Saving our planet; one bag at a time

January 8, 2009

Imagine, boots from recycled plastic!!

Chilean industrial design student Camila Labra has invented a whole new concept of “environmentally sound” footwear.

She calls them Dacca Boots (after the capital of Bangladesh because they’ve banned plastic bags there), and they feature an extensive collection of ankle high boots - made mostly out of recycled plastic bags.

The boots are built by fusing several layers of polyethylene plastic shopping bags together, resulting in a resistant material, sturdy enough to mold - while the interior components are covered with quilted cotton fabric, to ensure comfort - these boots are impermeable, non-toxic, lightweight & flexible.


December 10, 2008

No minimums, complete customisation and total happiness. That’s what we promise our customers

And we deliver! Every time! Pennsylvania wine aficionados will now get a free wine bag made by us.

Mark, who runs http://www.PAwinetalk.com was concerned about the avoidable packaging used when people buy wine.

When he set out looking for a solution he found us. Here’s a testimonial he kindly sent us: “I wanted to get some reusable bags made with my web site logo. Norquest was the only company willing to make a relatively small number of bags. They were easy to work with and produced a custom bag exactly the way I wanted. I am very happy with the final product”

Here’s what Mark says on his website:

“Have you ever stopped to think about the number of paper and plastic bags you bring home every time you visit a Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits Shoppe? If you buy three bottles, two of them are put into their own separate brown paper bag, then they are all put into a larger brown paper bag, and lastly that is put into a plastic bag. The rule seems to be n+1: If you buy n bottles, you’ll be given n+1 bags.

So in the spirit of going green, PAWineTalk is pleased to offer our own reusable wine bag. Made from durable non-woven polypropylene, our bags hold three regular bottles or magnums, with internal dividers to keep them separated. And of course it sports a nifty PAWineTalk logo!”

As we’re based in India, we don’t get to meet as many of our customers as we’d like to. Some kindly write and tell us that they are happy with what we do for them, and send us a testimonial, it makes us very happy.

Mark is so right. Studies indicate that gift wrapping adds an additional one million tons per week to US landfills. If people only switched to our reusable gift bags and wine bags, the US could achieve a huge saving in landfill waste!

See the line at www.badlani.com/bags. When you look you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how affordable they are. Why mess up our world? It’s the only planet we have folks!

December 4, 2008

Retailers benefit from eco-friendly perception: Deloitte & Touche

Consumers are happy to pay more for green products and prefer to shop at eco-friendly retailers says this article from the Los Angeles Times. The easiest way to achieve that is to give away one of our eco-friendly reusable shopping bags. Each one get reused more than 500 times and the retailer’s logo is seen by at least 100 people each time, getting him that eco-friendly perception from at least 50,000 consumers. For an unbelievably low cost!

An eco-friendly holiday is on many consumers’ minds — along with an uncertain economic situation. Many say they will shop less and cut their holiday budgets by hundreds of dollars. So in addition to slashing prices and extending store hours, retailers are boosting their selection of green products to attract shoppers.

“All retailers are looking for some edge,” said Richard Giss, a partner in accounting firm Deloitte & Touche’s consumer business division in Los Angeles. “If they can be seen as the eco-friendly retailer, that will help them.”

In Deloitte’s annual holiday survey this year, nearly half of consumers said they were willing to pay more for green gifts despite the bad economy, and 1 in 5 said they would purchase more eco-friendly products this holiday season than in the past.

But going green doesn’t mean having to spend a lot of it. “It’s a massive misconception,” said Sophie Uliano, a Los Angeles author who wrote “Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life.” “People think solar panels, hybrid cars, organic jeans and very expensive skincare. But that doesn’t have to be the case.”

Whether you have already adopted an environmentally friendly lifestyle or are just starting out by recycling here and there, here are cost-conscious green gift ideas to get you started.

Finding an affordable, eco-friendly gift is easier than you might think. These days, brick-and-mortar stores and online merchants carry a wide selection of green products such as bamboo fiber bathrobes and stuffed animals made from recycled sweaters.

KellygreenAt Kellygreen Design + Home, a specialty store in Silverlake, owner Kelly Van Patter said environmentally minded holiday shoppers have purchased the store’s reusable water bottles, 100% recycled paper goods and eco-friendly bath products as gifts.

“The most popular items are functional, for people who are trying to focus on giving gifts that are low-impact,” Van Patter said. “A lot of the items are handmade and made from recycled things, so they’re not mass-produced.”

But your choices aren’t limited to small boutiques and eco-friendly websites. Big-name retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart are highlighting green items on their shelves and on the Web.

One of the most useful and cost-conscious gifts is a reusable shopping bag roomy enough to fit groceries and household items. Many stores encourage consumers to use such tote bags, which eliminate the need for “paper or plastic?” at the checkout line. Some stores even give 5-cent discounts to shoppers who bring their own bags.

“It bothers me to think we’re hurting the environment and all we have to do is bring a bag to the store to reduce that impact,” said Aynsley Amidei, co-founder of Chicago-based Goody Green Bag, which sells reusable totes for $8.95. “When I go to Macy’s or anywhere, I don’t use their bags anymore, so I’m saving them money. It’s a whole change of thinking.”

Another option is to buy a present that doesn’t involve a lot of packaging.

Ethan Schreiber, a composer from the Hollywood Hills, said he eliminated waste by not buying “material goods” as gifts.

“Rather than buying people things, I buy them experiences” such as gift cards to restaurants and concert tickets, said Schreiber, 31. “It makes me feel better.”

