Archive for the ‘Case Studies’ Category

CYCLE OF LIFE: A LOOK AT GRANFONDO AND CYCLING CULTURE

August 30, 2012

 

We’re big fans of cycling at Fairware. As part of our commitment to healthy, active lifestyles and reducing our own daily environmental impact, we’ve tried to make our workplace cycling friendly. So, when RBC approached us to pitch on creating a product for the rider gift bags that are given to all riders participating in the RBC GranFondo KelownaRBC GranFondo Whistler, and some of the riders participating in the RBC GranFondo Banff – we were psyched.

As cyclists, we knew what we’d want to receive in our rider gift bags. In fact, our co-founder and CEO had already signed up for the 2012 RBC GranFondo Kelowna ride.  In collaboration with the RBC team we landed on a custom branded cycling multi-tool. It was functional, practical and on brand – a true ‘product with purpose’.

GranFondo—loosely translated from Italian means “big ride”—has been a major cycling event across Europe for decades. Participants of varying skill levels sign on for a 100 km-plus ride that tests their physical endurance and their love of the sport. This isn’t an everyday bicycle ride—the route is made up of steep hills, long distances and hordes of other bikers fueling a friendly competition. It is an epic showcase of the growing road biking trend in North America.

We have talked a lot over the past few months about the environmental impact of transporting goods. Making a switch to ocean shipping or local sourcing is one thing, but our obligation to the environment must run deeper than how we run our business. That is why we encourage our staff to implement our corporate mission in their everyday lives.

According to the WorldWatch Institute, a short six km bicycle ride keeps nearly fifteen pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Greenhouse gas emissions from private motor vehicles have risen 35% over the last two decades in Canada. The population, meanwhile, has only grown 19%. Smaller cities such as Kingston, Ontario account for higher emissions than metropolitan cities like Montreal, which recorded the lowest per capita emissions of GHG.

This statistic may seem surprising, but Montreal has always been a trailblazer in encouraging its locals to keep their cars at home. It was one of the first cities to incorporate bicycle lanes in its downtown core. And to give everyone access to a bicycle, the fantastic BIXI Montreal —a bicycle rental service that runs like ZipCar with members being able to borrow a bike at their convenience—has dozens of stations across the city.

Vancouver, British Columbia—where our Fairware office is located—is also leading in its push towards a bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Bike lanes and a moderate climate make it easy for locals to ride to work instead of drive – and some workplaces are taking note. We have equipped our office with indoor bicycle storage and showers—additions that have further helped our staff make the smarter choice of how they get to work. Adding an ‘office lock’ for unexpected trips and a tire pump have helped as well (and there has been lobbying for an ‘office bike’).

Denise uses her RBC multi-tool to set her cleats on her fancy new bike shoes.

With the RBC GranFondo Whistler taking place on Saturday, September 8th, spots are still available if you want to ride! We hope to see these type of events grow (with more scheduled for 2013), and continue to show participants and observers alike that a commute by bike is not only better for your health and the environment—but also a quick, efficient and rewarding way to get to your destination.

New Fairware brochure – nice pics, even nicer words

June 21, 2011

Fairware brochure fan

We recently printed a number of Fairware brochures highlighting a few of our recent projects.

View an electronic copy online HERE.

first page Fairware brochure

The brochure is filled with nice pics and even nicer words from our clients including Patagonia, Aveda, Vancity and Nature’s Path Organics.

We’d love to hear what you think of it.

last page Fairware brochure

GoWildGifts.org – CPAWS online fundraising store

December 8, 2010

We recently helped the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) launch an online fundraising store – gowildgifts.org. CPAWS is Canada’s pre-eminent national community-based voice for public wilderness protection. Since 1963 they have been a leader in establishing two-thirds of Canada’s protected wild spaces — an area over seven times the size of Nova Scotia!

The online store features some beautiful (and useful!) products including fashionable organic cotton t-shirts, infant onesies, recycled fleece toques, stainless steel thermoses and more. Perfect gift ideas for the wilderness lovers in your life and very reasonably priced. All products have been sourced from suppliers that meet Fairware’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

View the online store HERE and this year support Canadian wilderness conservation with your holiday gift buying.

Case Study: Aveda Earth Month Online Ordering

October 5, 2010

Client:


Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.

Campaign:


Earth Month – Each April the Aveda network raises funds for grassroots organizations that address global environmental issues. Since 1999, Aveda has raised over $11 million for their partner organizations. This year the focus was access to clean drinking water.

