal lovers, hairdressers and consumers could make a safe choice in the giant jungle of products. The Nordic Eco-label provides the documentation for the absence of harmful substances in our products, which secures a safe environment for people as well as animals.

Our vision is to ensure a professional product choice for people and animals without „stuff, dirt and junk,“ so you, your pets and all people, now and in the future will not be affected by adverse substances that can give you, your pets , your children and family health injuries and illnesses for life. Hard words - Yes, but it is facts! With our skills, professional experience, professional networks sparring and very large commitment, we create intelligent products with a trustworthy performance. Sustainability should be incorporated in packaging as well as in products. We aim to reduce carbon footprint in our production methods and in our use of equipment. Hopefully sustainability will extend to other areas in the future. We constantly follow the research and development in the market, and we adapt and constantly develop new products without „stuff, dirt and junk.“ Innovation and thinking in different ways“ are the main competencies of Hair Team Company.

MANTRA Our aim is to do the best we can for you and all other people in the world, and try to make a difference! - Jan P. Eskildsen

THE FOUR GOALS WE SET UP WERE: »» Products must perform (i.e. they live up to the promises and work as intended!) »» Products must be Nordic Eco-labeled »» Incorporate sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging.

Miljømærkning Miljømærkning www.ecolabel.dk




‘What happened to you so you had to take a leave?’ “Well, I had been experiencing symptoms for some time such as low lung capacity, inflamed trachea, dizziness, blurred sight, headaches and swollen stomach. In wintertime, after working days, I felt extremely exhausted and I had a suffocating sensation. I spent weekends in the hospital’s emergency room to recover: I got anti-inflammatory, aerosols, antihistaminic, cortisone… although later it turned out that I’m also allergic to antihistamines. Anyway, usually at the end of the weekends I felt better thanks to the cortisone and on Mondays I got back to work, until Tuesday February 12th. That day I could no longer bear it.” ‘Had you experienced those symptoms before?’ “During the last four years the symptoms started to appear, but I always thought they came from bronchitis that I attributed to my smoking habit. It has been five months since I gave up smoking. Before that I started to experience the typical problems of a hairdresser: contact dermatitis (kind of eczema), rhinitis (inflammation in the nasal area), tearing and throat clearing, so I paid no specific attention to it.” ‘Did you suspect that your respiratory problems had something to do with your job?’ “Never! At the age of 18 I started working in a very prestigious hairdresser’s salon in Malaga. The manager told me that working with gloves was something whiners and weak people did. As we admired him as a professional, it made us (my former colleagues and I) reject the adoption of protective measures, which at least could have protected us against contact, but not against inhalation. In addition, our community at that time had a low awareness on the toxicity of the components found in the cosmetic products used in hairdressing, so I never thought about the possibility of being poisoned at work.”


Now you are aware of your problem. Can you tell us something about the diagnosis, the causes and the duration of the illness? Is there a cure? At this point she takes a four-page document out of her bag. It explains the diagnosis and includes a never-ending list of the food and substances she is allergic to. In addition she grabs a white allergy mask she leaves on the table. We ask her if she always carries all those things with her and she nods. “Due to the continuous exposition to different toxins, I have developed multiple allergies. All these elements are in the composition of the cosmetics used in hairdressing: hairsprays, solvents, dyes, nail polishes, shampoos, liquids for permanent waves, etc. The doctor told me that I have an allergy with the most serious symptoms he has ever seen, and there is no cure for it. Most of the elements I am allergic to are not just used in cosmetic products, but also in plastics, air fresheners, coolants, rubbers, food colourings and preservatives, pesticides. They are even found in some natural products like dairy products.”

an enclosed place because I might get an allergic crisis caused by cleaning products used there or by the perfume somebody is wearing. Afraid of eating out or going to a shopping mall. Not to mention the fear I have now for my favourite hobby: travelling. In my present condition, how can I even think of getting on a plane? Sometimes going to a restaurant to meet friends gives me breathing difficulties because of the air at the place. The same thing goes for a (public) toilet. Even wearing my protective mask doesn’t stop all the toxins. Afterwards, I always need to recover a few days using medication. In the last few years, a number of blood tests were taken on my values. These scores were always very high due to the toxins I had been exposed to and the food that I couldn’t eat. I had a test a couple of weeks ago and the values have improved considerably due to drastically reduction of exposure to toxins and toxic food. I don’t breathe hair dyes or hair spray. I am not using any type of make up, cleaning stuff or personal hygiene stuff that is not natural. At the moment, the neurologist is examining my blurred sight and disorientation I experience sometimes. It might very well be caused by the toxins I have been exposed to.” ‘Have you been given a definite answer that your condition is caused by working as a hairdressing teacher?’ “The doctor says it’t very likely I got the condition through doing my work. A normal hairdresser handles two, maybe three customers a day. As a teacher you supervise 20 to 25 students who are using all sorts of hair spray and dyes at the same time, so the concentration of the toxins is really high. Maybe I am particularly sensitive to them, but you tend to think there should have been more protection measures, such as proper ventilation and extraction of contaminated air, compulsory use of masks, fewer students per group and so on. On the other hand, in hair salons, the concentration of toxins is lower but the exposition to it higher. As a result, these protection measures should be applied in all of them.”

