Back to school, the eco-friendly way!


It's the same every year: after the long summer holidays, it's time to go back to school. But this year, why not do things a little differently and buy school supplies that are green?

Most parents will agree that sorting out all those back-to-school items is a bit of a headache, to say the least. Most would also say that it's hard enough finding all the items their children need, let alone getting eco-friendly versions! But actually, it's not as difficult as you might think, especially if you have a helping hand. And that's what we're here for! This year, we're going to help you make sure your back-to-school supplies are zero waste and greener than ever. And we've not just got solutions for children going back to lessons – we've also got some for parents going back to work!

Lamazuna introduces a brilliant selection of eco-friendly, zero-waste school and office essentials!

Why should you opt for eco-friendly supplies?

In order to answer this question, we need to start by answering two other, big questions.

Why should we protect the planet?

Have you heard of Earth Overshoot Day? It's a symbolic date that marks when humanity has used up all of the planet's resources for that year. In 2020, Earth Overshoot Day falls on August 22nd (source: Novethic). If we continue at this rate, humanity will need more than one and a half planets every year to meet its needs.

Clearly, it's crucial that we reverse the trend. And to do that, we need to change our way of consuming. Zero waste is one of the solutions we have to save the planet – and it's all about consuming less, but better. Since 2010, Lamazuna has been spreading the word about zero-waste, eco-friendly values. We want to do our bit to help save the planet by offering sustainable, environmentally friendly products. Every year, we're introducing more and more green products – not just Lamazuna ones, but also products from brands that we love. And these include zero-waste office and school supplies! It's another way for us all to reduce our environmental impact, and to help you to be a greener consumer.

How can you save money while being eco-friendly?

Contrary to popular belief, eco-friendly products are not more expensive. In fact, zero-waste products not only protect the planet; they also protect you from spending too much! For many people, zero waste means reusing or repurposing products – and that costs very little, if anything!

What's more, upcycled, reused or repurposed products can be durable too. And when products last longer, you don't need to replace them very often, so you spend less in the long run! You may even find products that will last a lifetime. At Lamazuna, we offer products that are "eco-affordable", which means that they save you money and they're eco-friendly. It's a win-win combo!

Go back to school the green way, with Lamazuna!

We've selected a few brands whose products we use and love. And while we're on the subject, we'd just like to say that before we offer any products from other brands, they're always tried and tested by us first!

Naturally, these brands have the same values as we do. They're dedicated to protecting the environment and saving the planet through sustainable, zero-waste, high-quality, cruelty-free products that are made in France. We'd like to tell you about three new brands that we've decided to work with, and who create useful, sustainable products that are just what you need for going back to school and work, without harming the planet!

Get your zero-waste school supplies!

The products we're going to tell you about are ideal for going back to school, but that's not the only time they'll be useful! After all, we always need pens and pencils – at school and in the office. Even if you spend much of your day on the computer, you still need to take notes, right? And if you need pens and pencils, then you also need a pencil case – a zero-waste one! Plus you'll probably need a bag to carry everything, be it school books, files, or even your laptop.

At school, children also need exercise books, while at the office, parents often need notebooks to jot down notes and ideas.

For all zero-waste families out there who are looking for a more sustainable, eco-friendly way to go back to school and the office this year, we suggest you check out the latest brands tried and tested by Lamazuna!

A closer look at brands that Lamazuna loves

Fantôme: pencil cases made from inner tubes!

About the Fantôme brand

Fantôme is the French word for ghost – and Fantôme is a brand that, just like a ghost, doesn't want to leave a trace on the earth! This French family business decided to recycle bike inner tubes to make pencil cases and bags. It offers a vegan alternative to leather goods, and manufactures its products on a small scale. On the Fantôme website, you can read about the life of an inner tube. It's designed, produced, then used by cyclists until it's worn out, at which point it's usually thrown away and incinerated. But some lucky inner tubes are put in recycling containers and collected by the Fantôme teams! And that's when their second life begins...

After checking the condition of the used inner tubes (some are too damaged to be used again), they're cleaned in a machine, using an Ecocert-certified cleaning product. The inner tubes are then sorted by size, so they can be upcycled into various eco-friendly items!

Fantôme's values

Fantôme's choice of raw materials and manufacturing processes reflects the brand's ecological convictions. It's a brand that has many values – and these values are very important to us too...

First of all, Fantôme believes in quality, which is why it makes products designed to last. It also believes in protecting the planet through durable products that are made in France (working with local suppliers), using manufacturing processes that minimize waste. Fantôme doesn't use glue, and only uses eco-friendly cleaning products. It is very much against animal cruelty, which is why all its products are also vegan. And just like us, the brand intends to keep doing more and better, to get even closer to its zero-waste goals!

