Sustainable Handmade Paper
The paper industry in general, unfortunately is a very polluting industrie. In most of of the mass producing paper factory's, chemicals are added to the paper making process for bleaching purposes, anti-mould, making the pulp draw thru the mould and deckle faster and to bind pigment to the pulp fibers. Amongst other chemicals. I was actually horrified when I looked op various studies in regards to pollution in the paper making industrie. If you would like to know more, just google 'pollution in the paper making industrie'.
I happen to love paper for all its purposes, to-do lists, drawing, painting and yes, even though you can digitally do all of this these days. I still love to use paper. When I started making paper, one thing was very clear, I need to find a way to do this as sustainable as possible. I have to be honest, it has been and still is a challenge. I have thought about changing the pulp often, but I really believe the way forward is the responsible way.
So what do we actually do that is 'sustainable'.
We use pulp made from used cotton like sheets, clothes and cloths. together with used flax from old ropes and fishing nets. The base of the paper is sustainable.
There are only two things we add to the paper, a natural binder that you can just buy in the supermarket (and also eat). And a pigment to create colored paper. All our paper is colored with natural okers and chalks from Europe, except the colors with blue and the terracotta. We used to have more colors that had chemicals in them but one by one I am finding natural options to replace them with. This is very time consuming as organic dies are hard to find online so I have to go thru lots of books. I am confident that I will find natural dies for the last colors as well.
To make paper you need a lot of water, when the paper dries that water literally goes up in thin air. But not if we can help it! We have a machine that takes about 20 liter of water out of the air and filters this water every 24 hours. We are then able to re-use that water and make paper again.
If you heat the water it will fall thru your mould and deckle faster, and you can produce faster. We choose to use cold water and produce a bit slower, because it is better for the environment.
We rent a studio in a building that houses multiple entrepreneurs. We have green roofs and the owner cultivates bee-hives on the rooftops.
The building runs on windmill electricity.
We don't use and plastic in our packaging.
I would love for the future to make a completely 100% organic cotton paper and maybe use some other sustainable fibers like bamboo.
Before starting The Papermakers I worked for a sustainable company, therefore a lot to me is commons sense and not listed here. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me here.
If you would like to know more about us and our handmade paper look here.
If you would like to shop handmade paper shop here.