I Am Green, one of South Africa’s largest eco-friendly corporate gift manufacturers, has extended its commitment to sustainable production by bringing printing in-house with a Xerox C70 multifunction printer from Cape Office Machines and Bytes Document Solutions.
With a range of more than 450 locally-manufactured products made from recycled, biodegradable or renewable content, I Am Green promotes an environmentally responsible alternative for like-minded companies wanting exclusive promotional products without compromising quality. From stationary, tote bags and t-shirts to indigenous trees, 96 per cent of I Am Green products are made by the local Cape community, with less than four per cent imported from eco-friendly global suppliers.
“Local manufacturing is almost as important to our mantra as the environment because environmental management starts and ends at home – which in our case is the local community we employ and work with every day,” says I Am Green founder and director Clyde Parton.
“It is a point of great pride for us that in eight years since starting the business we’ve been able to shift manufacturing from almost 100% outsourced to practically 100 percent local,” says Parton. “With our new Xerox printer, this now includes printing, which was previously partially handled by a legacy A4 printer but mostly outsourced.”
Parton says upgrading to a full-featured A3-capable printer makes it possible to offer quality bespoke products much faster than before, which in turn reduces costs and creates new marketing opportunities for the company and its staff.
“With the C70 we have all the tools in place to make the majority of the products ourselves, including new products like menus and business cards using 100 percent recycled paper,” he says. “This wasn’t possible – or at least very cumbersome – with our previous printer, which had to be manually fed recycled paper, and anything larger than A4 had to be outsourced at a cost.”
Parton’s wife and co-director Candice Parton says the only surprise about the new printer is how long it took the company to get one.
“Now that we can touch and feel the benefits of the new printer I’m amazed we didn’t get it sooner,” she says. “It has taken all the pain out of trying to match the quality we want with the technology we have and makes printing to the various recycled media we use as simple as loading it into one of the high capacity trays.
“Most importantly it gives us scope to scale our production quickly, which in turn lets us employ more of the local community. There’s no point complaining about the economy if we spend all our money hiring people overseas when the skills and technology we need to keep it fresh and local are literally at our doorstep.”
Cape Office Machines consultant Michael Foster says the first thing that struck him about the business was the energy and dynamic between the owners.
“This is a business run expertly by two passionate and committed people who know what they want to achieve,” says Foster. “Cutting the wait time on production was a high priority, along with the ability to handle thicker and variable-thickness media, so the job of matching the business with a printer that would seamlessly fit this dynamic was made much easier by understanding how they wanted to work.”
The Xerox C70 ticks all the boxes with the added benefit of using environmentally-friendly Xerox Emulsion Aggregation (EA) Low Melt Toner technology and an EcoStar 2.0-rated print engine. Its high capacity trays and feeders mean no waiting time between jobs with different media or having to swap out media for every new job.
With a high-resolution 2400×2400 dpi engine, licensed PANTONE matching for spot colours, Fogra certification for matching offset colour presses, and IDEAlliance Digital Press certification, the Xerox C70 is also a significant step-up in quality that guarantees colour consistency across different media and applications. These features are particularly useful for accurately matching corporate colours on non-standard recycled media and materials.
“There’s still a big gap between companies that want to ‘go green’ but don’t know quite how to get there,” says Parton. “Now that we’re producing quality printed work in-house we can take the next step in educating the market about using recycled materials throughout the corporate environment.
“It goes beyond printing business cards on recycled paper, for example. What about reports, brochures – even signage. There’s so much more we can do, but the good news is that it’s not difficult and doesn’t have to be much more expensive either.”