Happy Friday! I can't wait for the weekend. Here's the second half of my look at eco stationery (and running a green paper business) with Green Swapper Vivian of 9SpotMonk.
How did you start your stationery line down a green path?
I wanted to do it right and wanted to find out what I could do. First thing we did was purchase windpower credits. We switched papers so we’re only using papers made in the U.S., and the paper is either 100 percent recycled or 100 percent cotton. Our ideal paper is 100 percent recycled or 100 percent PCW (post consumer waste.) I do research into the companies that we’re working with. It was hard to reconcile the cost but we were on the mission to switch our papers. We went ahead and ordered recycled paper and ate the cost of it. You can’t necessarily up the wholesale cost. We try to cut costs with the least amount of waste. Sometimes we’ll create a line based off the waste of another product line. We donate a bunch of our scrap paper to the local Girl Scouts and offcuts to my daughter’s preschool so we know it’s used again. Even a 2x3 piece of paper gets saved for something! We have stacks and stacks of offcuts waiting to be used.
Any suggestions for how people can make better use of paper?
Try to find paper that has some recycled content even if it's not all recycled. Cost is always an issue. Your pocketbook says one thing and your conscience says another, so buy what you can that works for you. Try to use paper smartly and reuse it in any way. Use the backside if you’re using it with printer. I wish people would consciously think of reusing paper.
Does selling eco-friendly goods help you as a small business?
It absolutely does because more and more consumers are becoming educated about the environment. It’s increased our sales, because people who buy are buying smarter. Our pricepoints are pretty good, too. We’ve been told that when the choice is whether to buy a $3 recycled card or $3 non-recycled card, people want to go for the recycled card. It’s great for business to be able to offer green goods. You can sleep well at night and you can make a bit of money.
And out of curiosity, what's been one of your favorite custom jobs?
A few months ago we did a prom invitation for a local high school. They’re kids in high school, and they came in really wanting something environmentally correct. I was amazed about that. It was nice to be working with these kids who cared.
I included peeks (above) at my favorite 9SpotMonk green papergoods:
+ recycled greeting from 9SpotMonk's recession line (love this collection! so many fun sayings, but this one in particular is spot on Jen)
+ recycled paper placemats for the kids to draw at the table (also comes in "space travel")
+ letterpress recycled notebooks with super cute animal illustrations
+ mini recycled notebooks for every kind of list
Special thanks to Vivian for sharing more about her green paper line! Vivian is offering a 25% discount on all 9SpotMonk orders. The code at check out will be "HAYSTACK". They also offer free shipping when you order $50+. The sale be valid until June 1, 2009.