Mizuiro.Inc, a design firm in Aomori, Japan was founded by mother and designer Naoko Kimura in 2012 with a mission to provide the products and services that help enrich family time. While spending time with her child Naoko wondered: “What if crayons were safe enough to put in their mouths? How wonderful it would be if such crayons were deeply rooted in where we live, Aomori.” From there, she set out to create the safest crayons from the ground up. In 2014, our Vegetable Canyons were launched. Today Naoko's vision of safe, environmentally friendly, sustainably produced crayons has grown from Aomori and into the world.
Discarded vegetables and fruits
We’ve been helping to reduce food waste by sourcing discarded or rejected crops. Our cabbage color uses outer leaves that would otherwise be composted or discarded. Apple peel waste from processing apple chips give our apple crayons their color. The oil and wax used in our crayons come from rice bran, which would normally be thrown away.
Another commitment to sustainability is that we source 80% of our vegetable ingredients from our local community in Aomori prefecture.
This “chisan-chisho” (local production for local consumption) sustainability model reduces logistic costs and carbon footprint.
For this reason we use blackcurrant and apples; Aomori is Japan's largest producer of those crops.
Craftmanship with natural ingredients
Toichi Stationary Works has been known for its exceptional manual molding method since its founding. After many years of making crayons for preschoolers and kindergarteners, they have shown a commitment to Japanese craftsmanship centered around children's safety and wellbeing. The manual molding method takes more time and effort but it allows us to use materials that automated machines cannot. Our Vegetable Crayons are hand-crafted and completely free of harmful substances.
Colors of vegetables
Our crayons prompt conversation: “What’s your favorite color?” “Apple color!” Each of our crayons mirrors the color of vegetables used for its pigment. We label them cabbage or carrot instead of green or yellow. Although a child may like or dislike the taste of a particular fruit or vegetable, hands-on experience with our crayons can inspire children to appreciate them all. No fragrances are added; they carry the scent of real vegetables. When a child vigorously glides on the paper with an scallion crayon, they can recognize the familiar scent. Its slightly coarse texture hints at the feeling of touching soil or vegetables. We hope drawing with our Vegetable Crayons pique children's interest in vegetables and embrace the natural world.
Make your original crayons
We collaborate with many partners and produce unique crayons. Please click on the links below to see some examples.