New notebooks!

by Amanda Fleet

I do like a notebook. I like them even more when they are ethically produced. If they also support children's education around the world... they tick a lot of boxes for me. The notebooks by Vent For Change are well and truly in this camp.

From the Vent for Change website:

VENT for Change is a leading sustainable and ethical stationery company. As well as protecting the planet VENT also supports children’s education projects worldwide with every item sold

We combine beautiful award-winning design with impeccable eco-credentials. Everything in the VENT range is made using recycled and sustainable materials. From notebooks made using reclaimed leather, cotton and wool with certified sustainable papers to pens made from recycled plastic drinks bottles. VENT even have their own pencil factory in the UK making pencils from recycled CD cases.

You can read more here.

Nero sent me one of their notebooks to play with, in a fabulous red cover. The cover is made from recycled leather, though its texture is completely smooth and it has a slight chemically smell so I'm not sure what the process of production involves. Debossed into the front is "Make a Mark" and into the back is Vent for change and the website address. It's all very subtle. The paper inside is 100% sustainable.

The notebook has an elastic closure, but there are no ribbon markers or pocket in the back cover. There are no page numbers or table of contents pages. However, there are 192 ruled pages, in a creamy 80 gsm paper.

Inside the front cover is a space for your name and address.

Sadly (for me) the paper isn't hugely fountain pen friendly. My Conklin Durograph 1.1 mm nib (which I confess is a really wet nib), bled through to the other side, but an Easterbrook m nib was fine. A couple of my more brutal gel pens/rollerballs also showed through to the reverse quite significantly. Biros, finer nibs, and (of course) pencils are all just grand.

Line spacing is narrower than in many other notebooks at 6 mm. When I'm not writing with either of my huge 1.1 mm stub nibbed pens, 6 mm spacing is fine for me, but I recognise it might be a bit tight for some. Top and bottom margins are also ~6 mm each.

Overall, the ethos and the support for children's education around the world overcomes the fountain pen unfriendliness for me.

Nero is selling both A5 notebooks (£16) and A6 notebooks (£9). There are also pens and pencils in the range, which I will talk about next time.