Tag Archives: norwood

What Is That Bag Made Of?

13 Oct

15476 - Eco Non-Woven Tote

Here is a nice primer on bag materials from our friends at Norwood. For sustainable options I like recycled content (keeps water bottles out of the landfills) and most types of cotton bags (cotton is a natural fiber that will break down over time).  Enjoy. 

The hottest sellers in bags are non-woven and cinch bags – usually due to affordability.  But let’s take it a step further.  Do you know what the difference is between non-woven and poly?  And just what is PET? Here’s a quick list of the most commonly used bag fabrics and their definitions…

1)  Non-woven — is a fabric-like material made from long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment.  Often, non-woven materials include a certain percentage of recycled fabrics.  And some non-wovens can then also be recycled after use.  Non-woven fabrics are engineered specifically for specific functions including, absorbancy, liquid repellence, resiliance, stretch, cushioning, etc.

2)  Polyester — a synthetic, durable fabric (often also blended in with other fibers).  While synthetic cloth is in general perceived as having a less natural feel compared to fabrics woven from natural fibers (such as cotton and wool), there are advantages.  Improved wrinkle resistance, durability and color retention are benefits of synthetic fabrics.  Polyester fibers can also create materials with superior water, wind and environmental resistance compared to plant-derived fibers.

3)  Nylon — silky-smooth, highly resiliant material, originally intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk.  It often lines a high-end bag, but can have many other applications such as roping and seatbelts.

4)  Microfiber — synthetic fibers measuring less than one denier that can be woven together into fabric.  Microfiber is used to make non-woven, woven and knitted textiles.  The shape, sizes and combinations of fibers are selected for specific characteristics including:  softness, durability, absorption, wicking, water repellance, etc.

5)  Neoprene — synthetic rubbers that have a good chemical stability, maintaining flexibility over a wide temperature range.  Foamed neoprene is used in insulation material such as wetsuits, beverage coolers and computer accessories.

6)  Recycled PET — PET stands for post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate.  It is made of post-consumer recycled plastics and essentially a form of polyester fabric.  The recycled material is spun into thread or yarn and can be used alone or blended with other fibers to make a wide variety of fabrics.  Most often, this fabric is used to create strong, durable products such as jackets, shoes, bags, hats and accessories.

7)  Canvas — Modern canvas is usually made of cotton or linen, although historically it was made from hemp. Canvas comes in two basic types: plain and duck.  Treated with a waterproofing substance, canvas is used for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications.  Very commonly used in making backpacks, tote bags, shoes, auto covers, tents, sails, etc.  It is sturdy and has the ability to stretch.

8 )  Cotton Duck Cloth — organic, heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.  It is versatile and can be machine washed and dried and is easy to dye, waterproof and sew.  Unlike synthetic cancases, cotton duck cloth breathes, allowing air and moisture to pass through easily.  Cotton duck is available in a number od different weights.  The lighter weights make good shoes, shower curtains, laundry bags and tote bags. Heavier weights are used to make hammocks, boat covers, tents, etc.

9)  Jute — Long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads.  It is one of the most affordable natural fibers and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute has gained an advantage as being an eco-friendly option instead of poly and paper bags. Formerly primarily used in home textiles (such as floor covering) and to make ropes and sacks, it is also used for making fashion & promotional bags.

If you are an ASI distributor D’Anna Zimmer is the contact to talk to at Norwood about their bags. If you are interested in bags to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information, pricing, and samples.

Why Calendars? (repost)

17 May

{Our friends at Norwood sent us this bit of information on the power of calendars that we wanted to re-post. Regardless if you are going the traditional route or the sustainable materials (printing) route, the marketing appeal of calendars remains the same. See blog post Calendars, Calendars, Calendars.} 

goingreen® Contractor | Triumph Calendars

goingreen® Contractor | Triumph Calendars

Need a reason to order Calendars EARLY this year? How about 5!

Check it out!  PPB put together a great analysis of wall calendars as ideal promotional products.

All that being said, why should you order your calendars from Norwood by July 1, 2011?

