This week on sustainable businesses, I am taking a dive into the pencil industry. Pencils are one of those staples whose brand you don’t remember, just give me a pencil that functions and life goes on. Well except you are an artist.
A friend of mine attended the just completed Cop 23 in Bonn, Germany and he returned with a pencil that got us all talking. Now you are probably thinking what could be so exquisite about a pencil that would get us all talking about it. Well, take a look and let’s have a small chat:
This is this is not just a pencil but a pencil with seeds. The aim is to feed into the circular economy of ‘no waste’ or waste being a resource feed for another process. Because pencils are often thrown in the trash, with the sprout pencil, you can plant the pencil bit that would have otherwise gone in the bin.
Oh wait, you are also able to choose from a selection of seeds before buying the pencil and there are some interesting choices which end up being useful plants in the house for cooking.
So let’s talk business. Do I think consumers are going to pay extra cash and attention to buy sprout pencils? Absolutely yes. I went through the amazon.com reviews and it has a solid four stars with a few unhappy customers here and there. Sprout is produced in the US and so far, I have not found it on Amazon Germany or Amazon UK. There is also a webshop on their website but only ships within the USA.
Great thing is that Sprout has a B2B service for companies willing to buy in bulk for their organization. This is a great idea for stocking sustainable stationary in offices and hey! that could go in the company sustainable report for the year. Did I also mention I found a few information here and there about the wood being certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) but I could not verify that.
Do I think this pencil will kick all other pencils out of the market? I don’t think so. For the cost, I think a handful of people will still prefer to buy cheaper pencils and not care about the sustainable edge it has. However, I believe there is a wide market space for sprout pencils especially from the B2B point of sales.
Images from sproutworld.com