Beautiful Eco-Friendly Invitations made Easy: Bella Figura


There are certain cultural traditions that are hard to let go of, especially when it comes to weddings and event planning, and the invitation is one of them. No matter how much of an eco-chick you are, sending out wedding invites via email might just not cut it for you. Fortunately, more and more, environmentally conscious printers and artisans are creating some gorgeous options (that are tasteful enough so they won’t piss off your mother-in-law).

Thankfully Bella Figura, an artisan letterpress shop based in Syracuse, NY, has stepped up to make sustainable event planning a bit easier and a whole lot of fun.

Debbie Urbanski and Harold Kyle are the masterminds ( and cute couple) behind this beautiful work. Together they saved letterpresses from scrap yards throughout the Midwest and the Northeast to weld together their eclectic shop upstate. Now with over 50 tons of equipment – presses, board shears, paper cutters – the Bella Figura shop has produced many fabulous invitations, announcements, and collateral pieces.

Their work has been featured in Modern Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Bride’s magazines, and some of their clients include Barnes and Noble, Little, Brown and Company Publishers and NBC.

The Bella Figuera shop is entirely wind-powered through Native Energy and they purchase bus passes for their employees to encourage public transportation use. As a member of  1% for the planet, they  donate 1% of their sales to The Conservation Fund, Conservation International, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Bella Figura’s other green business practices include: recycling their photo chemistry, film, paper offcuts, and photopolymer printing plates, keeping empty ink cans and old rags out of the landfills, and recycling and composting their waste. Once a year they donate surplus paper and envelopes to Syracuse Public Schools and they use 100% post-consumer recycled materials in their shipping.

As for the materials used to make the beautiful pieces, they only use vegetable-oil based and low-VOC inks and environmental papers. How great is that! Have fun planning away.