1)  Save Money – take advantage of early order pricing

2)  Best Selection – the styles and themes you want are guaranteed to be in stock

3)  Free Storage – we’ll store your orders until Fall – FREE of charge

4)  Peace of Mind – your calendars will be ready for distribution when you are (and isn’t it nice to cross things off your list?)

5)  Be First – get your calendars on your customers’ walls first!

If you are an ASI distributor Jim Munkittrick is the contact to talk to at Norwood about calendars. If you are interested in goingreen® products to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Price Of Cotton Totes Is Going Up

11 Nov

Organic Cotton Barrel Duffe

Have you seen the news stories on the rising price of cotton (more)?

And unfortunately, from anecdotal evidence we are seeing at our office, it seems to be hitting organic cotton prices hardest. Some organic cotton items we carried in 2010 are simply not being offered in 2011.

Case in point, let us look at Norwood.

The Organic Cotton Barrel Duffel from Norwood is an organic cotton take on a classic duffel design. The Organic Cotton Barrel Duffel offers a spacious main compartment, simple barrel design with zip closure, and an adjustable/removable shoulder strap.

This is a good size duffel at 18-3/4″w x 15″h x 9″d, Handle: 1-1/2”w x 41-1/4”l (adjustable). The imprint area is 6-1/2″w x 6-1/2″h with full 4 color process imprinting offered, and very cool bonus, this unit is printed only with Eco Ink which Norwood defines as “an all natural environment friendly ink, which is biodegradable and not harmful to the environment. Eco Ink does not contain Phthalates and is soy based”.

In addition the 100% organic cotton duck Organic Cotton Barrel Duffel is on the 24hr free service program from Norwood, which means an order needing no art proof, with one color imprint, can normally be ordered one day and shipped out the next. Not something we see offered on a lot of organic totes.

But that is it in the Norwood 2011 organic line up. The Norwood Organic Cotton Bargain Bag, the Organic Wide Handle Tote, and the Organic Drawstring Backpack are all going away in 2011. I do not know if these bags are being replaced with new items, but right now none will be available in 2011.

Same thing happens when we make calls to some of the other leaders in the industry like Leeds and Gemline, many organic cotton items are going away in 2011, at least for the first half of the year. Indeed my favorite organic cotton cap from Vitronic, just introduced in 2008, is gone for 2011.

So if you have your eye on organic cotton items, whether apparel, totes, or caps, you may want to use some of your year end funds to stock up now.

If you are an ASI distributor D’Anna Zimmer is the contact to talk to at Norwood about the changes to their organic cotton lineup. If you are interested in the Organic Cotton Barrel Duffel to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Calendars, Calendars, Calendars

28 Sep

Looking to run eco-friendly calendars in 2011? Well you better get a move on as most calendar orders really need to be in to your local promotional items vendor by mid-October for best pricing and selections.

It is a funny thing about the promotions industry, August is normally slow, then BANG end of September everything hits: Fall golf tournaments, events like Breast Cancer Awareness and Halloween for October, holiday cards for November and December, and end-of-year employee and client gifts. The last quarter of the year is a busy time, so plan ahead.

goingreen custom wall calendar

Ok, back to calendars. The calendar offerings in the goingreen® line from Norwood continue to expand, and for those companies looking for eco-friendly calendar options, Norwood is an excellent place to start.

Why calendars? Even though it is an “old” medium, the statistics for calendars as a branding vehicle continue to impress. Take just one point used in this Norwood sales video aimed at people in my industry. If a calendar is glanced at in an office only 12 times a day, at 365 days per year, that is your brand in front of your audience/client 4,380 times in a year, at a cost of only $0.0005 per viewing, or less than one penny per view.

Yes, that math favors the industry, and yes I am drinking the Kool-Aid. But cut the number in half if you wish and that is still a heck of a lot of “face time” with your audience for very little money. For organizations like Sierra Club, Forest Action Network, and National Arbor Day Foundation – basically any organization or company that can supply their own photos to be added to stock calendars (yes they do that) – an eco-friendly calendar is a simple home run, physically displaying your organization’s green credentials as well as unique photos and brand.

