… to educate every child.
In 2014 I bought a pencil making machine, not your average one either. Firstly it’s in the UK and there aren’t many pencils made here any more. Secondly all our pencils are made from recycled plastic (mainly old CD cases) and contain no wood at all.
The machinery was very old and sadly had not been kept in a good state of repair for years. Initially we could make about 2 million pencils each year, not huge by global pencil production standards but sufficient for the market we were operating in.
After months of dedication and hard work from our small team of engineers the machinery was operating at a far more efficient rate and capacity had risen to approximately 3 million pencils each year. Well that got me thinking; what could I do with one million spare pencils.
Pencils are the most iconic educational tool going back centuries, and education is the key to lifting millions of children and their families out of poverty if delivered effectively.
Initially I thought we could gift them to charities and NGO’s that needed them most. To school and education projects around the world. After months of research it was clear that logistically this wasn’t practical for many reasons. Also the feedback was clear, pencils may not be what they needed most. It may have been blackboards and chalk, a roof on the school, better toilet blocks or to pay a teacher, any number of things but they all needed paying for.
Selling the pencils to raise the money needed was the obvious the solution. In March this year we launched the Hope website and started selling our flagship product, packs of 3 Hope pencils.
We wanted to be 100% clear to everyone what we were giving. A percentage of profit as so often promised is un-quantifiable at best and misleading at worst. We decided a flat rate for every item sold from the first to last sale was the best and clearest way forward. £1 from the sale of every Hope item goes to our Bright Futures campaign supporting education projects globally.
Since then we have expanded the range to include pens as well as children’s and lifestyle notebooks and there’s more in the pipeline too.
Treat yourself or buy for someone special. Visit the shop now and show your support for children around the world.
Founder of Hope