Celebrating rad working communities all over the globe! In this edition of Community Shoutout we chat to The Misprint Co — an exciting, eco-friendly initiative based in Wellington New Zealand.

Can you tell us a little bit about what The Misprint Co is and what you do?

We repurpose waste paper from businesses and schools and repurpose it into good looking notebooks which we sell either back to the business or to conferences, workshops, wholesale or individuals!

We collect the paper from our collection boxes, sort it, distribute it into piles based on blankness, compile the notebook, stack them, trolley them around the corner to Wakefields Digital, and then they’re printed & made into the finished notebooks!

Examples of The Misprint Co notebooks

How was The Misprint Co started?

The idea first originated as part of a university project where we had to find a problem and come up with a design business solution to solve it. That’s where we found a lot of waste paper and thought “this sucks, lets do something with it.” Then we started repurposing it, turning it into notebooks and got a bit of traction which was awesome. 

From there we went through the Lightening Lab Accelerator and learnt about business which was really good and massively beneficial. Since then we moved into Creative HQ and started nutting out the details of our businesses, our services and how it was going to work. We started gaining customers and orders and just kept building it!

We then did our crowd fund which was a big turning point for us that allowed us to grow more, hire people, move into our own office, and launch us into the next phase of our business. 

Boxes of paper collected from businesses & schools around Wellington, New Zealand.

Why is what you do so important? 

By repurposing, we’re saving 10 litres of water per A4 sheet repurposed, so each A5 notebook saves 130 litres. By doing that we’re reducing the resources needed to create new paper, by extending the life of an already used piece of paper. It also reduces some carbon emissions as well, and it’s a great way for businesses to interact and engage with a more tangible & visual representation of sustainability. Businesses can also market their involvement to tell their story through our story and business. 

We’ve saved 3.6 million litres of water so far, which is 360,000 sheets of paper. 

What gets you excited to come to work in the morning?

It’s a mixture of everything really, both the environment impact we’re having, and building your own business and seeing that happen. It’s hard but its rewarding at the same time. You’re always going to have days that are harder, but then there are days where you’re like, “yay!” and everything works out. It’s cool seeing people get excited about your product and your business. We love hearing their stories about how they’re repurposing their paper and seeing their reactions when we deliver their notebooks — they get really excited about seeing their paper turned into something different and it’s quite exciting seeing that response. 

Being based in Wellington, what are your favourite things about working in the capital?

Great community, great vibe. It’s quite small so it’s easier to get started up in since the community is so small. If people like your idea its easy to get that base and spread it from there.

The Misprint Co office

What are your goals for the future of The Misprint Co?

This year we’re looking at developing our first franchise in Auckland. We’re currently getting a few things in place to make it actually possible — it used to just be an idea that we thought we would eventually get to but now we can actually see a path which is quite exciting! That’s one of the big, meaty goals for the year and probably a bit of next year as well.

Overall we just want to save as much paper as we can. We’re hoping to come up with new ways of using confidential paper or the double sided stuff that we sort out here but end up having to recycle anyway. If we can avoid doing that as much as possible, that would be good.

What is the team & office vibe like in your space?

It’s a bit messy, but it’s “feels like things are happening” kind of messy rather than a complete tip, since there’s so much paper going on! It’s super relaxed — we get friends popping in, we’re getting office fish and there’s a fridge full of beer. It’s just the two of us at the moment, plus another guy, Tim, who runs a digital marketing company and helps us with a bit of SEO consulting. 

The team at The Misprint Co

What does the ideal officemate look like for you?

Someone who is fun, doesn’t mind a bit of noise and some weird music occasionally, enjoys lots of stuff going on and things coming in and out, random notebook production and general chit chat. And who likes to get stuff done too obviously! And we love tea & gingernuts so if they love them too that’s a bonus! 

We’re just after a friendly, community vibe — it’s always nice having more people around you in the office.

How do you think having some extra office mates will impact your work environment?

It’s always just nice to have a variety of people coming in and out, and interesting learning what other people do. If we can share skills that’s always a bonus too! Also the boxes of paper are really heavy, so an extra pair of hands helps!

What tips do you have for startups like yours?

Always be pitching, always be closing, always be hustling!

A massive thank you to Kareena & Jenny for taking the time to sit down with us and answer a few questions! These are amazing women hosting such a cool place to work from and more importantly, doing such incredible things to save the planet. 

If you’re on the hunt for an office space & some sweet new friends, check out The Misprint Co office on CoLo! You can also visit The Misprint Co website to see how you can get involved and support their amazing work!

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