There’s something about Spring that always makes me want to refresh my home. And since Spring Cleaning has been a thing for longer than anyone can remember, I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one! But while I’ve enjoyed picking up the odd trinket and piece of homeware from my lockdown supermarket shop as much as the next person, I’m also pretty conscious that fast interiors are no better than fast fashion, so I try not to go too crazy. One inexpensive, but less environmentally destructive way of refreshing my interiors this year (and actually ever since we bought our house!) has been utilising some affordable prints.
There are SO MANY places to buy gorgeous and affordable prints these days, but my one true print love is Etsy*. You’re probably already familiar with the site, but if not, it’s an online marketplace for creative small businesses. There are thousands of sellers specialising in sustainable and eco-friendly wares on the site, and I’ve started saving some of my favourites to the lists feature on my Etsy Profile* for you to browse. You can find eco homeware, sustainable children’s clothing, jewellery, and of course some of my favourite prints!
Affordable Prints as an Ethical Home Upgrade
Prints are, in my opinion, one of the lower-impact homeware options in terms of the environment. They’re made of paper and ink, and many artists and creators are now focussing on using planet-friendly materials. They’re also naturally light-weight (although the packaging can be bulky), meaning they’re easier to ship. They don’t require gigantic supply chains or specialist production facilities, meaning many of them are printed right here in the UK. If you’re buying from small creators on Etsy, it’s also unlikely that the artwork has been plagiarised by a big company from an independent artist. This is a practice I’ve only recently understood the true extent of, and unfortunately it’s incredibly common in fashion, art, and homeware across large retailers.
What do I do with my old prints?
If you’re swapping out your prints, it can be tempting to just recycle the old ones. They’re only paper after all, right? But unless they really are beyond salvation, don’t do this! There are tonnes of ways to upcycle old prints. I have a whole Pinterest board of ideas to browse! If crafting isn’t your thing, you can donate good-quality prints to charity shops, especially if they’re in frames. If you have a few that you’re replacing, you can also bundle them up and sell them on Facebook marketplace, on Depop, or at a car boot sale once they’re open again.
My Favourite Etsy Prints
I’ve put together a list of my favourite affordable prints currently available on Etsy. We own a number of these, and have been so pleased with the quality and responsiveness from all the sellers we’ve purchased from. I’m still missing a few items for our bedroom gallery wall, and I think the plant prints are going to be perfect for that. After that, my next print-related project is our staircase! I’m thinking a graphic novel theme for that, and I can’t wait to start working on it…
- Oh My Vegan* // RaeLikesFroot on Etsy
- Snake Plant Dalmation Pot Pink Botanical Print* // OhSoDaisy on Etsy
- Be a Nice Human* // Papercut Creative on Etsy
- Liverpool Albert Dock Print* // JuliaSIllustration on Etsy
- Personalised Song Lyric Print* // HarleyDogDesigns on Etsy
- Lovely Lemons Print* // BettyCassieDjango on Etsy
- Tangled Wall Art* // Inkski on Etsy
- Avocado Print* // LovelyLittlePrintsTo on Etsy
- Phone Keys Purse* // LoveHattieStore on Etsy
- Bathroom Plants Print* // CatandBean on Etsy
- Make Lemonade Print* // PigandPaper on Etsy