Crucial to this is the process of fibre selection, specific to every brief. Taking a bespoke approach to each project means that we are able to select the perfect blend of fibres to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. Being selective of the supply chain is key; our team conducts rigorous tests to validate the quality of the fibre stream, testing for levels of contamination, Optical Brightening Agents, mechanical content, long-fibre to short-fibre ratio and more.
Stringent fibre selection takes us a long way to achieving the same results which virgin fibre offers. However, the key to zero compromise in terms of quality and environmental impact is absolutely in the blend of virgin and reclaimed.
This can create fantastic results. Recently, a longstanding luxury packaging customer wanted to move to a 40% recycled UK office waste fibre composition. The project posed some challenges which we overcame through our bespoke approach, rigorous fibre selection and testing. The trial was a complete success. Not only did the move give new life to a waste stream and reduce the carbon footprint of the product through local sourcing, it also did not compromise the appearance of the paper.
Trusting the process paid dividends for this client and has done so for many more. But what about colour? How do we allay concerns about reclaimed fibre affecting the ability to colour match or produce clean finishes without visible inclusions? There are two parts to the answer. First, there is an argument to say that consumers are increasingly happy to see that recycled fibre has been used; perhaps there is a mindset change that needs to happen in order to accept imperfections which can sometimes be seen, especially in lighter shades.