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First plantable book wins over the Dragons

The first plantable children’s book produced by Alfred Willday & Son has secured investment on Dragon’s Den.

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The books contain vegetable and herb seeds and can be planted in soil

Crafted in the East Midlands, the Willsow books are made with handmade paper embedded with vegetable and herb seeds and printed using vegetable-based inks.

The books have a shelf life of two years but after they are finished with, they can be planted in soil with produce growing from the paper.

As the books are bound using 100% natural cotton rather than glue or metal staples, they are fully biodegradable.

Tom Willday was working as the managing director of Alfred Willday & Son - his family's business - when he founded Willsow in 2019. 

The books were inspired by Ofsted’s number one priority of making reading more engaging

He says: "It's amazing to continue my family's legacy by running our 77-year-old printing firm and creating truly innovative products. We're on a mission to educate future generations on all things sustainable."

Whilst the books themselves weren’t produced using Vivid technology, Alfred Willday & Son has been using its kit for over a decade.

The firm first invested in a Vivid Easymount wide-format laminator 12 years ago and since then the company has worked closely with Vivid, investing in three additional machines over the years.

Willday says: “We’re really chuffed that we have invested in the VeloBlade Volta 69+. This is the fourth system we’ve purchased from Vivid spanning our 12-year relationship and I am very much looking forward to running a diverse number of substrates on this system and creating innovative products that will bring a new revenue stream to the business.”

Vivid has worked with Alfred Willday & Son for over 12 years

According to Willday, the investment will enable the company to reduce make-ready cost and reduce production time for work that needs cutting and creasing.

“It’s created so many different options”, Willday says, adding: “We can produce boxes with no make-ready loss at all. If we make 50 or 100 boxes, there’s only a time difference instead of a massive make-ready cost."

The Willsow books appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den on Thursday 20th May where it secured a £20,000 investment for 15% of the business from Sara Davies.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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