‘Now about protection measures, have you ever received information or training about health & safety?’ “Never. Not as a student, nor as a teacher. Even though we all know there are official bodies whose job it is to promote the protection from work hazards. I did my hairdressing work practice in one of the best hair salons in Malaga. At the start I only washed people’s hair, 40 to 50 times a day, my hands would bleed. The salon owner praised me for taking ‘so much suffering’ and told me I would become a great professional. Being proud, I never thought of the need to use protective measures such as wearing gloves. Nowadays, the situation has changed considerably but there is still a long way to go.” ‘These last months must have been hard. How do you feel right now?’ Silence. She can’t speak. Her eyes are full of tears and she looks away trying to control her emotions, the suffering and frustration she feels. I suppose just at that very moment everything comes to mind. Her moments of anxiety and distress. Fears she has been fighting against all this time. The puzzled look coming from her 17-year-old son, who has become an innocent victim of his mother’s condition. I tell her not to worry, we will proceed to the next question. ‘Do you know other hairdressers showing any of the symptoms you had at the beginning?’ “Yes, there are three of my colleagues who show similar symptoms: itchy nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, face and eyes swelling and throat clearing.” ‘Why are health problems becoming more common among Hair and Beauty professionals?’ We live in a developed world where everything around us contains toxic chemicals: Food products are full of preservatives and pesticides as well as care products and cosmetics such as deodorants, gels ; clothes, their composition and the use of dyes;

‘So, what do you eat?’ “Eating the right food has become a bit of a problem for me. I lost eight kilos in three months because I had to cut out on many products. I turned to ecologically grown ingredients. I had to cut out on so many different things that, to prevent losing more weight, I decided to mix the ‘allowed’ with ‘forbidden’ ingredients and whenever I feel the symptoms, I stop eating it. Getting rid of every ‘forbidden’ food I like, to me would be the same as not going out anymore, not meeting people, not going to a supermarket. In other words: stop living.” ‘Basically your life has suffered a great change, right?’ “My life has changed dramatically. Things that previously were never issues, are now vital to me. I’m afraid of going out into


furniture and decorative items, etc, etc. Even the water we drink is treated with chlorine and other disinfectants. We are being overexposed to toxic chemicals we have supposedly created to improve our quality of life, but in the end they are seriously damaging our health as our body is not capable of defending itself against those attacks. In hair products I have seen customers with burns right after their first application of hair colouring. We are suffering a recession and many companies lower the prices and there are no guarantees concerning the quality of their products. Quality controls should be maximized in the cosmetics and food industry. The Spanish laws should be more demanding on giving information on the use of chemical ingredients and training on protective measures. There are substances in cosmetics hairdressing that are prohibited in some European countries but they are permitted in Spain. We as teachers must inform our students. We must apply the personal protection measures and choose more environmentally-friendly cosmetics.” ‘In August 2012 our school started a European funded project on trying to find innovative ways of communicating the ideas of sustainability with possible new suggestions for green activities, also for the hair & beauty sector. Since the start of the project you showed a great enthusiasm and you have been very active in the (re)search for materials. You also attended the first project meeting in Denmark, last September. How did you experience taking part in this so called ‘Leonardo project’?” “I think it is very interesting and important. We are promoting researches on the ingredients and elements added to cosmetic products, looking for less dangerous alternatives, analyzing sustainable energy sources and how they can be used in a beauty salon. We try to compare and learn from other European countries that are much better equipped than us even at this present day. This should have the maximum of publicity amongst our students, in other schools and amongst professionals in hair & beauty to create awareness and slowly change and reduce the use


of chemicals. Things can change. It’s just a matter of time. In a way, this project can help avoid situations like mine.” ‘Talking from your experience as a professional in the field of hairdressing, what would you highlight as the milestone of it?’ “I think that most important is to be honest with what you do. You can improve your health and environment. Protect yourself and be aware of the products you work with. Know its effects, the way you use it and how to reduce the damaging effects for the professional, the client and the environment. Due to lack of information at the time, I used only gloves, but left out all the others. Now I regret the mistakes committed, but it is crucial to recognize it since my case (and of others) will help the change. In Spain we do not have an environmental awareness and we place the results before the environment. However, in Europe, things are changing and the number of consumers which demand more ecological cosmetics and services is increasing.” ‘What is your situation nowadays and will you ever be able to work again?’ “I have been on sick leave for four months now. At first I thought my symptoms would be temporary, but as the doctors discovered what I suffer from and the effects these products have on me, I had to face it: all cosmetics are harmful to me. I have always enjoyed my job. But at this moment my health does not allow me to take decisions about my future. My whole life has changed and I still have to get used to it. I wish I could work again, but physically it is impossible. I cannot even go into a salon to have my hair cut because I choke. How could I work there? But I would like to get involved with hairdressers and teachers associations to help them with my testimony, and make them aware of the health problems this job can cause, but also to inform, so that the future of professionals and the environment is safer than it is now. And by doing this, I could continue developing my teaching vocation.”