Client Request:


Aveda approached Fairware to quote on Earth Month promotional products that could be sold as fundraisers in Aveda salons and spas. They wanted stylish, quality products that aligned with the Aveda brand and had designed some amazing graphics that advocated a message of access to clean drinking water for all.

Fairware Approach:


1. Product Selection: Fairware sourced stainless steel water bottles and recycled steel I.D. tags adorned with Aveda’s “1 in 7 lacks access to clean water” graphic pictured above. These products looked amazing and were sure to be a hit.

2. Online Ordering Form: We coordinated ordering from salons and spas across North America (plus a few in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taiwan) through an online ordering form that featured upfront payment and shipping and billing information capture. This saved Aveda head office from coordinating the delivery of product to many different salon locations and did away with invoicing and collection efforts.

3. Program Promotion: Fairware created a multi-message e-reminder campaign to raise awareness among Aveda salons and spas of the program. We also updated these contacts on upcoming deadlines and delivery dates.

4. Customer Service: At any time through the ordering and production process, Aveda salon and spa representatives could contact a knowledgeable Fairware representative via a 1-800 number or email address.

5. Reporting: Through out the program we provided regular reports to our Aveda Head Office contacts to keep them updated on order numbers and progress.

Case Study: Online Store for Shoreline Cleanup T-Shirts

August 31, 2010

Flickr / Fiona of Zhadum

Client:


The world famous Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre –  a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research, and direct action.

Campaign:


The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – an annual event held across Canada (this year September 18-26th), the Shoreline Cleanup is a grassroots conservation program that aims to promote understanding and education about shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. Garbage on shorelines across the country is gathered during a week long event organized by volunteer Site Coordinators.

In 2009, over 1500 sites were registered for the Shoreline Cleanup and more than 160,000 kg  of waste was cleaned from our waterways.

Client Request:


In the past, individual cleanup sites coordinated the purchasing of team t-shirts on their own. This year, the Aquarium wanted to offer a t-shirt purchasing program for all the cleanup sites, allowing volunteer groups to take advantage of bulk purchasing rates and custom artwork options that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.

Fairware Approach:


1. Online Survey: To start, Fairware conducted an online survey to gauge the level of interest from Site Coordinators in purchasing team t-shirts. We wanted to eliminate the risk of building a site for a program that didn’t have buy-in.

2. Online Store: Once it was established that Site Coordinators were interested in placing orders, Fairware developed a custom online store that made purchasing easy. The site allowed for upfront order payment, automated order status updates, artwork upload options and reporting features that simplified delivery of the program.

3. Product Selection: The Aquarium designed some fantastic “I heart my shoreline” artwork for the front of the t-shirts (pictured below) and recognized major sponsors on the t-shirt backs. They selected 100% cotton unisex styles in both adult and youth sizes which Fairware  sourced from a supplier that meets our Supplier Code of Conduct for social and environmental responsibility.

4. Customization: The online store allowed individual cleanup sites the option of uploading a distinct team name for printing on the back of the shirts. Through automated messaging, Site Coordinators were kept up to date on the status of their orders.

5. Program Promotion: To help spread the word Fairware coordinated an e-reminder campaign, alerting Site Coordinators of pending deadlines. The Shoreline Clean-up team promoted the t-shirts on their main site and among their network.

6. Customer Service: While use of the website brought efficiencies to both the Aquarium and Site Coordinators, there was great value in having a knowledgeable contact person at Fairware to deal with questions and concerns from site visitors as they arose.

Zero Waste Lunches: Tiffin Sets for Seventh Generation

June 21, 2010

The zero waste lunch sets pictured above were supplied by Fairware to Seventh Generation as gifts for their broker sales force. Featuring an embroidered cotton carry bag, engraved stainless steel tiffin tin and reusable bamboo cutlery, the sets were well aligned with the company’s image and focus on sustainability.

Seventh Generation is committed to being the most trusted brand of authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible cleaning and personal care products for a healthy home, with a mission to “inspire a more conscious and sustainable world by being an authentic force for positive change.” Jeffrey Hollender, the company’s executive chairman, co-founder and chief inspired protagonist, just co-wrote a book on a new era of corporate responsibility which is receiving great reviews. Given Seventh Generation’s reputation, we were pretty excited to work with them and it resulted in some beautiful and useful products.

Each tiffin set included the label pictured above. Printed on re-purposed Seventh Generation pocket folders, the imprint was achieved with a custom made rubber stamp designed by local artist Abby Manock.

Tiffin sets are only starting to become popular in North America but they’ve been used in India for ages. Here’s a fascinating article on the dabbawallas that deliver home cooked tiffin lunches to office workers across Mumbai daily. Each lunch is packed in a tiffin tin similar to those featured here.

