18-21 July 2021
Home & Gift Buyers Festival
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BEHIND THE BRAND VENT for Change

The brain-child of environmental and social entrepreneur, Evan Lewis, Bristol-based VENT for Change is one of a growing number of conscientious brands. That combines beautifully designed, award-winning stationery with impeccable eco credentials. Read on to learn more about this incredible brand that combines beautifully designed, award-winning stationery with impeccable eco credentials—and supports global education projects with every item sold.

Hi Even, tell us how VENT for Change began?

In 2014 I bought an aging pencil making machine to start producing recycled pencils here in the UK. After 18 months we were making more than we needed for our existing client base and I wanted to do something with our spare capacity, something inspirational. As the pencil is the most iconic educational tool going back centuries, I set about trying to support education in any way I could, particularly for children around the world missing out on the education they deserve. Initially I started giving them away to charities and volunteers working on education projects worldwide. In 2017 I then set up an education day, teaching UK school children why so many children were still unable to go to school. In the 3 years since more than 150,000 children have taken part completely free of charge.

In 2018 I started selling the pencils to support existing education projects, this was the start of the VENT for Change range of sustainable stationery. Our pencils are all made from recycled CD cases, so we created a range of notebooks and sketchbooks also made from recycled and sustainable materials.

In 2019 we launched the range to retailers nationwide and are now stocked in stores the length and breadth of the country.
 


 Why is it you love what you do? 

As a purposeful brand we always keep the environment in mind as we develop the range. As soon as we move into our sales mode we start to focus on our social mission, educating children. The more we can sell the more we can support. Getting across the story behind the range and the benefits from having successful sales means we’re both helping the environment and children everywhere to get to school.
 



Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out?

Don’t be sucked in by social media as the only way to tell your story. There is a lot of noise in the social media sphere and breaking through is a massive challenge and drain on resources. I would have gone to retail, bricks and mortar retailers sooner had I known what a challenge it is getting heard.

The retailers we have met love our story and what we’re doing, they are the perfect ambassadors for our brand and can tell our story in store on our behalf. Get going. Don’t hold back until everything is perfect. It never will be and you don’t need to be an expert, you can learn along the way. If you’re true to your cause it will shine through.

What can visitors expect of VENT for Change at Home & Gift his year?

As a new company and first time exhibitor at Home & Gifts most of what we offer will be new to the visitors in 2020. The range includes pencils from recycled CD cases and pocket books made from reclaimed coffee cups, notebooks from recycled leather and certified sustainable paper. Three key ranges in very different styles, pulled together by clever design.

  

  

  


Do you have any favourites in the collection?

My personal favourite is the Write collection of notebooks. Unashamedly raw and recycled, they are minimal in their look and feel but proud to be recycled. Uncoated recycled grey board covers with a beautiful linen fabric spine combined with great quality ivory coloured FSC paper.   

 



VENT for Change will be exhibiting at Home & Gift 2020, for more information visit their profile here.
 
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