he graphic industry is in many ways way ahead when it comes to sustainability. It is well known that you can print on FSC certified paper. An increasing number of printing companies are ISO 9000 certified. A lot of these developments have come, due to policies and laws put in place by national or European parliament. Many trades can learn from this. I admit that before being exposed to the ISCI project I was of the conviction that the increasing digitalization was a good thing for our environment. That reducing printing of magazines for example would make a difference. I know now that it is not at all as simple as that. If you choose the right print you can actually make a wise decision for the environment. If you want to be sustainable and All rights reserved. No part of this book mayare be a reproduced in to any form virtual, there lot of things consider. Without written permission of the owner.we Allwill images inon this book Oncopyright the next pages focus sustainability have been reproduced with the and prior concent off the inknowledge graphic media seen from the perspective of artists concerned, and no responsibility is accepted by producer, the participating countries Malta,publisher, Denmark and or printer for any infringement of copyright or otherwise, arising from the Holland. You will get a deeper understanding of the contents of this publication. different aspects and important reflections when it comes to sustainability in online media, printing, packaging and design. You will get an insight in CSR and how it affects a company, its products EDITORS and employees. You can even test your knowledge. Antoinette Mamo Enjoy and get a new perspective to something Eva Bouwman you use every day. Most days without even thinking Francantonio Cauchi how it affects the environment and society Frank Den Hartog around you. We hope you will feel inspired to Nadia Haber take conscious decisions on your choice of future Paloma Rodriguez Bonilla graphic products. Shawn Muscat

WE ONLY HAVE ONE MOTHER Editorial Design by Christian Agius Edited by Melanie Mizzi

Louise Okon Willie, Project Coordinator, AARHUS TECH

G Sustainability and Graphic Design can they be mutually compatible?

By Francantonio Cauchi, Asst Lecturer in Graphic Design and the MCAST Institute of Art and Design

raphic Design and sustainability are two subject which are rarely, if ever, found in the same sentence. Graphic Design is a discipline that unfortunately has a high carbon footprint. Graphic design makes use of media, which consumes energy, and thus this discipline cannot be associated with a greener environment. If one observes the main media used in graphic design, one would find at the top of the list paper, and screen. Paper is one of the biggest catalyst in deforestation, since 35% of the total trees cut are used for paper with four billion trees being converted to paper each year! So one can imagine how advertising consumes a huge portion of this figure.[2] On the other hand, even though people tend to convey the idea that screen is greener and more environmental friendly, this is nothing more than fiction, as screen generates a vast amount of CO2 for an advert to be run and shared.[3]

Doubtless, the choice of paper and the printing processes selected can alleviate, albeit minimally, environmental impact. Using recycled paper or even paper made from natural products can lead to more sustainable results. Additionally, designers can act responsibly in the design process itself. Graphic designers are often commissioned to design packaging. Promoting packaging that uses minimal material or no material at all benefits both the commissioner through reduced costs, as well as the environment in general, and hence society at large. This would target the three P’s of social corporate responsibility:

In the Maltese islands, it is rare to have highly finished projects due to the size of our limited market. Thus, the budgets spent on advertising are restricted. It is my personal opinion, that the lack of investment into innovative approaches to advertising is due to the retained illusion that traditional methods are cost effective. But I challenge this notion, as traditional media, such as posters, flyers, magazine adverts, and so on, are arguable losing their effectiveness. On average, a person is exposed to about 3,000[1] different adverts per day. In this day and age, it is becoming less and less frequent that a person should stop and look at a poster, let alone absorb its contents, so vast is the amount of imagery and information with which people are bombarded. This puts to question the feasibility of actually resorting to print media at all, both because of its carbon footprint but also due to its reduced effectiveness.

