The Stationery Project: A Year in Review

2018 was a big year for The Stationery Project. We grew from an idea and a goal into a functional, nationwide stationery producer.

Our research project began back in early 2018 with Katherine Gillieson, faculty lead and Julia Pepler, research assistant lead. Our goal was to assess issues of paper waste at Emily Carr and find effective ways to divert scrap paper from the waste-stream, and into functional stationery.

In the early months of 2018 we focused on exploration. We worked out how to use the found paper in the most effective ways, to give a second life to something considered to be garbage, and to do so with as little energy or resource waste as possible. In these months we also implemented various systems to collect scrap paper, and we received a large donation of discarded file-folders from the ECUAD library.

By the end of April we had settled on 2 styles of notebooks and 1 style of notepad that used our sourced paper in useful and low-impact ways. We held a project launch event in  pop-up in April to showcase our work, and received lots of helpful and constructive feedback.

Thanks to two Ian Gillespie Research Grants we were able to expand our tools of production and were able to acquire a new soy-based Risograph printer as well as various binding tools for the COMD lab at Emily Carr. With the new school year we were also able to bring on some extra hands in preparation for the Vancouver Art Book Fair (VABF) in October, and had our project featured in a piece entitled Design Thinking for Sustainability on Campus on the Emily Carr website. 

We were thrilled to be a part of the VABF and to bring our stationery to a wider audience. At the fair, we got a chance to discuss paper waste issues with variety of people, and spit-ball ways to reduce and reuse, before recycling.

The Stationery Project was also featured at the École Rose-Des-Vents Christmas Market, and our own Holiday Workshop and Sale in December. At these events we showcased a new notebook form, as well as our 2019 calendar.

Finally, at the end of December we partnered with Halifax’s The Tare Shop and began to sell our notebooks there. This zero-waste grocery store/cafe is a great place for people who are already interested finding new ways to reduce their personal waste.

2018 has been an incredibly transformative year for our project. We’ve grown in size, we’ve evolved our notebooks based off feedback and we’ve welcomed new opportunities. It’s difficult to know what 2019 will hold for us, but we do know that more transformation and change is on the way! We hope to reach more people, continue to improve our stationery as well as develop new forms and types of products. Thanks for following along on our wild journey, and have a very happy new year.

All the best from The Stationery Project team.
Katherine Gillieson, Julia Pepler, Medha Mistry, Jaz Halloran, Cameron Neat & Kathleen Jacques