By The Numbers

Woody Harrelson isn’t giving up on good ol’ paper

Katie Long Jun 21, 2013

Watch out Dunder Mifflin, more folks from Hollywood is getting into the paper business.

Woody Harrelson launched an environmentally friendly paper product this week. Step Forward Paper is made mostly from agricultural waste rather than virgin trees. The company says for every two packs of standard paper replaced with their product, one tree is saved.

It does indeed sound like a step forward for the environment, but why would anyone invest in paper at this stage in the digital age?

A recent report from Zoom Direct, an online stationery retailer, has the industry declining by one-third since 2008. But according to the report, there is one niche that’s growing — high end and premium brands, such as Moleskine and Parker.

Italian notebook maker Moleskine recently raised $300 million in a splashy IPO on the Italian stock exchange earlier this year. The company has used its luxury branding to stay alive and well. And that’s the right way to go according to P.K. Kannan, a marketing professor at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business

“The brand should be appealing closer to a customer’s sense of identity rather than looking at this as a functional product where you take a notebook and write something down,” Kannan told Marketplace.

You can buy Step Forward Paper at Staples, where incidentally, they also sell Dunder Mifflin paper.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.