So it would be plausible to ask: what solutions can graphic designers implement to be more sustainable and eco-friendly? Primarily certain traditional methods need to be decreased rationally, and new forms of advertising need to be invested in. Secondly, advertising on the web (particularly with the advent of social media advertising), has proven to be a good tool of communication. Social media spaces, the world wide web, and even the internet have become overloaded with advertising.[4] There are new media being invented, implemented and used in advertising. Most of these new methods of advertising use a greener solution, are more energy efficient, and less harmful to the environment. LED displays for example, consume less energy, leaving a smaller carbon footprint than the typical halogen lit billboards. Due to the self-illuminated screens, these billboards can even generate their own electricity with solar panels attached, and particularly in places such as Malta, where we enjoy countless hours of sunshine, this is surely an ideal, energy-efficient and more sustainable solution. [5]






Having said all this, it is not safe to simply assume that digital advertising has no carbon footprint or that it has a lesser negative impact than paper. In reality digital media can leave an even more pronounced carbon footprint.[3]

It goes without saying that the individual designers’ values and principles will inevitably dictate whether or not the solutions proposed are more or less eco-friendly. Designers who keep sustainability in mind because they truly believe in it will flaunt their ethos as part of their manifesto. Such designers will spend time and energy to conduct research and to learn which media are best utilised in the production of effective design work that is as least harmful to the environment as possible.

[1] Guido, G. The Salience of Marketing Stimuli: An incongruity-Salience Hypothesis on Consumer Awareness, 2001. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands. [2] Martin, S. Paper Chase, 2011. Available from: <http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/10/paper-chase/> [3/10/2013] [3] Do Digital screens have a greater carbon footprint than printed posters? What is the environmental impact of installing plasma screens to display adverts, and is it worse than traditional posters?, 2009. Available at <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/mar/09/plasma-screens-posters> [3/10/2013] [4] AMAS Ltd. (2010) Background document : Digital advertising and itsimpact on traditional publishers. Dublin Ireland. AMAS ltd.


[5] Schmidt, K. Local billboards will soon be more energy efficient , 2011. Available at <http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20110430/ARTICES/110439


Sustainable Design: The Clever Way By Shawn Muscat, Lecturer in 3D Design (Product and Interior) at the MCAST Institute of Art and Design


esign can essentially be defined as the implemented creation process that focuses on enhancing the quality of life. For a design to be considered as ‘good’, apart from being tested against its direct influence on the target audience, its implementations on the surrounding built and natural environment are also weighed. This is where sustainable design is applied. The highly complex living environment that we live in, whilst possibly fulfilling the general needs, is not always efficient with the given resources. Such situations offer the challenge and the opportunity for designers to revise existing designs to achieve more sustainable ones which limit or eliminate negative social, economic and ecological effects. Designers, architects & engineers are naturally positioned to steer society into a more environmentally friendly life style; they have the ability and responsibility to do so. Moreover, sustainable spaces and products can heavily influence the general public and, often unnoticeably help it positively affect the natural environment. It is also true that, through the influence of mass media, the general public is becoming increasingly aware of its influence on the environment.

Due to demographic changes Malta is facing an increase in vacant properties. In such cases, although the physical integrity of a building is still intact, it has lost the ability to serve and function. However, by adopting the ‘reuse instead of recycle’ philosophy some architects and designers have undertook the challenge to adjust the spatial compositions of such buildings to accommodate emerging needs in the specific areas. By preventing the decay process and sustaining the life span of the existing building, less resources are invested while supporting new social needs. Such a sustainable approach therefore cuts down on costs, materials and also ecological footprint Good practice can be appreciated in the Malta Stock Exchange premises, where a historically important building was effectively rehabilitated. The building formerly known as the Garrison Chapel, built in 1857 by the British, had already served the dual purpose of functioning as a school during the week and as an Anglican Church during the weekend.

The potential of this open special arrangement continued to be exploited when it was later handed over to the civil authorities for use as an entertainment centre for film shows and dance, and later on as a Central Mailing Room. In present years, to operate as a new hub for new activities, a new core to the building has been introduced. The applied design respectfully enhances the historical fabric of the building by intentionally exposing the contrasting new supporting frame work. The building makes very good use of natural light and is especially successful in its use of the innovative cooling technique - ‘Passive down draft evaporative cooling’ - which reduces the interior temperature by approximately seven degrees Celsius and cuts down on the running costs to keep a comfortable interior temperature.

Leading projects such as the Malta Stock Exchange premises and smaller-scale initiatives taken by individuals and the industry show that sustainability has clear advantages, and provides direction for the future. Thus, sustainable design enables the effective and efficient use of resources whilst adapting and responding to the changing needs of society and its economic contexts.

In Malta one can clearly see examples of the manifestation of sustainability in architecture and landscape design. On occasion this is the result of afterthoughts. For example, through the use of relatively new available technologies, most commonly solar water heating, solar panels and wind turbines, private residents and industrial organisations are transforming buildings into independent mechanisms which can partially survive on their own generated supply of energy. A more in-depth approach into sustainable architecture is evident in numerous developments where spatial design strategies are also utilised to benefit from natural light, and materials are intently chosen to reduce indoor temperature fluctuation, hence reducing the costs related to cooling and heating.

