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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO HARBORS, Minnesota, June 19, 2008
From Rock and Ice, issue 170: â€œThis issue THE SPROUT goes to Granite Gear for its creative and environmentally sensitive approach to packaging. For example, the Air Line CORDURA stuffsacks are packaged in re-usable, food-grade jars – perfect containers for packing your peanut butter, ground coffee or salsa on a wall trip. Granite Gear uses only recyclable petroleum-free packaging for the rest of its line. After finding that the glue used to hold together other packages and displays was toxic and left sludge in the recycling process, the company eliminated glue altogether and designed origami-style packages that fold together, are more efficiently stacked and freighted, and conserve fuel.â€
â€œIt’s not enough to sell the best, most innovative packing systems on the market. Our dealers expect it to arrive in a package that almost sells itself,â€ said Granite Gear founders Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank. When the gear makers recently re-designed all of their packages, they started from the ground up, and they took a stand against non-reusable petroleum products. They also looked at it from the retailer’s perspective, and incorporated more sizing information on the package itself, so customers are less likely to return it for sizing problems. The packaging is â€œslat-wall optimized,â€ a term they coined for fitting well on the 3â€ standard slats used by many retailers. The packages fit into six-pack cartons, so that they are easy distribute to mom and pop shops and the six-packs fit into a carefully determined case size that packs onto pallets and shelves perfectly.
â€œIt’s an honor to be recognized for our work in this area,â€ said Knight and Cruikshank. â€œWe hope that others will focus on the problem of all the plastics used in packaging. The end consumer shouldn’t have to make the decision. It’s the responsibility of the outdoor industry, the manufacturers and retailers to offer and sell products packaged in a way that least impacts the environmentâ€
Founded in 1986, Granite Gear continues to express passion for innovation, quality, and durability in every product they offer. Granite Gear is renowned for their Backpacks, Packing Systems, Dog Gear, Trail Toys, and Canoe Packs. Granite Gear has been the recipient of many prestigious awards for product designs from Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine and the American Alpine Institute to name a few. Granite Gear’s creativity in design and testing of products takes place in Northeastern Minnesota.
Rock and Ice Sprout Award
â€œIt’s no secret that the future could be hotter than a two-dollar pistol firing uphill unless we check up and start respecting Mother Earth. The next generation is facing new challenges brought on by our shortsighted use of resources. On the plus side, there’s a sea change occurring as individuals and companies address the imbalances affecting our planet and the people who live on it. Sure, there is a long way to go before we’ve solved the problems, and today’s solutions are simply the first steps toward sustainability. Some seeds of change have already been planted as companies find ways to be both green and profitable, and Rock and Ice would like to acknowledge these forward thinkers with a new award. The Sprout Award will be given each issue to companies who are, in some way, big or small, supporting the environment or are socially conscious— -either with their products, their manufacturing processes, through education or in other ways.
Yep, this is only the beginning, people, but we have to start somewhere. In fact, the beginning is always the most vulnerable, least impressive point on the continuum of change. That’s why it’s important to look out for the sprouts. One day they’ll grow into the noble oaks of real change.â€
Jeff Jackson, Editor