Love stationery? Save The Earth & Fight Poverty With Washi Tape

February 07, 2018

Love stationery? Save The Earth & Fight Poverty With Washi Tape

News Flash. Now there's a way to save the earth as you craft away. Discover the delights of these gorgeous and slightly textured banana washi tapes from Japanese artist and illustrator Shinzi Katoh's collaboration with a sustainable paper project in Africa.

Bringing Shinzi Katoh’s ‘Banana Tapes’ to Mic Moc Emporium has been one of the surprising, wonderful and novel ways our love for unique, beautifully designed and well-made stationery can practically create a better world.  Who knew?! At long last, a way to finally justify our obsession with washi tapes!  But to impact the world in a positive way―now, that’s something we never imagined. 

When you choose our range of Shinzi Katoh ‘Banana Paper’ washi tapes, you’re really participating in world conservation and fighting world poverty. We know, it’s hard to believe, isn't it. These uniquely made washi tapes are specially produced from ‘banana fibres’ harvested from the stems of banana trees in Zambia that would otherwise be discarded.  

Shinzi Katoh Banana Tapes have been beautifully designed and illustrated by renowned Japanese artist, author, zakka and stationery designer Shinzi Katoh.  These tapes use raw materials sourced as part of a Japanese-African sustainability collaboration with ‘One Planet Paper’; a world fair trade paper project to promote the use of banana fibres harvested from the organic banana stalks of banana plantations in Zambia, Africa.  This eco-friendly project takes advantage of the magnificent expertise of Japanese paper manufacturing technology combined with the raw materials of banana fibres procured in Africa that would otherwise be discarded as waste. 

This Japanese-African partnership advances not only wildlife and forest protection, but helps fight poverty. Whenever we’re crafting or creating using these Banana washi tapes we feel immensely satisfied that we’re effectively helping to support education, fight poverty in Zambia alongside supporting a myriad of other sustainability projects in Africa.  

A note about these special washi tapes.  You may notice a slight ‘texture’ on the surface of these banana washi tapes due to the natural and organic banana stem fibres. We think it's simply fascinating because 'banana ply paper' is created using a variation of the techniques used by ancient Egyptians when they made papyrus. We love the added texture and continue to be amazed by the admirable work of artist Shinzi Katoh and his contributions to the world of stationery, art and design.  

We'll be bringing in a larger collection of these banana paper stationery to our emporium soon! Look out for it! Meanwhile, do check out our existing Shinzi Katoh Banana washi tape designs and our other curated edits of Shinzi Katoh merchandise! 

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Here's further information if you wish to learn more about the One Planet Cafe Zambia banana paper sustainability project.

Pic: Handover of Banana paper Making Factory in Mfuwe from Japanese Embassy to One Planet Cafe Zambia. (Source: Embassy of Japan; Republic of Zambia)

One Planet Café Zambia has been involved in producing paper from banana stems which are usually thrown away. They began with extracting fibres from banana stems in 2007 to constructing a factory in 2014 to benefit more than 250 members of their families.
  
The extracted fibres were then sent to Japan to be manufactured into a variety of paper products. One Planet Café Zambia prepared a plan to produce banana paper and paper products in Zambia and requested the Government of Japan to provide financial assistance for this purpose. The Government of Japan considered it and decided to support the expansion of the factory and procurement of necessary equipment for this process.

With the completion of this project, about 80 additional residents are expected to be employed so as to benefit up to 1,000 members of their families and more.




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