We came up with a very focussed strategy of the departments that we wanted to grow this year, and our stationery department was top of our list. We love Forget Me Not Originals journals and notebook, as you do too, but we wanted more. A bit of diversity to make this look like a department that we really cared about- and believe me we do as both of us need some specialist help with our addiction to beautiful stationery!
There are are lots of things to consider when researching a new paper-based brand to add to Plum & Belle. We needed to find a label that placed sustainability, ethics and responsible creation at the centre of their brief. Certified paper stock is one thing, but what about the manufacturing journey, ink types, waste and energy management, packaging... let alone beautiful, innovative and high quality.
Well, we are delighted to say that we found the answer to all of those requirements. Meet Kinshipped, the UK-based stationery brand that is making waves both here and in the USA. We caught up with founder, Kayleigh, to find out all about her business. We love that she answered everything in an open, transparent way with an absolute passion for both stationery and sustainability.
All of the paper in the range is FSC certified, and the collection is made by a carefully selected group of suppliers who all have excellent green credentials. The printers who make Kinshipped's notebooks use vegetable inks and all of their suppliers deliver production without any plastic packaging. Some of Kinshipped's cards are the most eco on the market where the majority of the design is embossed (ink free) on beautiful post-consumer waste paper stock. That all makes us very proud to have them as part of the P&B family.
Plum & Belle: We'd love to know about life before Kinshipped, and what lead to launch your business.
Kayleigh: Prior to launching Kinshipped, I worked in brand strategy. I had my daughter and with my husband working away, I didn't want to also commute and never see her. I'd always struggled to find corporate gifts and packaging that were cool and unusual so I set about starting something that filled that need; the sustainable side was just a necessity for me. 18 months in to setting up the branding etc. (albeit slowly with a baby) I suffered a life threatening illness and simultaneously miscarried my second child. I then pushed forward to launch a BETA version of Kinshipped as a distraction, which is the business you see today - greetings + stationery.
Plum & Belle: What are the 3 things about your business that make your heart sing?
Kayleigh: Firstly, the opportunity to do things differently and make the right choices. It has echoed across the industry and people are following suit, and for that I feel incredibly proud. Secondly, getting to work with the nicest people - people who are also aligned in values. Previously working for a large employer, I often worked with people who I had very little/nothing in common with. Finally, knowing people enjoy our product
P&B: What are the key sustainable and ethical aspects of your brand? Kayleigh:
- Completely plastic free
- Recyclable and/or compostable always
- Transparency in the supply chain
- Manufactured entirely in the UK
- Socially responsible employer/business
P&B: What are your future aims for your business?
Kayleigh: We are currently shooting for B Corp certification and trying to move premises that will allow us to take the business to the next stage, with space to hold more stock.
P&B: Do you have a favourite product?
Kayleigh: I love our latest embossed range which is the most eco yet due to the paper stock and minimal printing.
Kayleigh: We're completely plastic free. We buy nothing plastic, down to palette wrap and even the chocolates we buy as treats. We recycle all that we can using specific paper and cardboard waste services. We use recycled paper when we can. We are south facing, which helps on energy costs. We are a vegan studio - we don't have dairy milk in our fridges 😄 and we're all generally doing our bit to help our planet!
Plum & Belle's values and Kinshipped:
Minimal waste, pollutants and emissions
Made in the UK