The business is about creating sustainable and artisan paper. Since the production of paper is one of the processes in which more water is used or rather wasted, creating artisan paper with a much more sustainable process helps to save water and recycle material. The sustainable development goals they seek are: Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDGs 11) and Responsible Consumption and Production (SDGs 12).
Through the implementation of this innovation in the paper industry, Camila is helping create a more sustainable city in Bogotá, and it is helping communities such as local businesses stand out from the competition with the use of her beautiful paper, which not only wastes less water as stated before, it also uses zero chemicals.
On the other hand, Camila is promoting a more responsible consumption of paper through her ethical and methodical production of paper. This is mainly because she is showing people that there are alternatives to the white paper that we are all accustomed to, one which has better quality, different textures and can be created in your own specific way.
Universidad de Navarra
Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo
The production process is manual, therefore many papers cannot be created at the same time without the help of machines or labor. The process begins after receiving the material, as soon as it is received, it is processed, the raw material is collected, cooked, liquefied to separate the fibers and with the result, it is placed in a frame to let it dry until the final product emerges. It can be done with a variety of plants and materials without changing the process much so it is a fairly flexible job. What makes the product recyclable or biodegradable is that the used product usually comes from organic orchards or fields where material (plants, flowers, fruit, etc.) is left over or thrown away; and with this material the product is created.
This innovation is having a clear impact in the society of Bogotá which can be fully scalable to impact even more people positively. As this innovation ends up creating paper which wastes less resources, and is fully recyclable, the innovation is not only achieving two of the UN SDGs, but it is also changing the perspective of their customers on what is actually “quality paper”.
In the long run with a larger scale of this innovation, the amount of resources saved in the production of paper would leed to a better world for us and future generations.
Our hand made paper organic paper is capable of challenging the everyday notion of "paper", through the awakening of the sensitivity who holds them in their hands.
The idea first appeared at Camila's university during an art class in which her professor commented that paper could be made out of almost anything that has fibers with the adequate formula and process. This comment sparked Camila's creativity, she first started to create this paper out of flower remains in her free time, which she would then sell in the university to earn some extra money. And from that moment on, due to the interest of her customers and the word of mouth recommendation she has been scaling up the business.
Even though it was mainly Camila’s curiosity what inspired this innovation, as Camila has entered the paper industry, she has found that it has many issues; mainly in the waste it produces and the amount of chemicals it uses. On the other hand, Camila has noticed that there is a lot of compostable waste which is being thrown away which could be transformed into sustainable paper.
During the interview Camila told us, “In many aspects, the idea has reshaped my life. In addition to helping me pay for my education, the company helps me and my mother with our day-to-day expenses.” Although the company is small which limits the amount of social impact it can create, it has transformed a significant amount of natural waste as a raw material, into sustainable paper which would have otherwise been created with an excess of chemicals, raw materials and water.
The company has gone through a complete 180-degree flip since its birth, when the product was exclusively sold to friends, teachers from the university's faculty of arts, and relatives. When the product increased in demand, the idea became a reality, which meant that the business was formalized by forming a company and developing social media profiles, and then it grew, becoming more popular and in demand until it generated enough income to be a viable business. While the company's first clientele were family, friends, and acquaintances, it is now engaged by a wide range of people and events such as weddings and baptisms.
In other words, the short term impact of Jáku papers in society is small, this is mainly due to their output being small. But as their production increases and more employees make part of this shift to a more sustainable production of paper, the impact that it will create on communities big and small in Bogotá and in the future Colombia will be immense.
At the moment the business employs two people, Camila (the founder) and her mother. At the moment Camila is finishing her second degree in the university therefore she hasn't had the time and resources to scale up the company in terms of output and employees. But it is important to mention that the amount of output which Camila and her mother generate is enough to maintain them, therefore if the business at this scale is profitable, it is expected that as the company grows, it will generate much greater revenues.
In Colombia, the company established a new market for handcrafted organic paper, this meant that the demand was not high, but either way, Camila was able to generate demand for her product due to the amazing quality of the paper and its uniqueness. It is important to mention that the price of each paper (this is mostly due to the small output created) is very high compared to the common white paper which we are accustomed to, therefore Jáku competes with luxury papers, normally used for events and not the day to day printing needs.
Something which we did not mention before was that the process which Camila and her mother use to produce each sheet of paper is entirely unique, in other words they have created from scratch the "secret recipe" for the elaboration of each paper with each of the different raw materials they use.
The company has been environmentally friendly since its beginning, every sheet of paper which they have manufactured has been created with the use of compost waste and the water used in the process is re-used. In other words every single sheet of paper has been made from fruits, flowers and plants which had been thrown away. Therefore the innovation is benefiting the environment in an enormous way, mainly through two factors: firstly as it has shown a very un-sustainable industry that paper can be made in a more sustainable way, and that there is a market for this sustainable paper. And second, it is motivating more people not only into buying this new sustainable paper, but also into creating this sustainable paper.
This is mainly why we believe that Jáku is benefiting the society, because they are promoting sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) and therefore they are making the city of Bogotá and its communities more sustainable. Clearly their impact right now is not big enough to impact the whole city, or even all Colombia and its citizens, but Jáku is contributing with their sustainable production to a greener and better place for Bogotá and its future generations.
Camila Moncada, Founder
Keep this story going! Share below!
Business Website: https://www.jakupapel.com/
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Founded in 2016 in Bogotá, Colombia, Jáku is dedicated to upcycling organic waste into handmade paper. To make the paper, raw materials which would otherwise have been discarded by local businesses are collected by Camila (Founder) and her mother. Together they process these raw materials to create beautiful and unique paper, which is then used to create a variety of handmade products such as books and cards, or specific designs requested by their customers. This results in products with great quality and distinctive characteristics from their quotidian counterparts.