We were psyched when A Piece(s) of Paper finally became available on Pinkoi! Pinkoists started testing out the paper and finding the sheet styles they needed.
From the adorable graphic designs (Rabbit in Space and Corgi in Snow!) to the award-winning wrapping papers, there’s lots to enjoy about this husband-and-wife brand. They have swept Thai stationery shops by storm and led an eco-friendly lifestyle by example and by design. Let’s meet Gap and find out more about their passion and dedication!
1. How did A Piece(s) of Paper come into being?
My wife and I founded A Piece(s) of Paper in 2013 in Bangkok. We graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in university and I’ve been working as a graphic designer and copywriter while my wife did craft and DIY works.
We wanted to create many kinds of graphic products, and after doing market research, we found that there were few wrapping paper brands in Thailand and that there is a market gap we can fill. Since the majority of wrapping papers in the Thai markets were imported, and there were not many cute patterns, we decided to start with wrapping papers.
Meanwhile, I was interested in the idea of a social enterprise where maximizing profit was not the main goal. Instead, we would also look for ways to give back to society. Therefore, we try to apply eco-friendly concepts and practices in all our products.
2. Why are you so popular in Thailand?
I think everyone recognizes our products because we care more about society and the environment than about our sales figures.
It makes us proud that every time we set up our booth at a fair or an art market, that people would come to us to talk about our wrapping papers and environmental ideas. We realized that adding this simple idea to a product can help the environment, even though people may not purchase our products.
Since then, we have had several interviews with magazines and television shows. In 2016, A Piece(s) of Paper received the “Thailand Green Design Award” which helped increase our brand awareness.
3. How does the reusable wrapping paper change consumer behavior (or gift-giving behavior)?
Generally, eco-friendly wrapping paper in the market focuses on recyclable materials, such as recycled paper or soy ink. We decided to use both recycled paper and soy ink and add eco-friendly ideas into our products that did not highlight the durability of the material or material degradability.
First, we focused on consumer behavior. For any design work, we have to serve users and functionalities. We found that the wrapping paper life cycle usually ends once the present is opened, which seems to be very short. So we tried to figure out how to prolong the life-cycle of the wrapping paper.
We then came out with the unique idea to perforate the wrapping paper in grid patterns so that the receivers of presents could carefully unwrap the wrapping paper and still be able to reuse it later. Once unwrapped, the receivers can tear the paper along the perforated lines to get several pieces of paper that are 8×8 cm in size. Then, they can use the paper for notepads, notebook covers, cell phone case decorations, or origami. This is how we created the name “A Piece(s) of Paper”, since we believed that one piece of paper has more than one kind of life cycle, depending on how people use it.
4. What are some creative ways you’ve seen people reuse gift wrapping paper?
Mostly, people use it as a notepad, while some use it to decorate their cell phone cases. Others use it for bookmarks or to make origami. One of them made an origami flower which was quite creative.
5. How is the process different between designing sustainable products and regular products?
When considering sustainability, we have to think from every angle, starting with material sourcing, how to save material usage and control waste in production processes, logistics, shelf displays, etc. However, the most important thing is what is going to happen when the product is in consumers’ hands.
We do not only focus on an eco-friendly material, but also on shaping consumer behaviors so that they understand the true meaning of eco-friendly practices and apply it to other daily activities. This is my own definition of sustainability change.
6. Why did you start making scarves? Where do you find animals for inspiration?
Besides our eco-friendly wrapping papers, our cute pastel animal patterns differentiate our products from others and made A Piece(s) of Paper stand out. We decided to use our animal patterns in various lifestyle products such as scarves, pencil cases, tote bags, notebooks, planners, LINE stickers and so on.
Our animal patterns are distinctive: we were inspired by numerous animal documentaries, and try to capture animals’ cute behaviors and reactions by using ink, watercolors, and random pattern designs to create eye-catching products.
7. What are the things a designer or a small brand can do to influence the processing and materials of products?
I believe eco-friendly concepts should be fundamental in a designer’s production process instead of just following a trend. For instance, look back to when you started your brand—most of you might have focused on reducing the cost of production. Reduction can be done in many ways, such as simplifying processes, reducing utility use and packaging process, reducing manpower, etc.
I believe we all understand the concept, but pay close attention and you will find that raw materials have their own ways of being reused, recycled, and reduced. A designer should understand how to sufficiently utilize resources to maximize benefit.
8. What excites you the most about A Piece(s) of Paper right now?
Recently, we received the Thailand Green Design Award 2018 for our Eco Folder+Envelope, which is an envelope that can be reused as a folder. This product will be available on Pinkoi soon. We are excited to start working with Pinkoi as our online channel since we are planning to expand and export our products overseas. Previously, there have been design stores from Singapore, China and Taiwan contacting us for our products, but they weren’t what we looking were for.
Lastly, I would like to say thank you to all our customers and i wish to see you all at Pinkoi Market in Taiwan and in other countries soon.
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