Environmentally friendly packaging might be a must-have for businesses in 2020, but putting this into action does present its own challenges. From biodegradable plastic to recyclable materials that make disposal easier for the consumer, small businesses have a lot to consider in their packaging design.

For Eleanor Longhurst, the founder of stationery and apparel brand Little Paisley Designs, sustainable packaging is an essential strategy to reduce her carbon footprint. She tells us all about her eco-friendly packaging alternatives to traditional plastic as a paper goods business:

"My name is Eleanor, I live in Bristol and run my brand full-time from my sunny home studio. I always dreamed of a career in art and design from a young age, I was constantly drawing, so I’m happy I get to spend my days being creative!”

“I started Little Paisley Designs at the end of 2014 as a complementary creative outlet to freelance design work, whilst I found my feet after graduating from Winchester School of Art. I started my brand as I saw a gap in the market for a nature-inspired brand that appeals to young people.”

“Most British Nature art is quite traditional and not that colourful; so I tried to create a fun illustration brand which appeals to a wider audience and unites my love of British Wildlife, pattern, and colour. All my designs start their life as watercolour illustrations, and it's important to keep this handmade influence across all of my work. I like to keep a link to the traditional in my work, inspired by vintage scientific diagrams and spotters guides, but bringing them up to date with modern products and fun colours and patterns. I draw great inspiration from vintage nature books I find in charity shops, as well as just getting outdoors. I'd love to get more people interested in nature and their environment, and if I can do this through my work, then great!”

“Sustainability is something I’m constantly working on, and am definitely conscious of the errors I've made in the past. Now, I do everything I can to reduce my impact on the environment. New products have biodegradable packaging (corn starch cellophane bags) instead of plastic bags or are sent out 'naked' in my custom tissue paper. I'm currently working my way through older products already packaged in cellophane.”

“My paper products are printed on either recycled or FSC-approved paper, and dispatch notes are printed onto recycled paper. I use either recyclable packaging materials; like my paper tape, paper thank you leaflets, noissue tissue paper or cardboard boxes; or reused from other companies or deliveries I’ve received, such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, or corn starch packaging peanuts.”

“I take pride in packaging products and making sure each order looks beautiful when it leaves the studio, and having great-looking and recyclable tissue paper is a big part of that. Customers always comment on how nice it is to receive an order from me, wrapped up like a little present! I want my customers to know that a lot of time and effort has gone into package design, and to know how special each order is. Custom packaging helps to create a cohesive brand that is instantly recognisable by the customer. Plus, it looks great on the 'gram!”

“I'd been following noissue for a while before placing an order, and kept seeing lots of fellow illustrators sending out orders in custom tissue paper, and naturally I was intrigued! Having my own custom tissue paper has helped create a strong brand image across the whole range. My orders look much smarter and special, rather than using the generic gold stripey bags most small businesses seem to use!”

“It took a long time to decide what design and colours to use on the tissue paper to complement my brand and products, and I’m so pleased with the end result! I'm so impressed with the quality, it feels lovely and thick, and the design has come out even better than I could have hoped. It was quick and easy to order too. I've had so many compliments on the tissue paper, so thank you!”