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Coffeenotes - simple, stylish, sustainable stationery

Nothing wrong with a cup of coffee. It's as much a ritual as a simple need for a hot, aromatic drink, and best if served in a re-usable cup (a mug is even better!) But there are a lot of disposable cups out there, and as they involve plastic as well as paper they're not the easiest of things to recycle, which is the reason so many of them end up in landfill. Coffeenotes1Not good. What is good, though, is Cup Cycling. This is a process developed by James Cropper of Cumbria which entails separating out the plastic and repurposing it, and then using the remaining fibres to make paper.

Some of this paper is turned into Coffeenotes, notebooks with a conscience. Here's what Sarah, one of brains behind the Coffeenotes project, has to say:

Sustainability is central to the range. As printers with 30 years' experience we have considerable knowledge and experience of materials and techniques. We investigate the whole process of producing the stationery… manufacturing in our own factory and in the mills where the paper is made; the sustainability of glues, inks and binding methods - especially wires. We look at whether there are ‘hidden plastics’ and we investigate energy and water use. It’s not perfect but we feel we go beyond what most ‘sustainable’ brands would consider. We are a Carbon Balanced Printer and support the World Land Trust.

The Circular Economy
All our products celebrate the 'circular economy' and can be recycled, reused and/or repurposed, resulting in zero waste to landfill. We use no plastic in our packaging.

Coffeenotes2 The simple cover designs require less ink and are therefore more easily recycled. The colour and texture of them are the main features. The pages within are non-instructional and allow the user to interpret the products in their own way.

All the products in the range use our bespoke signature Coffeecup paper, which is made to our specification by James Cropper. It is made from recycled coffee cups, post industrial waste from coffee cup production and virgin fibre: FSC, of course. The actual percentages vary depending on how many coffee cups are in the cup cycling system. There were fewer cups during the lockdown periods of the pandemic.

The cover materials are sourced from several European mills and are chosen for their sustainability credentials as well as their colours and textures. We have included a range of materials to offer customers a selection of background stories and choices. Some papers are 100% recycled - this is the Pure collection. Some replace part of the cellulose required to make the paper (generally derived from wood fibre) with alternative sources of cellulose such as spent brewers grain, agro-industrial waste and textile waste. These waste products would typically end up in landfill or animal feed so really, they're better off in a notebook! We have particularly championed these types of papers and there is information on the reverse of the products which highlights these credentials.

The Beer and Pure Collections are manufactured by Gmund in Germany .

Espresso (Cafe), Hazelnut, Olive, Almond (all Nut), Cherry, Grape and Kiwifruit (all Fruit) are all part of the 'Crush' range manufactured by Favini in Italy . They also manufacture the Navy Wool cover used in the Tailor’s range.

The other two cover materials in the Tailor’s range are made by Fedrigoni in Italy )and the Grounds cover in the Cafe collection is from Fenner here in the UK . Lastly the Creme in the Cafe collection is a heavier weight version of our signature writing paper from James Cropper which has been embossed. Coffeenotes3

The wires that are used in the wiro-bound notebooks and the planners are fully recyclable in kerbside recycling, unlike most on the market. This is because the steel wire has a coating of tin, rather than the majority of wires which (while they look like bare metal) actually have a nylon coating and as such cannot be recycled. The covers of the wiro-bound notebooks are French folded, to add bulk and strength without the need for bonding glue.

The sizes that we produce are named to reflect the coffee theme: piccolo, medio, grande and skinny. (A6, A5, Short A4, and half A5) for the notebooks and notepads. The planners are A4. After all, no cup of coffee is that big!

And speaking of planners, we've made them available in both 5- and 7-day versions, the thinking being that the 5-day version is possibly more suitable for the working week while the 7-day is best for the home environment. However, with things being as they are, the 7-day seems more popular, probably reflecting the latest working patterns? And once the planning side has been used, you can either use the reverse for notes or donate it to a child for a spot of creativity.

Cornish Geek Emma Farley is a true fan, and there's an interview here...

31 March 2022


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