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Misprint Co: Notes from the circular economy

It takes 10 litres of water to make one sheet of A4 paper

That was the first of many shocking facts we found while researching paper production and recycling. Then we discovered that a lot of New Zealand’s “recycled paper” is sent to Asia for processing. Such a large amount of unnecessary carbon emissions and water consumption – for an “environmentally-friendly” process! These issues continuously drive our passion for building The Misprint Co.

We believe in a circular economy, finding new and innovative ways to reuse resources on New Zealand’s shores. The circular economy is about creating no waste or pollution in the process of making your product. As a consumer-based society many of the products we use create waste. This waste often takes many years to break down or requires recycling, forming a linear production model of ‘Take, Make, Dispose’. The Misprint Co. aims to reduce waste with minimal resource consumption. Repurposing paper extends its lifespan using a method that involves no chemicals or water.

Do you know that it takes two weeks to dry a single sheet of mulched handmade recycle paper? That’s what we found out from our testing process at Massey University. The Misprint Co. was originally part of a university paper called Creative Futures, where we were challenged to find a problem and come up with a design solution to solve it. As designers, we quickly found there was heaps of unutilised waste paper being thrown into recycling bins and decided to turn these into notebooks. That was when we found mulching to be an unsustainable way to make notebooks. But this process helped us discover that large portions of waste paper consisted of blank spaces, so we started directly repurposing this paper – leaving the printed bits to feature on each page.

Two years and a surprisingly small amount of paper cuts later, the Misprint Co. has transformed into a fully-fledged company. We have been put through the wringer with Massey’s post graduate incubator, Spring, and Creative HQ’s Lightning Lab Manufacturing accelerator programme. This is where we structured our business model, built our client base and gained great mentorship. We solidified our position as a waste minimisation company, evolving our service into changing mindsets on recycling. Notebooks became our vehicle to illustrate sustainability.

Today, businesses are educated on the healthy impact that reusing waste can have on the environment. It is interesting to see changes in the way people interact and think about paper when office waste paper is repurposed into a tangible product. Many of the businesses we work with such as Metservice, Strategy Design & Advertising, Tennent Brown and Flick Electric Co. love seeing their waste paper featured in something they can use again.

Save 130 litres of water

August is the month when you can get your hands on a good-looking limited edition notebook while saving 130 litres of water – that’s 173 standard water bottles.

Our first crowdfunding campaign will be launched at 7PM on the 18th August.

Talented artists have come together to create top-notch limited edition covers to help us thank individuals for their support. Companies will also be given the opportunity to participate in our Ecoloop service.

The Misprint Co. has saved 530,000 litres of water through the paper repurposed to date, and we want to keep growing. Building our team, growing our client base and scaling through franchising are essential steps that will help us continue to conserve our resources.

We would like to invite individuals and businesses to join us on our journey. The Low Carbon Challenge has already committed to matching every dollar raised. This means that every dollar you contribute towards helping reduce our environmental footprint is instantly doubled.

Interested? Contact us at [email protected] or find out more here.

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