We love music, we love vinyl and want to work and invest in an industry where both are sustainable and accessible. At Suitcase Records, we are committed to socially responsible manufacturing. We are thoughtful in our consumption of resources, who we work with and how we work.
The vinyl industry is still seeking to realize its sustainability ambitions. There is a great deal of innovation happening in this sector from technicians, artists, scientists and dreamers. We want to be a part of ensuring the vinyl industry can support musicians and listeners in the most sustainable way possible.
We wanted to join the game to do our bit to help keep moving the industry forward. Our first aim was to make it easier for musicians and labels to produce vinyl records in Australia.
Wherever possible, we use Australian suppliers for our supply needs. We have Australian suppliers for our PVC (vinyl) compound and our printing. Currently there are no Australian suppliers of Lacquers or Stampers so we need to import these.
No. PVC is not green.
However, recent advances in the manufacturing of PVC mean that it has significantly less impact on the environment than older PVC compounds, and compounds such as lead are no longer used. While this is positive, it is just a step in the right direction and not a solution.
Happily, there are some innovative people and groups making big strides towards sustainable vinyl. We have joined some of these groups and are in the process of joining more to learn from and work with these people. One project of interest is the Green Vinyl Records project started by 8 companies in the Netherlands. You can find out more about their progress here
We also have plans to discuss possible research projects with some Australian universities to further develop more sustainable manufacturing practices for the industry.
If all this sounds like lip service – it’s not. In short. Watch this space.
If you have innovations or ideas in this area, let’s talk!
Single Use Plastics
We avoid single use plastic wherever we can. We do not provide shrink wrap for our records. If customers need to have a wrapping on their records (some retailers require this), then we use resealable and reusable poly bags.
We actively recycle any plastic wrap that we receive with deliveries.
Records are treasured, loved and shared for many years. As such they are reused again and again, and are far less likely to end up in landfill. Interestingly, the market for second-hand vinyl is larger than the market for new vinyl, which helps to keep records in the hands of listeners rather than in the ground.
We buy 100% or our electricity through Diamond Energy They are the top-rated supplier in Greenpeace’s green electricity guide and use a mix of solar, biogas and wind to produce more renewable power than their customers use. They’re also cheaper than the major suppliers so check them out.
We need gas to produce steam for the production of our records. Gas is still the most efficient energy source to produce steam, meaning that it produces less carbon than electricity to produce the energy required.
We purchase our gas through Origin Energy, and pay extra to be a part of their carbon offset program. Origin’s carbon offset program is 100% carbon neutral and is certified by Climate Active. You can find more information on the program here .
We use water to both heat and cool when making records. For both these processes we recycle the water through a closed loop system. This means we use more water flushing toilets than we do making records!
When we make records, there is an amount of waste generated when we trim the records. We capture this waste and regrind it to reuse in our vinyl production. All our records generally have 5 – 7% of recycled product within them. This actually benefits the quality of the records, as it improves the vinyl’s ability to melt and form the grooves within the record. We do the same with any records that fail our QA process. This means that we produce no PVC waste that ends up in Landfill.
Our printing partner CCS Packaging is 100% Australian owned and have a long history of sustainability. They are a carbon neutral business, use FSC certified raw products, and have a number of sustainability systems in place to reduce their environmental impact. You can read more about their sustainability practices here .
Our Apps and other services
We use a series of apps and services to help us in our business and we have selected them each with care and heartily recommend them.
Go-get is Australia’s largest car sharing services. Its aim is to remove private cars from local streets, decrease car usage and allow people to live car- free.
Funky foods aims to reduce the wastage of almost half of what our nation’s farms grow by offering funny-looking fruits, misshapen vegetables, and delicious but odd-sized produce to subscribers via a membership delivery service
Xero which has an environmental sustainability program, Net Zero @ Xero, is our commitment to offset 100% of our carbon emissions. In FY20 and FY21, Xero was certified carbon neutral by the Australian Government’s Climate Active program.