Hungarian Théque Records and Atelier no longer focuses only on supplying music fans with the best albums of the Eastern European electronic music scene: recently, they have developed a visually exciting, special vinyl sleeve with a reduced environmental impact. Let’s see the details!
The activity of Théque evolves around the triangle of music, architecture and communication. The Hungarian record label was founded by filmmaker Annamária Ligosztajeva and architect-producer Gergely Álmos with the aim of presenting the unique sound and visual culture of Central Europe. In Théque Records’ interpretation, the vinyl records, which have been experiencing a renaissance recently, are not simple carriers of sound, but also desired objects due to their appealing looks. With Gergely’s latest development, the eco envelope sleeve, now they have taken this special audiovisual experience to yet another level.
Gergely, where did the idea of ECO ENVELOPE SLEEVE come from and how is this sleeve different from its competitors?
Unfortunately there is a dark side to the renaissance of records: their manufacturing and packaging are anything but environmentally friendly. The records are made of the same poorly degradable polyvinyl chloride since the 1940s since no eco-friendly solution with reasonable manufacturing cost and without resulting in a loss of sound quality has been developed yet.
At our record label, we started to think about how we could make the records released by us more eco-friendly. Even though we have no control over the manufacturing process of the audio plates, we felt that the area of packaging might be a field where we can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.
We wanted to create a packaging technique that generates a lot less paper waste and that is made of fully recycled paper, without using glue. We brainstormed with Andi Hermann on the possible ways to implement this idea and finally the technique of wrapping things into newspaper we learned from our grandparents back in our childhood inspired the folded packaging of the Envelope Sleeve. Compared to the traditional jacket sleeve, we produce three times less waste, while in the case of double-vinyl, the envelope sleeve saves six times more paper compared to a gatefold sleeve.
With what technique and where are these innovative sleeves manufactured?
We designed the sleeves with a terribly simple folding technique: the cover of the packaging can be made with a die cutting tool in any press. As opposed to the repertoire of big factories, in our case one can choose the paper at their own discretion and can verify its origins. We don’t use glue at all, and in terms of graphics, the possibilities are endless.
Besides Théque Records, you are also a founding member of the music group mius—your album Études de Battements was also packaged in the new sleeve. What are your plans for the future with this development—what’s next?
We will use this technique for all of our albums from now on. If there comes a reasonable alternative to polyvinyl chloride in record manufacturing, we will switch to that for sure. The third big environmentally harmful factor is shipping itself, thus at Théque Records, we prefer local record stores.
Photos: Zsófia Jurassza