Forbes India

Sow what you read

Stationery makers are giving consumers eco-friendly options

Renuka Shah of Jalebi

Imagine a plant growing out of a pencil after you’re done using it. Or a piece of used paper that you can grow in a pot instead of tossing it away. This is how some players in the stationery industry, traditionally damaging to environment, are reinventing themselves into eco-friendly entities.

Sustainable stationery makers are coming up with innovations such as making pencils by rolling graphite into recycled paper or newspapers. In pencils that can be planted, seeds are fixed to an attached capsule that dissolves in soil.

Innovations extend to sustainable paper too. Mr. Ray, talks about how seeing his wedding cards get discarded inspired him to switch from his family business of hand-made paper to focus on seed paper. “Last year, we made calendars for around 100 corporates, and each leaf contains seeds,” says Ray, whose venture, since its launch in 2014, has expanded to making seed pens, seed pencils, visiting cards and price tags.

Jalebi, launched in Mumbai in December 2014, makes waterproof notebooks, among other organic stationary products. Made in Indonesia, the paper of these notebooks is made from waste plastic bottles and mining waste. Founder Renuka Shah’s aim is to get into eco-friendly and sustainable packaging...

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"Promoting natural products and helping nature is the least we can contribute as a person"

Renuka Shah