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Archive for July, 2011

Ecojot is a Toronto, Ontario based stationary brand. Their beautiful designs, their range of products, and their eco-friendly practices make them one of Citizen Kid’s favourite suppliers. Recently Mark Gavin agreed to tell us a little bit more about Ecojot.

Please tell us about how ecojot started.

We had been making paper products since 2001. In 2007 we recognized that green products were important, so we  eliminated paper with virgin fibers and high gloss varnishes to 100% post-consumer paper and matte finishes. It was great timing as the world was starting to realize that our resources are finite and we need to change our habits if we want our kids to inherit a viable way of life.

 
Who creates these beautiful designs?

Carolyn, my sister does most of the designs. She is a fantastic artist and designer and is now experimenting with more traditional hand painted designs as opposed to using a computer. We do sometimes use outside designers – right now we are using work from Nate Williams a very well known American designer.

Please tell us about what it’s like to create and produce a product solely in Canada.

Its very satisfying as we can design products and have them quick to market, but it’s also very difficult since it’s a lot cheaper to produce products overseas where workers are paid very little. We think that its important to support Canadian made products.

How is Ecojot eco-friendly?

All ecojot branded products use paper and board that it entirely made from old paper – no new trees are cut down! We also recycle all our paper and board offcuts which are sent back to the same paper mill as where our ecojot paper is used. We are looking at using a tree free paper made entirely from wheat grass, the non edible component of wheat production. This is a really exciting development, although its not yet commercially available.

 

 

Please tell us more about Ecojot’s GIVE program.

The idea is that for each of 4 sizes of ecojot products that we sell, we want to donate a school workbook to a child in need. We want people to think of ecojot as a company with a deeper purpose and our mission is to try and help kids escape poverty by becoming literate and educated – therefore if people support our company and our products, they will have a direct impact on changing lives.

Its very common that kids in developing countries cannot afford school supplies, so we try and help where we can. During 2010, our first year, we donated 77,000 to kids in Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Niger, Poland and St Lucia.

This year, the majority of our donations will be going to Haiti. I have donated 27,000 units which will be distributed by Free the Children in August and September and there is another 25,000 units being donated to another great organization called The Schoolbag www.theschoolbag.org run by an amazing young lady called Erin Schrode. I am hoping to make the trip to Haiti to help with the distribution. Last year I want to Kenya and worked in refugee camps and Kibera, a large slum in Nairobi, where I saw the very difficult conditions in which kids are trying to get an education.

Search “ecojot” on youtube and you can view my Kenya video and other short films which further explain the ecojot story.

 

Thank you very much!

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We just received some new kickboards – mini and maxi sized!

Check out the orange and green models! We can’t say enough great things about these scooters — they have been one of the best things we have ever bought for our kids. Great summer fun!


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