Sustainability at Next Saturday
As founders of a new startup, we both had sustainability in the forefront of our minds. We wanted to create a product that would bring people joy without hurting the planet.
Think about the last party you were at. What sort of decorations were used? We bet you saw Mylar balloons, plastic utensils, and plastic cups. While all of those items can create really Instagramable moments, they create a lot of non-biodegradable waste that ends up in our oceans.
But we don't blame you! We found it difficult to find party products without single-use plastics. Below are a few stories from our search for non-plastic party supplies.
Our first panic was what are we going to do about balloons? They’re essential! After doing some research we found that latex balloons are in fact biodegradable. Mylar was out, but latex was in!
Majority of confetti is coated with plastic to hold its shape and give it shine. We knew we wanted gold colored confetti to accent the colors found in our boxes, however, we had no idea that the search to find eco-friendly gold confetti would take so much work! One of our favorite quotes was from a merchant who tried to convince us that his confetti was eco-friendly he mentioned that it did, in fact, was biodegradable it's just that it “disintegrated after a very, very long time”.
Finally we came across Jane who had exactly what we wanted - thin, gold, shimmery, paper confetti. We found the confetti! Great. The next question was how much did we need. Paper confetti is sold by the kilogram. First, I had to brush up my engineering knowledge and convert that to pounds. After that, Becka and I spent a solid hour trying to imagine what a pound of confetti would be and how much space it would take up in my one bedroom apartment. We held our breaths as we ordered 20kg (44 lbs) of confetti. To our delight, the confetti came and was exactly what we wanted.
One our strategies for the brand was to give brides a more low-key option for bachelorette parties. Instead of the traditional sash, we thought we’d opt for a very simple crown. Still a fun way to make the bride-to-be feel special, without being too ostentatious. This is one area where we thought we’d deviate a bit from the pure sustainability and offer this item as a reusable gift. We searched through hundreds of varieties of crowns and settled on one that we thought looked great from the pictures. Three weeks and hundreds of dollars later we were the proud owners of 1,000 cheap, gunmetal gray, childish looking crowns. An absolute fail. We quickly pivoted back to our mission of finding paper based products and settled on the great gold paper crowns you see on our site today. We actually went with our favorite supplier who also provided us with party hats and lettered signs found in our Add-On Kits.
One of the most coveted items at a bachelorette party is the penis paraphernalia - especially the allusive Penis Straw. Again, these items are often plastic, but we were committed to our mission and knew we had to get creative. After doing our standard deep dive into the internet, sifting through many different takes on penis party decor, we found a woman who makes die cut paper penises by the thousands - or as she called them - "peeps"! After some hilarious back and forth - we discovered what a peep was and ordered the smallest quantity available, 6,000. Two weeks later, we received two shoe-box sized boxes filled to the brim with gold sparkly, paper penises.
All of this to say- we're trying! While we may still have some waste in the process, Next Saturday is on a mission to reduce and reuse as much as possible. If you have ideas to improve our sustainability initiatives- we'd love to hear it! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!