by Ashlee Baritugo
THE STARS ALIGNED when Earthy Paperie founder Kristel Torralba’s childhood fascination for all things paper and stationery tied perfectly with her love and passion for art and graphic design. “As an artist, a paper lover, and a girl who wants to live life sustainably and to share my art in a sustainable manner, I opened a small business and that’s where Earthy Paperie started.”
Kristel Torralba, Owner of Earthy Paperie
Established in January of 2021, Earthy Paperie is a sustainable stationery art shop based in Cebu City, Philippines, where Torralba moved after graduating with a degree in BS Multimedia and Animations. When Torralba decided to finally pursue her own small business, not only did she consider her standards for art and design, but a great deal of consideration went into her carbon footprint, too. A large factor in the local brand’s commitment to sustainability goes into Earthy Paperie’s materials, such as using recycled, handmade paper and attaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Neutral PH, Heavy Metal Absence, and Elemental Chlorine Free certifications that guarantee their papers are sustainable and free of harmful chemicals.
“Most people are not yet aware of the impact they make in the environment in terms of paper usage...most stationery stuff are already sold in malls, so [they] would just prefer to buy ready-made [which are] not as sustainable; [so] it’s really important for us to make sure all products we used are sustainable,” she shared when asked why sustainability is an important aspect of the small business.
While Earthy Paperie’s commitment to enabling Filipinos’ sustainable lifestyle even through stationery is carefully crafted, Torralba shares how important it is for people to stay responsible in managing their waste, especially during the coming holiday season. “Customers should also be part of managing the waste during the holiday season. My products especially, the Christmas greeting cards, [also come] with a plantable envelope with seeds in it. So instead of customers throwing the papers in the trash can, they can use the plantable envelopes by planting the seeds and [letting them] grow,” she said.
Not even a year since the shop’s establishment, Torralba shares how meaningful each customer interaction proves to be. “Every time I receive orders, my thinking is ‘wow, [they’re] supporting my design and at the same time want to help the environment too’.”
While it may be more convenient for Filipinos to flock to the malls for their bulk greeting cards, Earthy Paperie’s careful and unique designs act not only as sustainable alternatives but as an opportunity to support local independent artists like Torralba. In the coming future, she hopes to include digital stationery products in its lineup in hopes to help lessen paper usage and to collaborate with more local artists to provide a platform for their art.