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What is Csr?

Corporate Social Responsibility

QUIZ Score (2 points per correct answer):



company or organization is working in a social responsible way, if they consciously focus their activities on adding value to both people, planet and profit and is repeatedly looking for a balance between them. Also, the company or organization is in an active and transparent way accountable and on speaking terms with its stakeholders, in an open dialogue .

Companies can even go one step further and focus on new market opportunities, growth and innovation for people, society and the environment, now and in the future. CSR will be the standard for business in the 21st century.

CSR is for companies and has no impact on consumers. Yes


CSR is about much more than just issues on environment and energy. Yes C


A print media company has little in common with CSR. Yes

A few assumptions are:


Also Multi-nationals should follow the CSR guidelines. CSR is an integral vision of entrepreneurship, in which the company creates economic value (profit), environmental value (planet) and social value (people).






Human rights do not belong in CSR.

+ CSR is customization. For each company the CSR activities are different. This depends on company size, the sector the company works in, corporate culture and business strategy.




0-6 points: you have to learn more about CSR 7-10 points: you already have an idea about CSR 12 points: you are a winner on CSR




E Stakeholders such as customers are very important in CSR.

CSR is embedded in all business processes. Every business decision is a tradeoff between different stakeholder interests: the interests of individuals, businesses and organizations.

CSR is a process and not a destination. The goals pursued change over time and with the different business decisions. The company seeks in the CSRprocess practicable steps to ensure social responsibility.










CSR - In My And Your World By Marie Prokopek , Media Graphics student, POMPdeLUX Denmark .


ife is full of surprises! A whole new world, I never expected to discover, was introduced to me. It all started with my apprenticeship as a media graphic student at the company POMPdeLUX, which has been such an eyeopener for me that it has made a huge difference to the way I think, thus changing my life in a very positive way.

The company designs and produces quality children’s clothing, while taking a major social and global responsibility. To me it is the perfect place to learn. The company has a fabulous work environment, has a serious CSR Strategy and takes social responsibility at heart. As a student in an industry where sustainability is very important for everyone’s future, I wish to share my experience as an employee of a company that endorses a healthy CSR strategy. This is a reallife, “feel-good” story. A new world POMPdeLUX - Universe The weather was freezing cold and loads of snow had fallen on the 4th of December 2012 in Denmark . I arrived at POMPdeLUX with great expectations, excited and a bit nervous on my first day of employment. I opened the front door to the company and ice and snow from the outside melted completely, so warm was the welcome I got. It was not only the beautiful bunch of flowers I received that made me feel welcome, but what also struck me was the warm-hearted and sincere spirit, work energy and humor that characterises the whole company POMPdeLUX in Aarhus. From the heart of strategy When I met the two women behind the company POMPdeLUX , I immediately realized where the energy, the warm atmosphere and the humor in the company came from. Both ladies were light-hearted in their conversation, their eyes are full of humour, and it was obvious they knew each other very well from the way they were talking. The atmosphere is casual and positive and even self-irony is present. It was these two strong women, who evidently know what they want, who took the time to give me a good insight into the ideas and visions behind the birth of POMPdeLUX .


From its conception, POMPdeLUX has made social responsibility an important part of the production process. “We are doing everything we can to act in a socially responsible manner in all aspects of our production, be it our relationship with the environment, production work conditions in the East, or the work environment in our workplace in Lystrup, Denmark. We wish to contribute to a healthy environment, as well as having satisfied customers and happy employees; therefore we are constantly trying to improve our social responsibility strategy in our enterprise”. These core values have a positive impact on all employees and provide a sense of pride in being part of POMPdeLUX . I think it is very important to maintain this attitude in our industry, as in all other industries. Not only do employees perform much better within such a positive environment, but we also need to do it for our planet. CSR strategy in everyday life Today, 10 months after my first day at POMPdeLUX , I still feel it is a privilege to be a part of the company. Every day I find the same warmth and joy as I did on the very first day. Here is room for everyone! Everyone is important and appreciated, from the management to the storekeeper. POMPdeLUX is growing rapidly and in spite of the high rate of change still manage to keep their feet on the ground and the heart in the right place in the process, with social responsibility, sustainable production and a CSR strategy as a tool.

Perhaps you have never heard of CSR? CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is the plan which specifies what, how and where a company is acting responsibly globally, socially and in the community. CSR is like a toolkit helping companies to maintain and enforce social and sustainable responsibility and behavior via documentation and communication.

This is just a small part of what the CSR training involved in our company. Having undergone this training made me think about the positive personal feeling that I derived from this experience. It also instilled in me a sense of pride at being able to be part of something that can make a difference to the world through the work I do. I think people describe this feeling as ‘good karma’.