So what stands out in green calendars. I have three examples from Norwood worth a look.

goingreen pocket calendar

The goingreen® Monthly Pocket Planner really starts the line. Pocket planners are great because clients keep them with them at all time. So that keeps your brand and message in front of your client at all times. Again, that is the trick of calendars, they are useful to your audience every day. The 3-1/2″w x 6″h (closed) goingreen® Monthly Pocket Planner comes in standard cover coloring of Espresso, Green Tea, Kohl, Wheat, printed with soy based inks, and is run with a  minimum of 30% recycled content paper (a percentage I would like to see raised). Each page carries a simple going green message, with your decoration added to the outside cover.

For those coming late to the party, the standard goingreen® wall calendar from Norwood is actually part of their guaranteed inventory program, which guarantees inventory in stock on a number of traditional and eco calendars up to an order date of Dec 31st 2010. Additionally the goingreen® wall calendar features easy to use templates for custom monthly and cover artwork, plus 12 additional pre-printed insert pages Norwood refers to as Insights Backmount Selections offering information on themes from First Aid to Identity Theft. This is your standard wall calendar with plenty of added bells and whistles.

If you’re going green and going big, the goingreen® Contractor is a good match for firms working in green construction (video). This huge calendar runs 18″w x 25″h and is printed on 100% recycled paper. Pages show how many days remain in each year, and how many days have passed, and other practical planning tools for construction projects.

If you are an ASI distributor Jim Munkittrick is the contact to talk to at Norwood about calendars. If you are interested in goingreen® products to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing. And hurry, the year is almost over.

Recycling Bin Tote Set From Norwood

9 Feb

Once again Norwood takes a basic idea and makes it a whole lot better. Laminated woven polypropylene bags are not new to the industry. Nor are pre-printed totes. However Norwood took these two basic ideas, added a bit of Velcro, and presto, a brand new product idea is launched that is going to get your brand noticed in a hurry.

To be honest it took me a moment to get this concept. Really this is just a set of three bags, right?

Wrong. What the Recycling Bin Tote Set really accomplishes is a portable recycling station and a very smart promotional idea for any Ecopreneurist targeting office workers, parks, college dorms, any area where people collect in small groups.

Think about it, what does a dorm or office really need to kick start a recycling program? First step is a place to put the materials to be recycled. The three bags in the Recycling Bin Tote Set come pre-printed with the text PAPER (green tote), METAL (orange tote), PLASTIC (blue tote). Easy to understand.

Then – here is the genius – they attach to each other with Velcro on the top outer edge of each tote. And presto you have an instant recycle station, branded with your logo, for any indoor or outdoor space. The PAPER, METAL, PLASTIC text is even in multiple languages for that whole act local, think global ideal, and each tote is pre-printed with a symbol of the recyclable for that bag.

Each tote is a huge 11-3/8″w x 16-1/4″h x 11-1/4″d in size, with a 8″w x 6-1/2″h imprint area on the orange center tote only. Each set can also connect to another set since the Velcro runs the outside of the totes as well, so setting up multiple sets as needed is possible. And of course the fact they connect makes the totes freestanding as well.

Say you are an eco lodge that does picnics on your property, but away from the main building. Set up the picnic and then set out the Recycling Bin Tote Set. So you collect all the recyclables from the picnic, unlatch the Velcro, pick up the individual totes for easy carriage to your main recycling center. Done.

Repeat this idea at the college dorm-room, office meeting room, home, etc. Genius.

At EQP of $10.89 per set, wherever the Recycling Bin Tote Set is setup, there stands your logo as well, telling the crowds who is providing this great on-the-fly service (and yes they also make very nice shopping totes).

