One of my brides recently introduced me to Sustain & Heal, a line created by De Milo Design in 2008. Available at stationery stores in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa, this collection features great designs that can go very well with any wedding style.
The idea started in 2003 when Annika Buxman, De Milo’s designer and letterpress printer, learned about Fair Trade (a grassroots movement that focuses on relationships with people who have been marginalized by war, weather, and damaging cultural systems), and De Milo Design does the following to ensure an equitable transaction.
- De Milo Design pays the artisans’ full price. This is usually 2-4 times the normal wholesale price for comparable non-Fair Trade certified paper products
- De Milo Design does not mark up Fair Trade purchased paper. The customer pays a competitive rate for design and letterpress printing services done in De Milo’s studio in South Pasadena, California
- De Milo Design pays in full up front for each order. This is customary for Fair Trade certified transactions so the artisans do not have to fund the order
Here are some of the beautiful invitation sets, printed on Fair Trade papers from Kenya, Rwanda and Bangladesh. If they cannot get it Fair Trade, the designs are supplemented by 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper produced by earth-sustaining methods.
Florence is letterpressed on Fair Trade paper handmade by women who are “living positively” with HIV in Kenya. The folder can also be a single card. Colored initial can be red as shown or match your colored swatch.
Bianco is letterpressed on paper made from discarded cotton clothing. The rice paper dogwood flower flattens slightly during mailing but, remarkably, retains its shape and dimension nicely.
Sylvie – This hand-bound booklet features Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Pathways” in flowing typography:
Understand, I’ll slip quietly away from the noisy crowd when I see the pale stars rising, blooming, over the oaks. I’ll pursue solitary pathways through the pale twilit meadows, with only this one dream: You come too.
The cover is a duplex stock: the brown one is handmade by youth in Africa and the inner one (shown in red) is handmade in Sri Lanka of elephant dung. The pages are 100% post-consumer waste made from discarded clothing or more economical 30% post-consumer waste.