Growing tomatoes and wildflowers from pencils.

plants growing / Credit: Hogarmania

Sproutworld, a Danish company, presents an innovative solution to the ubiquitous issue of plastic waste generated by conference swag.

Their concept revolves around plantable pencils that, once used, can be planted to grow wildflowers and even tomatoes. This idea wasn’t initially theirs; it stemmed from a group of students in Boston who designed these pencils as an office product. Recognising its potential, Michael Stausholm acquired the rights and founded Sproutworld in Denmark in 2013.

Since then, Sproutworld has achieved remarkable success, selling over 50 million of these eco-friendly pencils in more than 80 countries worldwide, including Spain. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their localised production centres in Poland and Minnesota. Stine Mynster, responsible for the Spanish market, emphasizes the importance of European production due to stricter sustainability regulations.

A commitment to the earth

These plantable pencils incorporate various seeds, including wildflowers, sunflowers, basil, coriander, and even cherry tomatoes, within their 100 per cent natural wooden bodies. Sproutworld caters to both corporate and individual consumers, with a significant portion of their sales targeting businesses for events, conferences, and marketing purposes.

Major companies such as Ikea, Disney, Porsche, and Coca-Cola have embraced Sproutworld’s eco-friendly approach, integrating their products into their sustainability initiatives. Even governmental bodies and political parties in countries like France and Germany have collaborated with Sproutworld.

In Spain, Sproutworld has partnered with organisations like the Madrid City Council and corporations like Repsol, offering customized pencils for various campaigns and events. Their products are also available to individual consumers through platforms like Amazon, where they offer themed packs such as Christmas and bee-friendly editions.

The future is eco-friendly

Beyond pencils, Sproutworld has expanded its product range to include eco-friendly cosmetics like eyeliners and eyebrow liners that sprout flowers like sunflowers after use. This expansion aligns with their ethos of offering high-quality, sustainable products. They prioritize ethical production practices, carbon footprint reduction, and minimal packaging waste.

With a turnover of é6.5 million in 2023, Sproutworld is poised for further growth. They continuously invest in obtaining patents globally to protect their innovative products from imitation, particularly in regions like Asia where copycat products are prevalent. Additionally, they are exploring avenues for expansion in the cosmetics sector, aiming to collaborate with influencers and secure partnerships with major retailers like Sephora.

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Written by

Marina Lorente

A Spanish woman who has returned to her motherland after 6 years living in London. She is passionate about nature, animals and yoga.