The Gift That Keeps on Growing

Grow a Wish greeting card.

Most people have given or received a greeting card. Whether for a birthday, anniversary, or an important milestone, greeting cards are a trademark of events and holidays across the world. However, as more and more people are looking for sustainable alternatives to traditional, single-use paper products, the industry is ripe for change and innovation. 

Fabiënne Overbeek took that challenge on herself when she launched Grow a Wish, a sustainable greeting card company that also works with charitable organizations to support people in need.

A Better Way to Make Greeting Cards

While many card companies switched to recycled paper as a way to lessen their environmental impact, Grow a Wish takes sustainable card production a step further. “We design and sell “growingcards,” which are greeting cards with tiny seeds incorporated into the paper. Instead of throwing greeting cards away, the card will grow into a lovely memory in the form of a flower.” Overbeek explains. The growingcards then blossom into a lasting memory for the recipient. The paper used, called growing paper, is recycled by hand in South Africa.

Grow a Wish.

“Initially,” Overbeek says, “I started with a very small collection, and there was no social concept attached to Grow a Wish yet. I have learned a lot about social entrepreneurship over the past few years, after which I was determined to attach a social cause to Grow a Wish. This became the wish platform.” Grow a Wish’s ‘Wish Platform’ is an extension of the company’s already established social impact wherein the company works with volunteers to grant special wishes or set up social initiatives. Overbeek manages all of Grow A Wish’s functions while simultaneously completing a full-time business administration degree. “I make a tight schedule every week. Although I never quite stick to it, it does keep me focused, and I get a lot done. In addition, my studies ensure that I am always thinking about possible innovations, and it makes me think about how I can apply what I am learning in a practical way within my company.”

“We Do It With and for Each Other”

“Our mission is to bring people closer together and encourage them in sustainable choices.” Overbeek says, “And to make them aware of the beautiful people and environment around them. We must cherish this, which is why we work with growing paper in South Africa that is recycled by hand. And with our wish platform, we stimulate people to do something for each other on a local scale. We do it with and for each other.” 

Being a young founder, Overbeek has her eyes set on the future of the greeting card industry and the earth. Leveraging the success of Grow a Wish, her impact has the potential to be everlasting, “The combination of a social and sustainable company is a right fit for the greeting card industry. It’s an industry where a lot of paper is used — by using recycled paper, you stand out.” With people of all generations placing a watchful eye on climate change, major industries like this play a crucial role in creating meaningful change. Innovative startups like Grow a Wish are working hard to be that change.

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