Another feel-good gift is a donation in your giftee’s name to an eco-friendly charity or a park or zoo. If the person you’re buying for is an animal lover, the World Wildlife Fund offers “symbolic adoptions” of more than 90 species, including polar bears and dolphins. A $25 adoption comes with a species spotlight card, a certificate and a photo of the animal you chose.

November 20, 2008

Our reusable gift bags and wine bags can make this a green holiday season

Studies indicate that gift wrapping adds an additional one million tons per week to US landfills. If people only switched to our reusable gift bags and wine bags, the US could achieve a huge saving in landfill waste!

See the line at www.badlani.com/bags

November 12, 2008

Carrying a plastic bag is now socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

An article today by Linda Stamato talks about how New York and New Jersey are examining the possibility of taxing bags. Her article talks about effectively this has worked in Ireland, where plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

Social pressures of this nature, that reflect on an individual’s own public image and eventually their self-image can be one of the most powerful and effective means of influencing behaviour.

Here’s the article which I have reproduced from the NJ.Com website

The move is on in New York City to save the environment by eliminating plastic bags. By taxing plastic into oblivion, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, is following the lead of many European countries. If he prevails, NYC will become one of the first places in the United States to use a fee to encourage the use of alternative, non-disposable bags at the supermarket and pharmacy. He isn’t alone by the way; there are proposals to assess “plastic bag taxes” pending in Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Can New Jersey be far behind?

Bloomberg is proposing that a six cent fee be charged (one cent to the store; five cents to the city) for each and every plastic bag. Officials estimate that the fee could generate $16 million a year for the City, but, of course, the idea is not to raise money, it is to change behaviour.

This ubiquitous symbol of urban life, the plastic shopping bag, has all but disappeared in Ireland, or so Elisabeth Rosenthal reported from Dublin some months back in the New York Times. Rosenthal observed that within weeks of the imposition of a 33 cent per bag tax, collected at store cash registers, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. And, within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

To put a finer point on this, consider the following from the president of reusablebags.com who founded the company five years ago to promote the issue: ‘Using cloth bags had been seen as an extreme act of a crazed environmentalist… But, now, we see it as something a smart, progressive person would carry.’

In Ireland, that purpose has been accomplished.

So, the lesson on the one hand is this: Charge an unacceptable fee for a practice, a service, a product, and people won’t buy it. If substitutes are available–if alternatives can be used–they will be. Imposing an unacceptable charge, then, can change behavior.

There is a second lesson. Attaching values to an action can reinforce the policy and the behaviour the policy seeks to encourage. Using plastic bags has become something one simply does not do.

So, here we are. On two compelling counts, price and social acceptability (derived from sound economic and environmental values), we may find that the imposition of a fee alters behaviour.

It may take some more time, but, as far as I can see, voluntary efforts get us just so far. Creating incentives to discourage folks from engaging in environmentally harmful practices seems to be the way to go. And, for good measure, while we’re getting there, state coffers can use the funds generated by fees to get us there.

November 10, 2008

Start a new trend from Japan in your markets – minibags

The world’s fashion industry has recognised that Japanese street fashion often points the way to megatrends.

The latest story coming out of Japan is about the sudden popularity of mini-bags. It was carried in the Daily Yomiuri a couple of months back.

Entrepreneurs in countries where fashion is meaningful, would do well to read this story.

Here’s the story:

Minibags, small purses that can hold little more than a mobile phone, wallet or accessories, are one of the latest fashion trends. They come in a wealth of shapes and styles - some with colourful patterns, others with sequins.

You can enjoy them simply as utilitarian totes or as fashion accessories in their own right. They are also handy for tidying up inside your larger bag, as they help you sort out various items.

Concierge Petit, a shop in the Marunouchi building near Tokyo Station, is always crowded with women contemplating a series of Babyroo minibags.

The bag, 20cm by 22cm, is suitable for holding a clutch wallet.

Some Babyroo bags are adorned with illustrations on the cotton fabric while others are glamorously decorated with beads.

The shop deals with more than 50 kinds of Babyroo bags, most of them priced from 2,100 yen (US$20) to 20,000 yen ($187).

Super Planning Co, a company in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, dealing with lifestyle items, launched Babyroo in 2005 as bags handy for office workers to take along when going out for lunch. The variety on offer has increased every season.

The bag comes with a pocket designed to hold train passes and other cards. A shop manager said the products are popular among people of all ages, ranging from teenagers to elderly women.

Heming’s Inc, another company handling household items, started selling its Etoffe minibag in 2005. The bag is characterised by its materials, often Swedish or French fabric, and sophisticated design.

The bag, 20cm by 18 cm by 7cm, is priced from 4,095 yen ($38) to about 20,000 yen ($187).

A spokesperson for the company, based in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, touted Etoffe bags as gorgeous, befitting any party “It is also good when you’re on the move, as you can use it when going to a restaurant, for example” the spokesperson said.

In May, imported households goods shop Plaza began carrying Bag in Bag, a glittering, shiny, polyurethane minibag.

The Bag in Bag is 16cm by 22cm by 7cm. The bag includes a pocket for a mobile phone, and is priced at 2,310 yen ($22). The bag is now stocked at about 70 Plaza outlets.

Many women change their bags to suit what they wear. If you always keep small items in a minibag, it is easy to transfer them from one bag to the other, according to your outfit, said a spokesperson for Plaza Style, the company behind Plaza.

When you buy these minibags from us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how economical they can be. Calculate the potential markups and write to me today - rajiv at badlani dot com.

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