Plantable stationery brand Left-handesign gives office staples a green makeover

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When it comes to single-use plastics like straws and cutlery, the sustainability industry has made plenty of progress, but what about the humble home or work office biro?

In Australia alone it’s estimated that 140 million pens end up in landfill every single year. Globally over 10 billion plastic pens are thrown out each year, creating a stream of toxic plastic waste that pollutes our planet.

Enter Left-handesign, a unique plantable stationery brand that aims to overhaul the environmental impact of single-use plastic stationery one pen at a time. Founded by entrepreneur Radhika Mayani in 2017, Left-handesign first made waves as the leading sustainable, zero-waste stationery brand in its home market of Singapore.

With its recent launch in Australia, the brand is promising to set the benchmark for sustainable office supplies, marrying exquisite design with function and practicality.

Says Radhika, “My previous experience in the hospitality industry was an eye-opening experience in the mountains of unnecessary waste we produce as a society. The amount of waste in various sectors from food to toiletries is incredibly distressing to me. I launched Left-handesign as a response to the lack of inroads by the stationery industry to be more environmentally friendly. As a lover of nature and stationery, it made sense to combine the two to create Left-handesign.”

Founded with the simple goal to put nature back into people’s lives, the brand’s star product – the BĪJ pen – is made with just 10% plastic. Suitable for corporate use and gifting, each pen has an embedded capsule containing seeds which can be planted at the end of its life.

“We are trying to propagate a ‘Use and Grow’ mentality instead of ‘Use and Throw’,” explains Radhika. “Inspired by the beauty of nature, each of our products are thoughtfully designed to ensure they are zero-waste, practical and, of course, gorgeous.”

So far the brand’s eco initiatives have prevented 443,505  grams of plastic waste from ending up in landfill through the sales of its pens and pencils alone. In 2023 Left-handesign generates a healthy six-figure revenue which continues to grow year on year, precipitating its entry into the Australian market.

The brand is also currently undertaking a B Corp assessment this year to better align itself with Australian corporate conditions.

“It’s been a challenge to create a viable business where the emphasis is on products that are created for the circular economy,” says Radhika, “But our brand’s success shows there is real appetite for solutions that address the ecological devastation of existing industries.”

When consumers and businesses opt for Left-handesign they are actively investing in a greener future where carbon-neutrality, 100% renewable energy, and zero-waste becomes the norm. As a business, Left-handesign also facilitates reforestation and the effort to clean up our oceans through various initiatives like Trace and 1% For The Planet.

As a metaphor for our potential to create a greener planet through the choices we make, each item from Left-handesign’s collection from business cards to pens, notebooks, and greeting cards can be grown into a lush and beautiful plant. Popular choices include tomatoes, Morning Glory, spinach, mustard, fenugreek, and more. All seeds are fair-trade and organic.

Says Radhika, “The beauty of merging sustainability with stationery is that every product tells a story – a tale of love for our planet and a commitment to its well being. I’ve always believed that if your passions are aligned with purpose, no challenge is insurmountable. To be able to build a business that honors our planet is a true blessing.”


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