The HankyBook Story

The HankyBook was born in 2008 when an Engineering student at the University of California at Berkeley grew tired of the disapproving looks from classmates every time she pulled out her handkerchief.

That was me, Leslie, the founder of HankyBook. At the time I was a handkerchief user for two big reasons:

1. Sustainability is really important to me and the idea of forests being chopped down to create a tissue paper that gets thrown away moments after use, just seems beyond wasteful.

2. More selfishly, tissue paper simply doesn’t get along with my skin. It makes my nose red and agitated…even more than it usually is!

The modest handkerchief was better – but there never seemed to be enough space on the material.
I found myself folding the handkerchief, again and again, to get more uses while keeping the germs trapped.

One day, folding my hanky as I normally did, I was struck by the idea of the HankyBook and immediately began working on the design. Suddenly I was getting different kinds of looks from my classmates – curiosity and compliments. I felt I was onto something.

After a successful San Diego Earthfair in 2010, HankyBook was launched so everyone could enjoy and promote reusables for a new generation. Wanting to make HankyBook as stylish as it was practical, in 2013 I raised $12,500 through a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Now I could screen print beautiful, woven covers at scale through an efficient production facility in Los Angeles, California. Today, I continue to share my HankyBook passion with the world.

Learn more about HankyBook’s creation in this short video, starring yours truly!


Our Mission

More than just a fun and sanitary way to clean up life’s messes, HankyBook was inspired by a specific goal to steer people towards a non-disposable culture. A culture in which reusables are once again cherished, and our environment is given greater consideration.

Therefore, we strive to make our products from genuinely eco-friendly materials using the most sustainable practices. All HankyBooks are made of 100% certified organic cotton. HankyBooks are sewn by hand in Southern California, ensuring that our products do not need to be delivered across large distances and are produced using fair labor practices.

We use organic cotton because cotton is one of the most pesticide- and insecticide-heavy crops in the world. In growing organic cotton, no synthetic chemicals or fertilizers are used, improving the health of the environment as well as the people working in the fields.

You can save a lot of trees, water and energy by buying a HankyBook instead of disposable paper tissues. If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues (175 sheets) with 100% recycled ones (or a reusable alternative like HankyBooks), we coundrc.orgld save 163,000 trees. (Source :

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