Since its launch in 2006, POMPdeLUX has embraced an ethos that reflects the following statements: “It has to feel right” and “We have to help wherever we can”. CSR can help to formulate the core values strategically and furthermore transform such warm thoughts into system and documentation.

Growth and responsibility goes hand in hand

During the last year, the CSR strategy at POMPdeLux’ has ensured that it should target all areas, from the employee, to charitable work and donations, increased environmental friendliness in the production process, and so on. Today all employees are educated in the CSR strategy of the company and it is a natural part of their daily work. Employees must feel good physically (through the healthy environment found at the company) as well as from within, because they work for a company which really values CSR. Our clothes are primarily produced in the East, which means that the production is an important part of the CSR strategy at POMPdeLUX. How are the conditions at the factories? How is the work environment for the workers? Many of our suppliers are either members of the European organization BSCI, or act upon the 10 principles of UN Global Compact. Among the UN Global Principles, a few that are worth mentioning include the following: safety at the workplace; restrictions against child labour; standards for payments; anti-corruption; freedom to unite (to form a union) and greater responsibility towards the environment.

Imagine if more companies endorsed an increasing number of CSR initiatives all over the world, our strength in favour of sustainability would multiply exponentially. In Denmark we luckily have a government which focuses on CSR. In 2012 the government passed a resolution and act placing responsibility on Danish entrepreneurs. It is called “Responsible Growth 2012 – 2015”. Offering different recommendations, the plan of action must set up a new direction for the efforts of Denmark’s CSR contribution, and make sure that growth and responsibility should go together hand in hand. It brings added value for both firms and society. It is good to know that even in times of economic crises, there is serious focus on responsibility, and that such responsibility is actually used as a way to get out of the crisis. Now you know how CSR came into my world. At this very moment the leaves have started to fall off the trees outside my window. Inside it is warm and the summer collection is soon ready. Old as well as new colleagues are all great people, making my workday worth the while. I think CSR has come to stay for good, and I really hope that industries in Denmark and all over the world will take responsibility and choose to be a part of this good story.

‘We felt there was a growing need among parents to buy quality children’s clothing, without paying an enormous amount of money, while knowing that such clothes were being produced and sold in a was socially responsible fashion all the way through. Following a trip to Paris the idea for a whole new concept started to form in our minds: We would design and produce children’s clothes ourselves. In order to keep the price down, this brand would not be sold in traditional stores , but through Home sale events and through our Web shop.’

‘Apart from the quality of the clothes in the sense of material and production, it was always our goal to provide unique styles and designs, which emphasize children’s personality. Therefore, we design everything from buttons to fabric which we print ourselves.’
















Petra de Boer, Ecodrukkers

Petra de Boer is a well known entrepreneur who has her heart in sustainability. In the past she had a totally other profession, but decided to join the family business. Here is her (sustainable) story.

Can you tell me something about Ecodrukkers, the company you work at. Who is Ecodrukkers and how did you get into the company? This year, Ecodrukkers commemorates its 48th anniversary. The company was started by my father in 1965. At that time the company name was “De Boer Graphic Companies”. He died at an early age in 1991. At that moment I was facing the big decision: Will I enter the family business or not? I knew the printing business, but more as a child in the atmosphere of collecting booklets and doing chores. We were a family of three girls. My sisters and I were never very much involved in the sense of business management. But I finally decided to take over the company. My father was an old fashioned entrepreneur. I saw a lot of things of which I thought “does that still exist? Did he do that all by himself?”. So now I have been with Ecodrukkers for 22 years. And I can truly say that I have fallen in love with this beautiful world that is graphic media! What I love is that I am still one of the few who can say, “well, we actually really ‘make / produce’ something”. You can hold it in your hands and you can show it. You can do something with it. On the other hand, we are also developing in other areas. In design as well as in information technology. But it’s still something tangible. When I took over the company I immediately started to innovate because it lagged behind in that area. Together with the team in the company we slowly improved the organisation, building it in an organic, natural way. Over the years the company has been floating on the waves of the industry movements. I didn’t have the ambition to grow quite large. That was a choice, very consciously made. We work with at team of seventeen 17 people and we have a very diverse customer group. Your company is very active in the field of sustainability. Can you tell me more about how this is implemented in your day-to-day management? As far back as 2004, the company began to place sustainability on its agenda. Looking back it might have been a bit too soon; people were not ‘ready’ for it yet. Our vision was, and still is, that sustainability is very important! It had kind of a dusty image, but we want to take that dust off. What people are afraid of, is that sustainability makes the product more expensive. But the challenge of ‘sustainability’ is actually the reason why I started loving the printing company, and graphic work in general. Actually we have given the company a new impulse. Even when we started with sustainability, price was the most important factor, but we have worked with companies holding an entirely different set of values. That was really exciting. Nowadays, a big part of our customer group comes from the world of “sustainability”. It is definitely another type of customer. They have other values.