If you are an ASI distributor D’Anna Zimmer is the contact to talk to at Norwood about this great idea. If you are interested in the Recycling Bin Tote Set to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

2010 Resolutions: Less Water Bottles, More Stuff Made From Water Bottles

15 Jan

According to Wikipedia, in 2008, U.S. bottled water sales topped 8.6 billion gallons for 28.9% of the U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market, exceeding sales of all other beverages except carbonated soft drinks, followed by fruit juices and sports drinks. According to another study, in 2006, 38 billion plastic drinking bottles ended up in global landfills which will [only] begin to decompose in the year 2706.

If 2010 is finally the year your organization stops buying bottled water for employees (instead why not provided reusable drinkware?) and starts buying goods recycled from water bottles, here are a few items I suggest you think about. {Note: When I say recycled from water bottles I am normally using a shorthand term that our industry uses for items made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), a recycled material derived from used water bottles, yogurt containers, and like plastics.}

Following the lead of retailers like Patagonia, the promotional market offers many apparel choices of items made from recycled plastic soda bottles, often called Recycled Polyester.

In 2010 Ash City will offer 38 items made from Recycled Polyester, including their very popular e.c.o. fleece jackets and vests (EQP $39 -$47) and their new MEN’S RECYCLED POLYESTER INSULATED TEXTURED JACKET (EQP $99.00). Other items in the line included polos, performance sport shirts, caps and office bags, with enough selection (and price choice) to move the whole team to eco-friendly apparel.

Another manufacture to look at is Gemline which offers a number of bag and tote options, including their stylish Recycled Messenger Bag, and their new for 2010, “I USED TO BE A PLASTIC BOTTLE” 100% recycled PET fabric shopping tote.

Like some other manufacturers of rPET shopping totes, Gemline pre-prints their tote with a message, in this case the words  “I USED TO BE A PLASTIC BOTTLE”, on the base of the bag to leave no doubt with your target audience that they are receiving / using an item made from used material.

The bag also offers a large imprint area for your organization logo or message. These study 13″L 15″H 8″W are a great substitute for the average shopping bag with a current EQP of $2.48 per unit.

But of course rPET is not just for shopping totes.

One of the more impressive bags to come out in 2009 was the Wilson® Eco Carry Bag from Norwood which is made from 100% recycled fabric. The Wilson® Eco Carry is also a 100% true golf bag, with the same weigh, feel, and quality construction expected from the Wilson brand. The only real difference is that this bag used to be water bottles. There are even matching Wilson Eco Core golf balls, in this case the center of the golf ball (not the outside shell) is made from recycled materials. The Wilson® Eco Carry has an EQP of $155.67.

In addition to these samples rPET is being used in the promotional industry for caps, tshirts, padfolios, backpacks, even golf umbrellas.

The point is that if you want to stop buying bottled water, and instead start buying items made from the thousands of bottled water bottles that are rapidly filling our landfills, the promotional item industry offers many options for your organization to be a little more green in 2010.

If you are interested in information on these items please take a look at the manufacturers websites, and the links to past articles from 2009. If you are interested in these items to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

Eco Golfers: Wood Tee vs Biodegradable Plastic

27 Jul

I don’t golf. However selling promotional products, like caps, shirts, golf bags, golf towels and water bottles to those that do is a huge part of the promotional products industry.

Regarding eco-friendly promotional items the industry quickly moved to take care of this space with items like e.c.o apparel, organic cotton golf caps, BPA free water bottles, and even golf bags made from recycled materials.

But I don’t golf. So when I was recently asked which is the better “green” solution regarding golf tees, natural wood (from sustainable sources I would suggest) or biodegradable corn plastic, I simply did not have an answer. It was not something I had thought about and as a non-golfer I don’t know if wood or plastic is better to play off of.

So what are some of the options out there? I took a look at two basic tees.

QuickPointthe folks with the corn plastic drinkware – also do a nice corn plastic golf tee.  Built from biodegradable corn plastic and made in the USA, these branded corn plastic golf tees run about $85 per 1000 units with a one color imprint.

QuickPoint also does a nice LINKS PAC in their Nature/ad™ line with one imprinted ballmarker and five 2 3/4″ tees for EQP $0.64. Biodegradable corn plastic comes in a number of bright colors as well as the “natural wood” finish (as shown above).

