23 July 2020
Find out more about biodegradable glitter for crafts and the eco-friendly company at the helm of the environmental revolution!
We talked to Kath Senior, Director of environmentally friendly glitter production company EcoStardust, all about why she decided to start a business solely focused on producing biodegradable glitter and what that means for the planet...
Hi Kath, thanks for chatting with us. Why did you start up the company? What inspired your eco-friendly approach?
I love glitter and got the idea for EcoStardust back in August 2016 after I was planning a glitter and glamour themed birthday party. I ordered in kilo bags of glitter and when it arrived it had a giant ingredients sticker saying polyester. As someone who is passionate about protecting the environment, it took the shine out of it for me there and then and I stopped using it. I thought there must be an alternative. I found a manufacturer and partnered with them to become a reseller of their amazing Bioglitter® and EcoStardust was born!
"I truly believe it is possible to build a business which cares about people and the planet while developing beautiful products."
My values inspired the EcoStardust approach to business and packaging. I truly believe it is possible to build a business which cares about people and the planet while developing beautiful products. All of our products are packaged in sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging and we donate 10% of profits to environmental charities such as SAS and City to Sea.
Can you tell us what materials are included in your glitters? How did you establish the perfect formula to create glitter that is still highly effective while being good for the planet?
The main ingredient is modified plant cellulose made from non-GMO sustainably farmed eucalyptus trees. Our manufacturer spent years developing Bioglitter® and working towards plastic free glitter, and there are now two ranges - Sparkle which we call Shine on our website and their new Pure Range.
Where do you source your materials? How do you ensure that they are eco-friendly?
We source as much as we can in the UK, all our print material and card packaging is made in the UK and the glitter is made in Europe. We try and avoid purchasing goods from China where possible, however, sometimes this cannot be avoided as we can’t find local manufacturers or the prices are extortionate. We ensure they are eco-friendly through a questionnaire to suppliers about their practices, but the main things are the distance the goods have to travel to get to us and the materials they are made from.
"We ensure materials are eco-friendly through a questionnaire to suppliers about their practices."
What else do you do at your company to ensure you are good to the planet, such as with packaging?
We recycle, we have gone back to our suppliers and asked them to remove plastic from any packaging so all of our supplies are sent from their factories either ‘naked’ no packaging or in paper packaging, we participate in local river cleans, each person in the team gets a day off paid to volunteer.
Congratulations on your Blue Patch award! What can you tell the readers about it?
Thank you! Blue Patch is a social enterprise for sustainable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) heritage manufacturers, artisans, socially positive enterprises and local entrepreneurs with the mission to showcase member products and services to a wider audience. We won their sustainable new business award after we demonstrated to them our company credentials and our commitment to sustainability.
How can our readers find out if their glitter is non-bio?
This is a tricky one as unfortunately there is a lot of greenwashing (misleading information over environmental creditentials!). Many glitter companies are jumping on the bandwagon and labelling their products as biodegradable but they are only biodegradable in specialist environments, such as industrial composting machines and no one puts their glitter in one of them when they are finished! We recommend checking where you purchased your glitter from as licensed Bioglitter® sellers have the Bioglitter® logo on their website and packaging. Also, Bioglitter® is currently only available in a hexagonal shape and is not yet available in iridescent or holographic.
What can you tell us about your Non Bioglitter® Amnesty? How can crafters get involved with this project?
Our non Bioglitter® amnesty is so customers can send us their plastic-based glitter which we call #guiltyglitter to be turned into something beautiful and keep it out of the environment. We have partnered with a company called Rochfort Customs who make jewellery from the leftover resin from creating surfboards. We then provide customers who send us their #guiltyglitter with a 15% off code to use on the website to buy replacement Bioglitter®. If anyone wants to participate, they can find out the details on our website or send their glitter to us, or you can purchase the jewellery made from the glitter on our website.
"Customers can send us their #guiltyglitter to be turned into something beautiful and keep it out of the environment."
What are your top tips for being ecofriendly when crafting at Christmas?
I love getting crafty at Christmas, we recommend re-using as much as you can, I often save nice ribbon and paper from previous Christmases. I also love to make wrapping paper using brown parcel paper and then add stamps to create a festive pattern and obviously finishing off with some EcoStardust Biodegradable Glitter!
Send your #guiltyglitter to: EcoStardust, Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Bristol, BS5 0HE.
It's up to all crafters to pull together and do what we can to protect our wonderful planet. And what a beautiful way to do it, too!
For more fascinating cardmaking insights, check out our article on complementary colours to see how to make the most of you colour combinations when you're papercrafting.