Amanda Judd founded Lovenotes in 2008 and is the company's head of customer experience; Reza Fuard is the firm's CEO.
What does Lovenotes do?
Amanda: We'll take your one-sided office paper, turn it into stationery and deliver it back to you. We've found that by explaining to people what we do, rather than saying we're 'upcycling' we avoid getting put into some stereotypical boxes.
What are some of the stereotypes you've encountered around the term 'upcycling'?
Asking people to buy something that's upcycled versus something new requires behaviour and social change, and my experience is it's important to create a new fresh experience of something that's beautiful, sexy and enjoyable if you want people to engage with that. I think 'upcycling' has been heavily associated with words like 'hippie' and 'hard-core environmentalism', which hasn't served it well. So with Lovenotes there's been an intentional shift to create a new language that helps people engage with an old concept in a fresh new way.
Where did the idea for the business come from?
I grew up helping in the family print business, so handling paper and making stationery was in my DNA. Then seven years ago, I was working in an office job and noticed we had a lot of one-sided waste paper. At the same time, I was exploring on a personal level how I could impact the world in a positive way, so I decided to crown myself the environmental officer of my workplace and initiate a few things. We had a rule that every piece of paper had to be fully used on both sides before it went out for recycling, so we set up collection trays and a second printer to print on the back of the scraps. But we couldn't print on the backs fast enough, and ended up with boxes of it. Without really thinking I took it down to my dad's print factory and made notebooks out of it and handed them out to everyone at the office. Everyone loved them, then a month or two later people asked if they could buy more. That's when the idea came about to turn it into a company.
When someone collects their own paper and has it turned into notebooks, they get this positive feedback loop that's tangible and measurable. The relationship they have with waste is totally transformed.