The QuickPoint LINKS PAC is actually $0.18 less per unit than the wooden FAIRWAY PAK product from Norwood that runs EQP $0.82, however the comparison is unfair in that the wooden FAIRWAY PAK is more with a total of six imprinted 2-1/8″ tees, plus two imprinted quarter marks.

Again you have the options for the assorted colors, in this case Black (as shown), Blue, Dark Blue, Natural, Red, White, and Yellow.

For Ecopreneurists working the golf scene or indeed golf events or clubs wishing to be as eco-friendly as possible I am still in the dark as to which item – corn plastic or wood – is the best way to go.

I think the real lesson here is that even at this level, from the promotional products industry, there are green options available. And that is likely a good sign for things to come.

For more on Norwood’s golf line contact Mark Goldring. If you wish to learn more on QuickPoint and their corn plastic products contact Duane Mayer.

If you are interested in these items to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And The Winner Is NW4300

28 Apr


Really, Debco has got to get some more exciting product names. That headline doesn’t really ring, does it? It would have been cooler to write, and the winner is Big Thunder. However, for our office, that would not have been accurate.

Yes I am talking about nonwoven bags. In the run up to Earth Day bag and water bottle orders seem to become the main topic for the promotional products industry. For our office the bag that we are selling the most of is the Debco NW4300. The reason seems to always come down to cost and imprint size.

The truth is that if you are an ecopreneurist branding nonwoven totes what you really want is the largest imprint area you can get on a solid and sturdy bag. In the nonwoven grocer category, where the Big Thunder and Debco NW4300 compete, the bags are made with their handles running the length of the bag for added support.

What Debco did was place an outside pocket on their NW4300. This gives the unit a print area of 7″ x 6″, which is larger than all grocer styles that have no pocket and must therefor print inside the handles running the length of the bag, like the green Norwood Grocery Tote pictured here, which has only a 4″ x 9″ imprint area.

In addition to the large imprint area the NW4300 has a few other bonuses going for it. The nonwoven recycled 90 gram polypropylene includes 25% recycled material, the bag includes a removable bottom base, and has an overall size of 11.75″ x 13.75″ x 8.75″, which is designed to replace two standard sized plastic bags. Like most nonwovens the bag is made of #5 recyclable material.

EQP on these bags in $3.07, including a one color imprint. The reason the bags you see at the grocery checkout line are so much less is volume. Most runs for grocery stores are done in the 100,000s of bags, whereas the runs for the NW4300 start at just 100 units. However if you did need 100,000s of bags Debco can do those runs as well with price on the units falling to the checkout line prices. After all those chains are buying from the promotional products market as well.

If you are an ASI distributor Andrew Green is the contact to talk to at Debco. If you are interested in nonwoven totes to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

ECOL BRITE from Norwood

22 Jan

Ecol Brite pens made from recycled paper.

It looks like Norwood had such a success with their ECOL brand of recycled paper (barrel) pens that in 2009 they decided to break out into color with their new line called ECOL BRITE.

Like the ECOL pen the barrel of the ECOL BRITE is made from recycled paper. The pens are a standard style retractable with black ink and a standard medium point. Nothing too exciting there.

The big deal is that the pens’ bodies are available in blue, green, orange and red. This is great because up until the ECOL BRITE I do not think there has been a colored recycled paper barrel pen on the market.

Color is a big deal because it stands out and Ecopreneurists that need color to match their target audience or their marketing campaign now have a color option in these pens. Prior to this, if you wanted color you had to go with a corn plastic or biodegradable plastic, and those items do not work for all audiences.

You will notice in the image that the ECOL BRITE have a plastic tip, clip and plunger. The plastic used for these parts is 100% biodegradable corn plastic.

As a kick off to 2009 both the ECOL and ECOL BRITE pens are $0.68 per unit with one color imprint through 04/30/2009. A minimum run is 300 units.

Please visit the Norwood website to see all their new green items or email info@proformagreen.com for more information and pricing on the ECOL and ECOL BRITE.

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