Vent for Change
VENT for change is a Bristol based ethical stationery brand with a mission; to help children worldwide have access to the education they deserve. Proceeds from every VENT product sold go towards global education projects getting children back into school.
How it all began…
In 2014, Evan Lewis (an environmental entrepreneur) bought an inefficient facility producing pencils from recycled CD cases. After 18 months of hard work, the transformation led to the production of an additional one million pencils a year.
“Pencils are the most iconic educational tool going back centuries and I wanted to do something with them, something inspirational.” Evan Lewis Founder
Around the same time that Evan purchased the pencil factory, man-made and natural disasters were affecting communities all around the world, having a massive impact on the education of children.
Evan began to speak with NGOs and charities and saw that they all had a common agenda; to get children into school.
Despite a potential one million spare pencils being produced each year, what was really needed was money. Money to rebuild schools, pay teachers and provide essential materials. Evan’s solution was to sell his pencils and other stationery here in the UK and from the proceeds support existing education projects around the world. Teaming up with Bristolian designer and illustrator Rosi Yip, VENT began to take shape.
Evan also launched two other programmes. Share a Pencil Day is a global education awareness day for UK school children nationwide. In May 2018 more than 80,000 children signed up to take part. And his Ambassador for Change programme which enables travellers and volunteers to take pencils around the world and give them out FREE to those that need them most. Sometimes a humble pencil is the difference between being able to attend school or not.
I met Evan in May 2019 at The Stationery Show in London and was inspired by his story. Many of you know that I am an ex-teacher and saw first hand what difference just having the right equipment can make to a child’s day.
For many stationery addicts like myself, sustainability and the impact of our purchases on the environment are a real concern. Finding a brand who work to make their stationery not only beautiful but also ethical means that our addictions can be satisfied guilt free.
Vent for Change was one of the LaunchPad winners for 2019, earning Evan a free stand from which to showcase his collection.
“Vent for Change – is a new eco-friendly and ethical stationery range. All items are made with both people and planet in mind with proceeds from sales going towards education projects worldwide. The collection includes pocketbooks made using reclaimed coffee cups, notebooks and sketchbooks made from sustainable paper and pencils produced in the UK from recycled CD cases. First and foremost, the collection is beautifully designed to appeal to retailers and customers alike.”
The judges felt that the designs, materials and pricing were well thought through, with a strong ethical backstory that would appeal to consumers.
The covers of the pocketbooks are made using reclaimed coffee cup fibres and 100% recycled paper!
Evan Lewis, Founder
Finding products which are ethically produced in the UK is really important to me. I know that this means a higher price point. Remember, every time you purchase a product from the VENT for change range, 10% of the sale price is going directly to help keep children in Education.