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PaperchainG - Paper in an other way

Interview with the co-founders behind PaperchainG brand.

I found this treasure in of my favourite market in Budapest, at Kiskert Piac. As a "wanna-be" minimalist and someone who is devoted towards sustainable living I am not advertising my 'secret' passion towards stationary. I am not revealing here how many notebooks I have still in the drawer waiting for it to be filled - even I am not buying new ones since 2 years!

You can imagine me finding out a stationary brand, what is local and has sustainable reosurces... I knew I have to intervirew the girls and find out more about them and their products. It took a while but I am happy to share with you their story!

Please introduce yourself!

Hi! We are the founders of PaperchainG, Brigitta Horváth and Alexandra Gencheva.

How did you get started with making PaperchainG products?

We have been friends for over 20 years, but came up with the idea while we lived together in London a few years ago. We loved making smoothies, experimenting with avocado recipes and practicing yoga together. PaperchainG was born from our desire to put this creative energy into a project that was based on our shared interest in a healthier, more mindful and spiritual lifestyle. We wanted to connect it to nature and highlight the importance of living and consuming in a mindful way that preserves and reuses our natural resources.

How does sustainability appear in your lives?

Sustainability appears in our everyday choices, in what we buy, use, and do. We make a conscious attempt to buy less, but when we do, purchase fairtrade and ethical products and pick items that are either easily recycable or long-lasting. Extend the life of things we already own, but don’t need, by donating and recycling, and upcycling owned but damaged items. We avoid disposables as much as we can, by thinking ahead to bring a reusable bag or water bottle with us. We are constantly learning about ways we can live more sustainably, and are fascinated by the amount of alternative products (and actions) we can utilise to achieve this.

What additional value do your products offer?

Our products inspire our customers to consider a more conscious lifestyle and diet, and maybe instill some curiosity about nature and spirituality (for those who are open to exploring it). In addition, in the future we want to expand our brand by telling the story of each of our products; how they are made and how the materials are sourced. Through this we could raise more awareness about simple ways to live more sustainably. Little habits go a long way!

What does sustainability mean to you?

To us, sustainability means living a mindful and conscious life on Earth, thinking about what we leave behind for future generations. This basically means that we don’t ignore or forget that we are sharing this planet with not only our fellow humans, but with other wonderful beings. We aim to reflect this in our day to day lives as well as the choices we make for each product in terms of materials, lifecycle and underlying message.

Where do you get inspired?

We get inspired from both the digital and physical worlds, as well as other creative and innovative people that have projects or businesses focused around the same mission. Besides being an advocate for a slower conscious lifestyle, we are actually fascinated and inspired by the value technology and innovation has brought to the sustainability movement right now. For example, some of our new product ideas are based on innovation of new materials.

Our illustrations and designs are completely inspired by the majesty of the physical natural world around us - plants, patterns, and Earth’s natural satellites for examples - all huge influences in our designs. We believe that they influence our lives more than most people are aware, so we try to inspire more awareness of them.

And of course, our travels and studies definitely inspire the content of our designs as well as the materials we use.

Why is it important to use notebooks in the 21st century?

We believe that spending the time to sit down and write in a journal is a form of meditation, and goes hand in hand with being more self-aware and leading a slower-paced life. It is incredibly easy to loose yourself in the hectic world of the 21st century, with technology constantly around us, and writing by hand can feel nostalgic and relaxing to many of us. Also, there is something very satisfying about physically crossing an item off your to do list or spilling your heart out in a journal!

What is the added value of your products?

The added value of our product range is that they are well thought-through and mindfully crafted from first conception to final product - we hope this is reflected in our simple, delicate designs.

It is important to us to align our values with our business, so we create products with a conscious effort to produce less waste, we reuse resources already available or materials that are natural, cruelty-free, non-toxic and compostable. For us, the first and most important step of being sustainable is to use recycled materials, and recycle any leftover materials. If for some reason this isn’t possible for a little detail of a product, we always choose a material that we know isn’t directly harming to the environment. In our short evolution, we’ve discovered so many alternative materials and processes, and are super excited about the environmental movements that have recently gained traction.

What are your plans?

In the long term, our vision for PaperchainG is to become a business with a real social impact. We hope that we can scale our business through partners and collaborations, maybe even suppliers. We envision having a measurable impact on increasing mindful consumption of environmentally friendly, ethically sourced products on large scale – like in schools, universities and organisations.

Where do you get support from?

Most of our support comes from our friends and family, who encouraged our mission when we started. They provide genuine feedback, spread the word, and even help logistically especially in Budapest with distributing products for example. To us, they represent our target customers, so we value their opinions greatly!

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