Beej Kapas, a paper that grows into a plant, is a unique concept started by Divyanshu Asopa. He tells us more about it
Taking inspiration from the tiny seedlings which slowly push multiple layers of soil to sprout and grow into a plant which breathes the air of freedom, Divyanshu Asopa, curated 21Fools with a vision to make this world a happier place to live. He introduced Beej Kapas, a paper that grows into a plant, which is said to be a first of its kind in India.
In 2014, Beej Kapas was born, which is a paper handcrafted from seed and cotton. Explaining the concept, Asopa says, “When you plant the paper in soil, the cotton starts decomposing and the seed germination begins, eventually growing into a plant.”
Talking about their journey, Asopa recalls that it all started with a magazine called 21Fools that he started with an aim to promote narrative journalism and positive news, but since it did not work the way he wished it would, he moved to a portal to send paper greeting cards. Somewhere down the line with the magazine and the greeting cards, he thought he was adding to environmental waste. He did not wish to be to be a part of the problem but of the solution. Thus he devised an unusual way to give back to the environment drawing inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s words: ‘The earth has enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’.
The segment of products at Beej Kapas is quite simple, they deal in greeting cards, visiting cards, tags, coasters, calenders, to name a few, that grow into plants. Kyaari is a calender that celebrates the birth of the new and rebirth of the old. It has not been created in a lab, but has been handcrafted out of two elements: Beej Kapas and reclaimed wood. Asopa believes that previously used wood is reborn to find a new home and has its own story to tell in every home that it goes.
Each sheet of the calender when buried in a thin layer of soil grows into a beautiful plant within weeks. Kyaari follows a special delivery idea where the company interacts with their customers three times a year because of which by the end of it the customer will have 12 different plants growing in his garden. The calender sheets are embedded with seeds of Marigold, Tomato, Coreopsis, Pansy, Balsam, Portulaca, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Cosmos, Chilli, Grass, Vinca and Petunia.
Talking about the process behind making these sustainable products, Asopa says, “Making a sustainable product is a slow process because each aspect of the product is handcrafted.” Right from the paper to the wood that is used, everything is closely monitored to get the best quality.
For the same purpose, 21Fools has partnered with Ramprasad Saini, founder, Kalpana Handmade Paper. With over 30 years of experience, Saini is a connoisseur in the art of making handmade paper. He plays an important role in manufacturing the sustainable products.
To make the handmade paper, cotton waste is collected from industries and factories which is further processed by hand and is embedded with seeds.
What makes 21Fools a success story is the strong team that efficiently runs it and strongly believes in recycling and reusing that has become the need of the hour. All human beings must start taking responsibility for their actions and do their bit for the environment.
Besides the green cause, they also run an initiative for soldiers of our country. Every Republic Day and Independence Day, their customers purchase gift boxes containing the Beej Kapas letter, a rakhi and a tag, which are sent to the soldiers.
They strongly believe that the quirky designs, illustrations and words that they have on their products celebrate the essence of India and is their way of expressing love and giving back to the country.
Since the inception of their company, Asopa says that they have handcrafted over two million Beej Kapas products which have grown into millions of plants.