It would seem that Fantôme and Lamazuna are a match made in heaven! We're on the same page completely, with a focus on high-quality products that are designed to last, and are kind to the environment and animals. In fact, this isn't the first time we've worked with Fantôme, as we've already sold their organic cotton socks on our website!

The sustainable, long-lasting pencil case

Fantôme's star product for going back to school or the office is its rather excellent pencil case! It's small and light, so it will slip easily into any bag or schoolbag, and can be used by both adults and children. It's produced in France, near Bordeaux, in the brand's workshops, and made by hand, which means that every single one is unique! We love the concept.

What also makes these pencil cases unique is the raw material. Because they're made from inner tubes, there are always variations in colour – plus you might even find the odd repair patch! Consequently, each pencil case is different, and you wouldn't be able to find one the same anywhere else. This makes them even more special!

Les Editions du Paon: exercise books and pencils

Another great green brand!

Les Editions du Paon is a 100% French, atypical printing house based in the Nantes region. It makes notebooks and exercise books from A to Z using the letterpress printing process. This gives results that are very different from those obtained by conventional printing methods, from both a visual and tactile point of view. It's all due to the indentations from the printing plate – one of the unique characteristics of letterpress printing. In order to do this kind of printing, the workshop in Nantes is equipped with a Heidelberg T Platen Press from the 1970s, as well as a Heidelberg T Platen Press that can do gold hot-foil stamping. If ever you wanted proof that sometimes the old ways are the best, look no further! Funny as it may seem, an old printing press can actually produce very modern results, especially when gold leafing is used.

Les Editions du Paon's values

Once again, when it comes to brand values, Lamazuna and Les Editions du Paon are completely in tune with each other – and especially when it comes to products being made in France! The exercise books and notebooks are not only printed in France; they're sewn in France too. Les Editions du Paon uses old printing presses that are still going strong today. Its exercise books and notebooks are 100% recyclable, as are its pencils. Plus these pencils are wrapped in cardboard for shipping – a material that's 100% recyclable and compostable, and therefore zero waste. So it's fair to say that the brand's exercise books, notebooks and pencils are absolutely eco-friendly!

Sustainable and beautiful!

The specific printing technique used by Les Editions du Paon gives a stunning and very sophisticated finish. One of the brand's hallmarks is its use of gold leafing, which gives its exercise books and notebooks – and its pencils – a very chic look. The colours of the sewing threads used for binding is chosen according to the colour of the book itself. Everything comes together in perfect harmony in these zero-waste products that are ideal for adults and children alike, and offer eco-friendly alternatives with a unique, irresistible style!

Les ateliers Marianne

Workshops helping people – and the planet!

Les ateliers Marianne are workshops that are not just eco-friendly and zero waste; they also help people. They started off as a charitable organization aimed at helping people to get back into the workplace via collective, artistic creativity. It all began in 1996, and was the brainchild of the town council of a small town near Grenoble, and a drama group. The workshops were a way to offer new jobs to people who were looking to get back into the workforce. Now, these workshops offer numerous unique creations in the worlds of both home decor and fashion. They also recycle advertising canvases to make exercise book covers. And at Lamazuna, we're big believers in recycling!

Les ateliers Marianne's values

Les ateliers Marianne, just like the other brands we've already told you about, share our values – starting with recycling! Everything they create gives a second life to old objects, and that includes their exercise book covers upcycled from old advertising canvases.

Another value that we share – and that is very important to us – is that of helping others. These workshops create jobs, making it easier for people to get back into the working world. So everyone has something to gain. Did you know that at Lamazuna, we donate €500 every month to a non-profit organization chosen by one of the members of our team? You can find out more about our commitments by clicking here.

Original, eco-friendly exercise book covers

Whether you're a child going back to school or an adult going back to work, if you need exercise book covers, Les ateliers Marianne offer some very eco-friendly options! Because they're made from old advertising canvases, no new waste is generated to produce them. And each model is unique, as there are always variations in the raw material used, so you can enjoy something that's original, not very expensive, and good for the planet!

In conclusion

You may not be looking forward to going back to school or the office, but we think we've given you a few reasons to be positive about it. Because this year, you can make it a very eco-friendly affair! Whether you're looking for notebooks, exercise books or other items, you can now find lots of original, stylish products from brands that we love. They're gentle on the planet – and on your wallet!

Every brand we've told you about both respects and advocates the same values as Lamazuna. All of them believe in zero waste, protecting the planet, quality, and helping others. That's why we chose to work with them. These are also brands whose products are 100% French, and therefore in line with our goal to offer products that are completely made in France.

So what are you waiting for? You've still got time to buy your supplies!

PS: If you've recently begun the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle, read our guide for some tips and advice!