Why we Love Whistlefish

We are delighted to sell cards and wrapping paper from Cornish shop Whistlefish. Who are Whistlefish, you might well ask? Founded by Lyn Thompson in 1996, the company became known and loved as a card and art brand celebrating Cornwall and the beauty of the South West through their Whistlefish product range.

Lyn started off selling her hand-painted cards at art fairs around Cornwall, and eventually left her job in 1992 to commit to painting fill time. With 12 stores around the South West, and available online - check out our range - Whistlefish will never fail to bring sunny Southern sunshine to your life, with its beautiful artworks inspired by nature and the surroundings of the South Coast.

Here is a list of reasons why we love this fabulous Cornish brand:

Whistlefish is ethical

Whistlefish are very conscious of the ethics of their business. They have fundraised for several charities over the years, having so far amassed a total of £106,559.51 for good causes across the country.

Whistlefish is sustainable

They have created a five-step pledge to take action against the environmental impact the business has. This comprises:

their plastic-free pledge, their paper pledge, their product pledge, their printing pledge, and their plant a tree pledge.

Plastic-free Pledge

Those little slips of plastic in which cards and their envelopes are often packaged mount up. By going plastic-free in 2020 with these, and instead joining card to envelope with a recyclable sticker, Whistlefish saved 6.3 million plastic slips from landfill in 2021 alone.

Paper Pledge

Whistlefish obviously relies on the wonderful resource that is trees for the paper its cards are printed on. They decided to take action, teaming up with Plant 1 Cornwall to plant more than enough trees to cover their paper usage. They’ve planted 1,489 trees to date.

Product Pledge

They buy British, and preferably Cornish, wherever possible. That means they minimise transport miles, and also that they are supporting local individuals and the wider community! Supporting other small, local businesses is important to Whistlefish - having been one itself - so they focus on teaming up with artists and suppliers who share their ethical and environmental values, thus supporting Cornwall’s financial prosperity as much as they can. 

The products they make themselves are manufactured as sustainably as possible, too, for example by using wood for frames from Forest Stewardship Council-certified suppliers.

Printing Pledge

 By working with local printing companies who are dedicated to increasing efficiency and sustainability standards, Whistlefish are shrinking their carbon footprint, cutting energy consumption and reducing waste in the printing industry.  They use vegetable-based inks for their cards and wrap, and waste ink is utilised in furnaces, replacing coal, gas or oil. Their South West printing companies use one of the most energy-efficient presses that’s available, and create printing plates that are 100% recyclable. Their printers also operate a Zero Foil 2 Landfill policy, where the bulky foil waste created during the manufacturing process isn’t binned, but turned into solid recovered fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels. The foiling on their cards is also 100% recyclable, without having to cut the foil out of the card - simply add it to the domestic cardboard and paper recycling bin.

Plant a Tree Pledge

Whistlefish’s Plant a Tree pledge ensures they offset their own carbon footprint (and paper requirements) by planting a Cornish tree. They also add £1 to each order to help their customers do the same. So far through this scheme they’ve planted 1489 trees!

They are sustainable 

As mentioned in their 5 pledges above, Whistlefish are dedicated to doing right by the environment. Wherever they can, they are using sustainable materials, and trying to reduce their demand upon natural resources.

They are committed to using sustainable paper, both via the Forest Stewardship Council FSC certification and through printing on 100% recycled paper. In combination (both sustainable sourcing and recycling) the environmental impact of their cards is minimised.

They bring the Cornish Sea to you!

Inspired by their beautiful surroundings, so many of their cards are nautical, and even tied to specific Cornish towns, villages, and scenes. Bringing a cheer and sparkle to so many, their cards celebrate and uplift, and remind us of the beauty and power of the natural world all around us.

They are a female-founded, British business

Art lover Lyn Thompson would sell her hand-painted cards at craft fairs all around Cornwall. Fast-forward thirty years and this small venture has become a business empire. Kicked off when Lyn received a £3500 Prince’s Trust loan, she has gone from strength to strength, as an ambitious young artist with a passion for the flora and fauna of her surroundings. She has now lovingly grown her company to 12 shops in the South West, and she champions other young artists coming through.

They support new and local artists

As mentioned, Whistlefish champions other artists. Embracing both the more established artists and the newly emerging ones, they have a passion for nurturing artistic talent wherever they find it. Trends and innovation are a key element to their sales process - so apply to their Artist Submission page if you’re an artist who would like to be considered.


Handmade art can be elitist, its prices set to what only the very rich can afford. Whistlefish enjoy bringing the creative joy of handmade work to a wider audience, making their fabulous products at affordable prices.

If you’re ready to dive into Whistlefish and love it as much as we do, take a peek at the current Coastal Craft Collective Whistlefish range now!