As a company it is vital to know who your customers are, who you are focusing on and to set our own course. For us, sustainability is part of our strategy: we believe it provides added value for our customers. I don’t want to make a “standard product”. In what way is Ecodrukkers expressing sustainability to its customers? We started long time ago by shifting towards more sustainable production processes. Our company is certified in ISO 14001, ClimateCalc and FSC. This means that for whatever we produce, we strive to reduce our environmental impact. Among other things, we work with paper that is checked and is made from sustainable materials (wood and other raw materials). We print also without Isopropyl alcohol (IPA). In this way IPA cannot also be released into the atmosphere. Our sustainable printing process is well managed, but there will always be room for improvement. What does sustainability mean to your employees? How do you get their involvement? Involvement is very important. You have to sit around the table with the team to achieve more environmentallyfriendly products in the printing press. The team consists of the printers are responsible for printing the actual product. We have a printer who has been motivated and involved in sustainable production from the very beginning. You need a number of people in your company who believe in the concept and champion it. Why the name ‘Ecodrukkers’ (translated as ‘Eco printers’)? The answer is simple. It actually stands for what we do! We had the choice to purchase new means of production and the question was “what are we going to do”? I was working on the Ecocolor. I wanted to print without Isopropyl alcohol. Our most motivated printer carried the project. At one point, it spread out like a stain and everyone got motivated and involved. The next step was starting with the recycled FSC paper. And that already seems so long ago. And how about your customers? What does sustainability mean to them? From the start, one of the objectives was to show other graphic companies that you can product high quality printed products in a sustainable fashion. Your printed products are a reflection of your company and that is what I try to explain to our customers: “who do you want to be as a company? What look & feel do you want to have and what fits in there, in terms of communicationexpression?”

Often the first question I ask is: “do you really need printed material?”. Not producing material is thought to be more environmentally friendly, but is this really true? It all depends on what the replacement is for the printed material. If the replacement is internet, it might be even more environmentally unfriendly than printing! What matters is that the person you talk to is also aware of what he or she is doing. How did you start the whole process of implementing sustainability in your company? The first step was to shift all our processes towards more eco-friendly ones, not only in terms of equipment, but also with regards to raw materials we use. For example, the sole use of green power, no use of Isopropyl alcohol, that the FSC/ PEFC orders are printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks, all in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental management system. Step two was to involve our customers in this shift. This we achieved through the emphasis on the use of appropriate communication channels in our customers’ campaigns. How do you handle sustainability as a graphic designer? Right now we are working on step three. This third step is something we do at “Eco media group”. We actually want the customer to communicate only that which is relevant and in the most sensible and relevant manner. So no more “irrelevant” communication. Anything that is not read, is waste. We want to ensure that whatever we produce is actually read. How can we achieve this? Sometimes you can’t escape “one size fits all” solutions. But then you check how your work is being distributed. How is it optimally received? And also, how can you make it more interesting for the receiver? How can you enrich your printed material? We now have a platform on digital asset management, which we refer to as ‘images management’. This allows us to distinghish the most appropriate means of communicatio, whether print or web-based. Last question: Eco, sustainability; how do you see the future? Well, the word “Eco” has everything to do with the control of waste. In any form. This does not only refer to printed material, but also to, for example, the sending of unnecessary emails. It is a life style. It is anchored in the genes you would almost say. It is also topmost on the agenda for corporate social responsibility (CSR). A next step for our company. In this context, we are also very much focused on the local entrepreneurs. We would very much like them to have as a customer. We want to do business with people in our area and build a long lasting relationship. We also work with long term suppliers whom we trust completely. And I have confidence in “Eco”. In time durability is becoming CSR. The future of “Eco” is undoubtedly a bright one!

Amstelveen, July 5th, 2013 Stivako, Frank den Hartog & Eva Bouwman

Sustainable Packaging

By Nadia Haber and Antoinette Mamo, Lecturers in 3D Design (Product and Interior) at the MCAST Institute of Art and Design


