A few weeks ago we were featured in Massey University's Publication 2. Magazine.
This article is about our journey from coming up with the idea of The Misprint Co formerly know as The Paper Project, at Massey University. To how we have grown our idea into the business it is today.
Check us out and read the Article below.
Thanks for featuring us Massey University!
From Waste Paper to Note Paper
The Misprint Co is already eight trees up when it comes to saving paper. The company is helping New Zealanders become more sustainable one sheet of paper at a time.
The brainchild of former design students Jenny Buckler, Kareena Harris, and Priscilla Loong, The Misprint Co takes hardly-used waste paper and repurposes it into high-end stationery.
The kernel of the idea came to the trio when they saw yellow recycling bins at design school overflowing with hardly-used paper.
“The thing is that recycling isn’t as environmentally friendly as you think,” explains Jenny. “Most of New Zealand’s paper recycling is optimistically sent to China. Whether it gets there or not is a different matter.
“We’re not some tree hugging company, we reckon repurposing before recycling is just common sense. Our repurposed paper notebooks have become a vehicle for behavioural change.”
Although the three met at high school, the idea for the company itself was born out of a Massey honours degree paper called ‘Creative Futures’.
“The paper was about using design thinking and coming up with a business idea,” Kareena explains. “After a false start we focused on paper and stationery.”
The team put specially-designed bins around the Massey Campus to collect
non-confidential waste paper of the necessary size and then began repurposing that paper into notebooks.
After completing the Creative Futures paper, the trio took the idea to SPRING, a creative enterprise programme at the College of Creative Arts, and further developed it at Lightning Lab Manufacturing, a start-up programme incubator. They are now housed in Wellington’s Creative HQ, a start-up development base.
The Misprint Co. now collects paper from numerous sources, including corporates, schools, and other universities.
“We ship from our online store; we also sell in a few retail stores around the country,” says Jenny. “We really embrace the idea of the closed loop cycle and reusing New Zealand’s waste in New Zealand. For that reason we will not look to produce overseas and instead will look to expand The Misprint Co.’s reach with local people, local paper and local printers.”
Misprint also offers an ‘Ecoloop service’ where businesses can repurpose their waste paper into their own company-branded stationery.
“We offer fully customisable notebooks with logos, cover stocks and even bindings for some extra uniqueness. This creates great marketing material for businesses, all the while showing physical evidence of sustainability,” Jenny says.
The company has grown steadily since its inception and now repurposes about 800 books a month. The next step is to move into the Auckland market.
Meanwhile the eco-loop is working in more ways than one. Jenny and Kareena are back at Massey helping teach the Creative Futures paper and the company employs a Massey intern.
The success of their design is not only showing tangible results with product sales, The Misprint Co. won bronze at the 2016 Best Awards in Sustainable Product Design; and were finalists in Consumer Product Design.
Their notebooks are uniquely crafted, with loads of personality and no two the same. Waste paper has never looked better.
To date the company has:
- Re-purposed over eleven trees worth of paper.
- Offset 946,600 litres of water from the paper production process
- Saved the carbon emissions used to ship paper overseas
A Misprint notebook saves between 130 – 260 litres of water (It takes 10 litres of water to make an A4 sheet of paper.)