How Wrappr was Born
October 20, 2019
The story of Wrappr begins in February 2019. My partner and I welcomed our baby girl into the world during that month and despite the fact that we did not have a baby shower we did receive a tonne of presents from friends and family. All of which were gifted in one-time-use wrapping paper and bags, with, to be honest, some pretty tacky and ugly artwork.
At the very same time that I was giving birth to our little girl, my brother and his girlfriend were in Japan on vacation. They picked up a few gifts and souvenirs as you do on holiday and amongst all the very intelligently designed and beautifully decorated gifts were some furoshiki fabric wraps.
Over the next few euphoric and blurry weeks ahead, all of the wrapping paper and bags had been kicked around the house. I held on to them in the hope that they would someday become useful to me and I would think of some way to reuse them. Despite all my delays, they all eventually ended up in the place that they were designed to go - on the curb in a garbage bin. ‘If only they were recyclable’, I thought. But the dyes and plastic coatings on the bags and paper had robbed that opportunity. I could have reused the bags eventually, but it always felt a bit tacky to me to give someone a gift in a bag that has wrinkles and creases from previous use. And after all, the artwork was terrible. I wasn’t looking forward to reusing these ugly bags, and I was only thinking of doing it to avoid the sheer guilt of throwing them out.
With a newborn baby in my arms, my knowledge of what was going on in the world had definitely diminished. I was no longer spending my morning commute reading news articles and having casual conversations with coworkers about the latest gossip or scandal. Despite this, I was aware of the heightened attention that the climate crisis was getting worldwide. In the coming months, I heard about school children on strike from their classrooms and protesting to politicians and leaders who they believed had failed them and were robbing them of their future.
At a time like this, why was anyone producing anything that could only be used one time?
And then if that isn’t enough, a product that has no opportunity to be recycled or composted, its destiny is a landfill. It felt ironic that our friends and family were celebrating the beginning of this new life by giving something that was damaging to our daughter’s longevity, survival and quality of life.
So some months went by and as our little girl grew and our arms became free again we began to reorganize our home. Our girl had already grown out of her entire wardrobe and as I was moving things around the house, into storage or out the door to be donated, the furoshiki fabric wraps that my brother had picked up in Japan were still there. They were still intact, they had no wrinkles or creases, and they still had the gorgeous Japanese artwork and designs.
So a problem had presented itself, but so had the solution. The solution had been staring us in the face for months.
In fact, the solution has been actually around for centuries. The history of furoshiki fabric wrap in Japan is rich and dates back to the 8th century. And while the Japanese artwork that covers traditional furoshiki is beautiful, it doesn’t cater to occasions and celebrations of the Western world.
So as a result, Wrappr was also born.
Our mission is to eliminate one-time use of wrapping paper from the market.
We plan to do this by providing a no-waste alternative. Our product is made out of recycled materials, it is organic and biodegradable. But we hope that you don’t throw it out it, we hope that you reuse it. The artwork is curated by our team of graphic designers and is chosen based on its versatility for multiple occasions and celebrations. We hope that it is part of your gift that continues to be passed on and reused.
We want to take the guilt out of gifting. #givenowaste and @givewrappr