he Art & Design Institute has been actively collaborating with various local and foreign industrial partners, in the process giving the students the opportunity to work on live projects and gain experience within the industry. One of the very first companies to start such collaboration was Toly Products Limited Malta. This collaboration started four years ago and since then, every year, students following different Art and Design courses have been working on various live briefs with Toly Products Limited. This year, for the second year running, Higher National Diploma students following the 3D Design course will be designing cardboard packaging for makeup products. As the market for make-up packaging evolved, it no longer became viewed as just a container to the cosmetics, skincare products or fragrance, but rather it became considered as an aspect that also offers an additional benefit to consumers in terms of an application system, a second use or an additional function. With a steadily growing demand for eco-friendly packaging, this year, following last year’s success, the emphasis of this project will be on ‘Cardboard’ and the use of ‘Eco-Friendly Materials’. Materials used for packaging of products, make up a large percentage of the total waste a country produces each year. Minimizing this waste production reduces strain on the environment as well as aids in the well being of society itself. In the past decade there has been an ever-increasing interest and demand for sustainable products. Packaging is in fact one of the major areas that product designers have been addressing through sustainable development, such as through the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials as well as through the concept of re-use and multi-functionality. Environmental consciousness is on the increase and with that so is the global personal care products industry. The beauty industry is now leaning more towards a ‘greener’ approach, whereby companies are aiming to reduce


packaging complexity and increase long-term efficacy. However, by no means does this imply a decrease in the creative approach to design. On the contrary, it offers greater challenges to today’s designers to find practical and creative solutions that address the current user needs without compromising the future. The creation and manipulation of new materials and technologies on the market are also paving the way to new design possibilities. This collaborative learning programme with Toly is offering MCAST students the perfect opportunity to learn more about the make-up packaging industry. Students come in direct contact with experienced professionals in the design and manufacturing industry. This is made possible through informative talks conducted by Toly, discussions with in-house designers during their design development process as well as through a factory visit at Toly Products Limited where the students can experience the manufacturing process in an industrial context. Students are also engaged in a hands-on design process, from learner-based research, inception and development of ideas to the final concept execution.










In today’s day and age, sustainability is no longer looked at merely as a trend, but is gradually becoming a necessity and a way of life. As consumers we have an obligation towards our environment and towards the society we live in. There are various ways through which we can give our contribution towards a more sustainable future, such as using reusable containers and carriers bags, buying products which are sustainable in energy consumption, products that are biodegradable, renewable and that may be re-used at the end of their life-cycle to name a few. As an educational institution, the MCAST Art and Design Institute strives to create awareness on sustainable design in a holistic manner, with the aim of cultivating a new generation of designers who are environmentally conscious, creative and innovative in their designs. Such collaborations as the one with Toly Products Limited aid to put such sustainability values into practice.


Sustainability in Print Design

Mark Scicluna, lecturer at the MCAST institute of Art and Design makes a case of print design, arguing that designers must look at more sustainable solutions.

One such option is to resort to FSC-certified paper, which helps to make print design more responsible. The Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993 as an answer to deforestation, and allows designers to work with paper that has been produced in an environmentallyfriendly manner. FSC-certified paper is derived from virgin tree fibers and is considered to be ‘sustainable’ which essentially means that an ecological balance is maintained. Furthermore, the FSC “requires products that bear an FSC-certified label to go through a ‘chain of custody’ from the forest to the manufacturer to the merchant and finally, to the printer, when applicable. Independent, third party auditors ‘conduct chain of custody’ assessments of companies that would like to achieve FSC certification. The FSC also requires a ‘management plan’, which outlines the scale and intensity of logging and renewal operations in addition to long-term objectives for maintaining the health of the forest.” (Rogers, 2011) This is of course just one of different ways in which print design may steer towards environmental-friendliness and sustainability. For example, one may resort to higherefficiency printers, which comparatively use less ink and expend less energy throughout the print job. Additionally, one may consciously select inks made from waterbased plant dyes, thus reducing environmental damage caused by chemical waste resulting from regular inks. Possibly the major effort for print designers in their search for more sustainable solutions is the need to use their time and energy to carry out research. Sustainable print design is not always cheap, but it is worth it in the long run. We do tend to forget sometimes that the paper texture that we love so much comes from a natural object, and when something is natural, it needs to be protected. Green printing is no longer an option, it is a must, and if we still want to have the pleasures of tactile graphic design in the future, we must be responsible designers today.


n a time where digital design is taking over and print is struggling to stay afloat, print designers must do their utmost to ensure that their printed material is worth all the effort. Print designers argue that digital material will always have that missing something, and that is of course; texture.

People by nature love to touch things; certain types of material, and certain types of paper can give a whole different meaning to a product. Is it rough or smooth? Is it matte or glossy? Is the product therefore, something of value? Or perhaps something for everyday use? Digital designers mimic this through other methods, such as using

different paper textures as background and having cool effects that imitate the tactile qualities of print. Having said that, this can never match the genuine texture that print offers, and it was only up to a few years ago, when 3D printers started becoming popular, when digital design started to become real and tactile, showing that even in the digital age, we still want to be able to feel things with our hand. The problem with print design, especially editorial and anything else that involves paper, has always been that of damaging the environment by cutting down trees to produce the said paper. Thankfully there are a variety of options which may at least alleviate this issue. Rogers, 2011: http://www.mnn.com/money/green-workplace/stories/what-is-fsc-certified-paper



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