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A Leicester company, who are responsible for creating the first-ever plantable children’s books, are celebrating a trio of award wins at the recent Gift of the Year awards.

At the awards, which are organised by the Giftware Association, Willsow walked away with the overall Judge’s Choice award, as well as the Children’s Educational and Ethical & Sustainable Gift of the Year. 

Picture: Willsow

The company’s mission is to “engage with children and teach them about sustainability whilst simultaneously making reading and gardening fun and interesting again”.

They do this through their line of children’s books where, upon finishing reading, children are able to plant the covers of the book and bring to life the main characters.

The books are made with special handmade paper embedded with real vegetable and herb seeds. When the paper is planted in a pot of soil, vegetables will grow from the paper.

Tom Willday, founder of Willsow’s said he was delighted by the company’s most recent win.

“The pinch me moments just don’t stop! To win the two category awards, educating children and sustainability is mega as they are exactly what we build our brand to be”, he said.

“Winning the overall Judges’ Choice Gift of The Year was madness but great to be recognised as the best in what we’re doing. 

“We’re so proud of everything the team has achieved, and are motivated more than ever to continue our mission to educate our future generations on all things sustainable”, he added.

“We have so many new and exciting products that will be added to the Willsow range in the coming weeks and months, so watch this space!”

Willsow appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den last year, where they successfully secured a £20,000 investment from Sara Davies MBE.

She identified with the company’s ethos, and its mission to make reading and gardening engaging for children, whilst also teaching them about the importance of sustainability.

Picture: Willsow

Willsow’s eco-friendly credentials speak for themselves. Not only are all their books printed on post-consumer waste, recycled paper without the use of bleach or chemicals, but all off-cuts are recycled – the seed paper is donated to local charities for children to plant, and the inner page off-cuts become are recycled to become a part of another story. Vegetable-based inks are used, and the printing machines in their family printing press that has been in operation for 78 years, are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy!

To find out more about the company, visit:

The series of plantable books can also be found across a host of online retail stores, in garden centres and gift shops, and in Co-op stores across Central England.