Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) network 

The Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) network is a group of photographers, publishers, academics and writers who discuss and share knowledge on issues around environmentally conscious approaches to photobook publishing in printed form. All of us have different starting points and ideas of what constitutes a sustainable practice.  Through  ongoing conversations, we spark new ways of thinking, and develop resources that support and actively encourage individual practitioners in their search for a more environmentally conscious approach to photobook publishing.

Our values and approach

  • Working together - valuing cultural diversity, autonomy, transparency, accountability, and mutual trust
  • De-mystifying materials and processes - shedding light on supply chains and making processes
  • Creating a safe space for discussion - encouraging broad reaching, reflective, critical and open ended conversations
  • Identifying and discussing the challenges - encouraging the sharing of lessons learned, and opportunities for change
  • Increasing access to knowledge - developing open source resources for anyone and everyone to access
  • Inspiring creative approaches - uncovering and sharing examples of sustainable practices
  • Building networks - connecting local, national and international networks

The network was formed in 2021 and is hosted by Tamsin Green.

CONTRIBUTORS: Amelie Schuele, Bella Okuya, Catriona Gourlay, Daria Tuminas, Dolly Meieran, Ed Sykes, Eliza Kavanagh, Emily Macaulay, Emma Lambert, Eugenie Shinkle, Gavan Goulder, Gin Rimmington Jones, Gisela Torres, Hannah Fletcher, Iana Mizguina, Jake Green, Jennifer Reeves, John Angerson, Lewis Chaplin, Mark Phillips, Matt Ford, Nishant Shukla, Paul Hewitt, Paul John, Oliver Raymond-Barker, Rachel Arthur, Roelof Bakker, Sandra Davison, Sarah Boris, Sayako Sugawara, Tamsin Green, Tiffany Jones, Wendy Aldiss

If you would like to join the network (mailing list, SLACK workspace) or just get in touch about sustainability please drop us a message here.


How many books are being made? Does the printer have eco certifications? (B Corp, EMAS, FSC) And what do these mean? What chemicals are used in the printing process? Are plant and/ or water based inks available? What is the paper made of? Are these materials sustainably sourced?  What is the paper size? Can the book size be optimised to minimise waste? Are there plant based glues available? What is the intended design life of the book? Are the materials recyclable? Can the paper be de-inked for recycling? If plates are used in the printing process, can they be recycled/ re-used? Can the use of single-use plastic be minimised or avoided?


Resource List

Can be used as a reference for making environmentally conscious book making choices in the UK:

  • Printers
  • Papers
  • Packaging 
  • Reference Sources
  • Glossary

If you are outside of the UK and would like to share resources through a local network please get in touch: info(at)manualeditions.com


Image © YET Magazine


Case Studies

Case-studies on books explaining the materials and processes used, and highlighting any challenges in realising sustainability. 

We welcome submissions and recommendations for these case study features:

Please send the following information by email to: info(at)manualeditions.com.

  • Book title, artist name, date, publisher, edition size
  • Details of the materials and processes used
  • How did you think through your choices of paper, printing method, binding, packaging, number of books etc?
  • What challenges did you face, what questions were you asking, would you do anything differently next time?
  • Instagram handles
  • 4 images of the book (1500px longest edge)

Image © Loose Joints


Sessions 

A roughly monthly, mostly online meet up where we have open discussions, and sometimes we invite speakers. These sessions are open to anyone to join and are not recorded.


Talks

These sessions are open to anyone to join and are recorded.

The Photobook Ecosystem Talk

Online: 26 April 2022, (6pm BST)

Co-presented by spp network and 10x10 Photobooks

Supported by Westminster University (Green Fund) and RPS Documentary Group.

Watch the Recording
Read the Summary


Using Format