By Visala Kantamneni
Wedding invitations are more than just paper, ink, and being a way to invite guests to your big day. They are the first glimpse that your family and friends will have of things to come.
In other words, if your wedding is the main course, the wedding invite is the appetizer. They have to convey your story and give everyone an idea of the concept, colors, location, and style of your wedding.
While your guests won’t be eating your invitations, when you are a vegan trying to uphold your values and beliefs, another thing you should be aware of is the glue and ink used – these may or may not be vegan.
Originally, printing inks were all predominantly made from vegetable oils. The early 1970s saw a shortage in vegetable oil, so manufacturers began to use petroleum-based oil instead.
But today, vegans and many eco-conscious individuals have changed this and many companies now offer vegetable-based and vegan inks.
Why Are Some Wedding Invitations Not Vegan?
Surprisingly, a few mainstream printer inks are likely not vegan as they may contain one or more animal-derived substances. But many companies nowadays are manufacturing cruelty-free and animal-product-free inks, which gives many vegan brides and grooms a number of different options to choose from.
Most mainstream inks are petroleum oil-based, but they can also contain gelatin, glycerin,bone char and beetle shellac.
One of the many common substances that can be found in printer ink is gelatin. The majority of gelatin is made from boiling pork skins, pork and cattle bones, or split cattle hides.
Aside from gelatin, these inks can also contain glycerin. The plant-sources include soybeans or palm, while animal-derived glycerin is made of tallow. Tallow is rendered beef or mutton fat.
Companies that Make Vegan Wedding Invitations
There are a few businesses that make vegan wedding invitations, and some others that offer vegan ink as an option for their clients, so don’t be afraid to ask when shopping for your invitations. The companies we spoke to, highlighted below, are vegan approved!
POPPY AND THISTLE
Poppy and Thistle was started in 2019 by founder Kathryn. “I was helping a friend print her wedding invitations and I realised how much waste is created when sending wedding invitations. This is when I thought about creating eco-friendly wedding stationery, using recycled paper. I then discovered seeded paper and my vision was born; plantable, biodegradable wedding invitations that grow into beautiful flowers.”
She says, ”From this moment I wanted to change the way wedding invitations were done and make them more sustainable. I love the concept and I love working with people to produce invitations that they will love!”
“Starting my own business is not something I ever thought I’d do; I trained as a midwife out of school and have done that ever since. But since 2019 when I founded Poppy and Thistle, I have tried to grow it year by year, to create something that I am beyond passionate about. I strive to be more sustainable and this eco-friendly, plantable wedding stationery is my way of helping others to create a more sustainable wedding.”
What is unique about it
Poppy and Thistle’s invites grow into flowers. “Which means they not only serve the purpose of providing information for guests but it’s like you’re gifting them a present too,” says Kathryn. “It’s a lovely memento of your wedding day, so when they see the flowers growing, they will remember your wedding and the good times they had.”
Why Poppy and Thistle
Poppy and Thistle’s invites are stunning and provide a way to be more sustainable with a wedding, without sacrificing on quality! Kathryn says, “The seed paper is biodegradable and grows into flowers, while any other paper/packaging we use is all recycled and recyclable.”
Sisterly Stationary was founded by sisters Cat and Anna. “Being only two years apart we always shared a close bond – We were always encouraged to draw and create from a very young age which is why it’s no surprise that we both went onto University to study in creative fields – Anna in Product and Furniture Design and Catherine in Architecture. Myself and my sister share the same style – we basically unintentionally can be found ‘twinning’ quite often so creating and designing together comes naturally to us.
What is unique about it
What stands out about Sisterly Stationary’s invitations would be the design, which Cat and Anna say are unique. Their designs are both minimalist yet sophisticated. “We like to push the boundaries a little yet our designs remain subtle,” they said.
Why Sisterly Stationary
Sisterly believes that you can have both style and sustainability and this concept drives the material choices made. The founders says, “All our stationery is professionally printed using trusted local suppliers, using FSC certified high-quality card, and includes plastic-free packaging.” The company uses no plastic packaging, and does not do additions like wax seals or foil.
Etsy has a variety of shops that offer wedding invitations that range by design, cost, and materials.
Sites like Zazzle also have multiple listings for vegan wedding invitations. Of course, don’t forget to check for the materials and inks that they use.
Soy-based or vegetable ink takes a little longer to dry, but releases a very small amount of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. Compared to conventional ink which contains nonrenewable petroleum, soy is renewable. Soy-based ink is also long-lasting, and it produces vivid, long-lasting color that results in stunning graphics. A little bit also goes a long way, as printers do not need to use a lot.
Visala Kantamneni is a content developer and copywriter with over seven years of experience in writing for both online and print media. She has been a vegan for just over a decade and loves writing about cruelty-free living whenever she has the chance. Currently, she works as a senior content specialist.