4 Sept 2008
Trusted Carriers(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2008)
From sand bags to fashion bags - that's how far a company can go when it sticks to its brief, concentrates on quality, gives vent to the creativity of the world's best designers, and incorporates green concepts.
For further evidence, look at T & J Organization Ltd. This family-owned business offers a formidable array of bags that service packaging users as diverse as shoppers and postmen.
"My father began the business about 30 years ago, making strong bags for sand, salt, sugar, rice and other loose items. They were all PP-woven bags," says Manager Judy Yeung. "Hong Kong Post also became a customer, and remains one to this day."
PP-woven bags are cheaper to produce and stronger than cotton, while nylon proved too expensive. "Nylon is only about 80% waterproof, whereas PP-woven is 100% dry," Ms Yeung says. "Later, upgraded PP-woven materials also proved to be excellent for printing graphics and designers love it."
Today, bags can be layered with a PP-woven inner and a laminated PP-film outer, suitable for printing with graphics and logos. "We also have highly popular bags that are 100% recyclable. These are much stronger than paper and non-woven types," she adds.
The firm is aware of the trend to charge for plastic bags at supermarkets. "This is a new market, and one that requires a reusable bag for a variety of tasks," says Ms Yeung. "We have some with compartments and side pockets for bottles and so forth. They are perfect for shopping."
T & J also produces colourful PU bags that are soft to the touch. "PU is another material that is very good for high-quality graphics," she adds. "We use it to produce smart and fashionable shoulder bags with a PU outer and cotton inner."
Other popular models include promotional bags with space for advertising messages, and non-woven bags that come with zips.
Good design ideas are always welcome, and the firm's range of foldable bags comes in a variety of sizes and styles and with press studs. "Usually, our clients know what is best for the market and we see a lot of innovation from them," Ms Yeung says. "Our own designers tend to stick to the basics."
She reveals that the design element affects the cost of production. "Good design is important for mass production and competitive prices. The most popular bags off our lines generally range in price from US$0.80-1.00 each, FOB China."
Australian buyers tend to go for bags that contain recyclable materials. "One range we sell to that country is used to collect newspapers or other rubbish," Ms Yeung says. "These were ordered by local municipalities and delivered throughout various cities. The bags have a space to put a house number on, and the collection days are highlighted."
Major markets are the US, Australia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. "All products conform with the EC directive 94/62/EC standards," assures Ms Yeung. "For the US, we are compliant with CONEG Model Toxics."
The firm's showroom contains a wide variety of bags of all descriptions, most bearing logos and slogans from some the biggest names in the retail trade, from fashions to electronics.
"Nokia, for instance, is a client for bags it uses as promotional giveaways at electronics exhibitions. On the other hand, buyers from Japan want beach bags and beach mats," Ms Yeung informs.
"There seems no doubt that the new wave of consumer goods going to market will embody some aspect of the recyclable concept," she predicts. "Also, the trend to "bring-your-own-bag" is catching on strong and individual shoppers will demand better and even fashionable bags."
T & J anticipates more high-quality bags in both matt and gloss finishes. "We are also producing garment bags in non-woven, nylon and polyester, for carrying suits. Demand for suit bags is very strong," says Ms Yeung.
T & J Organization Ltd appears to have the business well wrapped up.