Looking for a stylish zero waste gift or give-away? Check out our website or contact us for a product tailored to your company’s needs.

Pine Beetle Wood – Innovative Uses

June 9, 2010

Flickr / vsmoothe

British Columbia’s Mountain Pine Beetle infestation is the largest Canada has seen. By 2016 it’s estimated that  65% of the marketable pine wood in the B.C. interior will have died as a result of the outbreak. And 40% of the interior’s forests are pine! Serious damage is being incurred by the forest industry and local communities as well as to the biodiversity and carbon storage capacity of the forests.

How the Beetles Work

Pine beetles lay eggs under the bark of mature lodgepole pines. The beetles introduce a bluestain fungus into the sapwood of the tree that prevents the tree from repelling and killing the attacking beetles with pitch flow. It also blocks water and nutrient translocation within the tree. The joint action of larval feeding and fungal colonization kills the host tree within a few weeks of successful attack (the fungus and feeding by the larvae girdles the tree cutting off the flow of water and nutrients).

The mountain pine beetle is a natural element of British Columbia’s interior pine forests. Normally, cold temperatures, forest fires and natural predators keep populations in check. However, an abundance of mature lodgepole pine combined with recent mild winters and uncharacteristically hot, dry summers have led to an unprecedented infestation.

Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

Recognizing a mandate under the government of BC’s Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan, the Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII) is focused on developing new product uses and markets for Mountain Pine Beetle wood. We were thrilled when they approached Fairware for pine beetle wood USB drives. Engraved with the naturally wood logo, they were the perfect promotional item for the organization.

Interested in USB drives for your organization? We have an entire collection to choose from. Contact us about custom products like the beetle wood USB drives pictured below. Read more about great products we’ve done for other clients HERE.

Translink cycling patch kits and bands

April 29, 2010

Last year Fairware responded to a request from Translink (the organization responsible for regional transit cycling and commuting options in Metro Vancouver) for products to help promote their alternative transportation campaigns – particularly their focus on encouraging cycling as a complement to public transit.

We came up with some inexpensive & useful products – the bike tube patch kits and reflective bands pictured above. Each patch kit featured a dozen glueless patches, all contained in a pocket-sized metal tin. The reflective bands were made in Canada and featured highly reflective tape on an adjustable Velcro strap.

Did you know that in Vancouver you can take your bike on almost any bus, the Skytrain, Seabus and Westcoast Express commuter trains?

Are you contemplating a Bike to Work week campaign? Or do you want to promote your efforts to get people out of cars and onto bikes? We carry a full range of bicycle accessories, apparel, bags and more. View the full selection HERE.

Read more about Translink’s cycling initiatives HERE.

A Rocker for Street Soccer

April 20, 2010

a collection of re-purposed Fairware sample shirts

 

When the Portland FC, a street soccer team based out of shelters in the Downtown Eastside, approached Fairware for a donation of t-shirts for an upcoming fundraiser, we had just the thing.

Carolyn Askew & Nick Louie at the Rocker for Street Soccer

It was time for a little spring cleaning at Fairware. We had a bunch of t-shirt samples acquired over the past few years that no longer matched the stock our suppliers currently offer. It was a real mix bag of sizes, colours and styles, but all great quality (most with organic content).

The team needed the shirts for their upcoming Rocker for Street Soccer, a fundraiser held to raise money for the team. Portland FC competes in the Vancouver Street Soccer League and the fundraiser was held to raise money for uniforms, equipment, as well as travel expenses. The team is pairing up with Street Soccer Canada to send some players to the 2010 Homeless World Cup in Rio, Brazil.

celebration shot

So we dug into the sample stock. Once we sorted through, we were able to pull together a full size curve of 65 tees in a rainbow of colours. Printed with fantastic artwork supplied by Portland FC, each shirt was completely unique.

Checkout some shots of the tees on our Flickr site.

Science World’s Re-purposed Banners

January 26, 2010

Science World’s building is an iconic symbol in Vancouver and the banners which adorn the exterior are a familiar site to Vancouverites and visitors. With help from Fairware, two of these retired banners were recently transformed into the hip, practical padfolios pictured above.

The padfolios are a useful, well-made product that any recipient would be pleased with, and each is reinforced with a story of sustainability that Science World can be proud of.

At Fairware we can transform your used banners into a variety of products including tote bags, messenger bags, name tags and more. Give us a call next time you update your vinyl signs and we’ll help you re-purpose the old ones.


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