The company Green Earth Products focuses completely on an amazing fibre: Under the brand name Eco Jute, the Dutch company develops and sells a small, but fine collection of ecologically correct and fashionable bags made out of jute.
“The special thing about the jute plant is that it is more or less a type of weed. In contrast to cotton it doesn’t need either fertiliser or pesticides and it makes do with much less water,” explained Helga Nederhoed, CEO of Green Earth Products. “As such it is more eco-friendly than cotton and much less complicated in terms of harvesting.“ Nederhoed‘s company completely dedicates its attentions to the traditional fibre plant, which is mainly produced in India and Bangladesh.
The Dutch entrepreneur explained that she grew up with promotional products: “My father owned a Dutch promotional products company. After pursuing a career in the Dutch police force, I returned to the industry in 1991.“ Then, in 2009 Nederhoed founded her own company, Green Earth Products, after she got to know an Indian supplier at the PSI, who was looking for a sales representative inEurope. “I decided to give the cooperation a go. A month later I had developed a line-up comprising of ten models and presented them as a “trial run” at the PromZ inUtrecht. The response was great: I received so many enquiries that I decided to found my own company and get fully involved.“
Small, but fine collection
In the meantime the series comprises of 15 standard models. Once a year Nederhoed and her team of five develop new designs for the collection, which encompasses simple, favourably-priced carrier bags, for instance for the POS, as well as more elaborate versions with rope or wooden handles, extra compartments – i.e. for bottles – or with reinforced bottoms. Bags with additional functions round off the product range – for example with integrated gloves and tools for gardening. “We are considering expanding our portfolio mid-term, i.e. to include document folders, iPad cases or plant pots,” reported Nederhoed.
And in terms of fashion jute bags have shown immense further development too since the days when their owners wore purple dungarees and sandals all year round, as the Green Earth Products collection demonstrates: The models certainly meet today’s requirements regarding style and fashion.
The minimum order volume is only 100 pieces and custom-made designs are possible for orders of 3,000 pieces and more.
The flexible and competent Indian supplier makes this possible. Green Earth Products cooperates with one single company that is located nearCalcutta. “Our partner is totally reliable: The prices and samples are always sent out immediately on the day they are requested and the complaints rate is more or less zero,“ explained Nederhoed. “Furthermore, we can rely on the fact that the employees are treated in line with the international standards, something which our partner will be able to document officially in the imminent future, because the company is currently striving to achieve the ISO 18.001 certification (work safety and work protection management). Incidentally, the production and processing of jute fibres is totally a “men’s affair“ because it requires a high amount of physical strength.“ Green Earth Products itself is certified with the CSR seal of the Dutch industry association, PPP (Platform Promotional Products).
The finished jute fabrics are lined with a lamination made out of recycled polypropylene. The bags are exclusively dyed using water-based dyes.
The finished goods are generally delivered to the Dutch company’s headquarters in Meppel within three months of order placement, where the firm disposes of a generously-sized warehouse: According to own accounts, Green Earth Products maintains constant stocks of 50,000 bags, which depending on the customer’s requirements can be delivered with or without being customised. Where applicable the bags are individualised by a service provider using embroidery, screen print or transfer print methods.
Demand throughout Europe
Green Earth Products dispatches goods from the logistics centre in Meppel to customers all overEurope. The current export share is approx. 75%, a lot of goods are delivered toGermany,Italy,Eastern EuropeandScandinavia. InFrance,Italy,PolandandSpainthe company collaborates with trade representatives who are native speakers. The company pursues a strategy that is an absolute loyal to the trade – Helga Nederhoed: “We are 100% ‘trade only’.“
The most important hub for the growth of the firm is the PSI Show in Düsseldorf, complemented by other shows: “We will be presenting five new models at the PPP leveranciersdagen on September 5 and 6 inUtrecht”, Nederhoed announced. However the company is also sounding out other areas: “The so-called ‘kerstpaketten’, Christmas gift hampers, play a very important role in theNetherlands. We want to tap into this market this year, because many of our models are extremely suitable as attractive packaging.“
What’s more, they are a sustainable alternative too, because Nederhoed is convinced that “the market has to change” in this respect too.