ReProduct is a new product line from the company Cradle to Cradle Holdings (C2C Holdings). It has strong ties to the Cradle to Cradle design concept and one of its founders.
C2C Holdings was founded in November of 2004 and first sold to the public during the holiday 2006 season. The ReProduct line of the company has the motto "A World without Waste" and is currently producing greeting cards.
The greeting cards are made of OPP (oriented polypropylene) #5 polypropylene plastic and come with 2-way envelopes allowing the receiver of the card to send it (postage paid) to Shaw Industries where the card and envelope are made into Shaw EcoWorx carpet tile backing.
ReProduct offers a line of stock consumer cards (available through their web site) but currently does most of its business in custom order cards.
The cards are catching on quickly. Last holiday season close to 80,000 cards were printed for corporations, elected officials and celebrities. John & Teresa Kerry's 2006 holiday card was from ReProduct. Toy manufacturer Mattel used a ReProduct card for their 2007 Earth Day card.
C2C Holdings Chief Marketing Officer Karyn Pless told Sustainable is Good the product is certified by MBDC as a technical nutrient and Bill McDonough (one of MBDC's founders) is also a shareholder of the company.
"Our first product, ReProduct™ greeting cards and envelopes, use materials vetted for both human and environmental health. The card comes to the recipient in a unique 2-way envelope (similar to Netflix) that provides pre-paid return postage to Shaw Industries. When the recipient is finished with the card, they simply put the card into the return envelope and drop it in the mail. Shaw Carpet then uses 100% of the cards and envelopes to create carpet backing in "new" carpet tiles," the company's web site says.
Currently card return rates hover around around 10%, said Pless. This number is not of great concern given the fact the company has just begun its marketing and informational efforts to publicly explain the card and process for returning it. The ReProduct web site now has a wealth of information on the cards including a life cycle analysis of the product.
Pless also said a contributing factor to the return rate was the fact the fact a "significant percentage of the cards we have produced (50%) were for Senator John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s holiday card last year. Since this was a special card, many people kept it ... Even mail-in rebate (where the consumer gets money back) return rates don’t often hit double digits. We know this number will escalate this holiday season since more people know about the cards and sustainability as a whole is in a much more 'mass' place than it was last year," she said.
According to Shaw, if they were to replace the entire EcoWorx polymer with OPP polymer in the cards and envelopes it would take 88 cards and envelopes to equal one square yard of Shaw EcoWorx carpet tile.
If people who receive a card decide not to send it to Shaw it can always be recycled in communities that accept #5 PP.
C2C Holdings is working hard targeting corporations, ENGOs and elected officials for ReProduct custom holiday cards.
In addition, they are speaking to retailers (both specialty and mass) and greeting card publishers (such as American Greetings, Hallmark and Recycled Paper Greetings). "Our plan is not to become another greeting card player, but instead license our intellectual property to an existing publisher. This plan is moving along very well, but I cannot yet tell you when we will be available at retail," Pless said.
"Our initial focus on greeting cards is really based on bringing the Cradle to Cradle theory to the masses through a simple, emotional product that touches everyone," she said.
Consumers who are interested in purchasing ReProduct cards can currently choose from a holiday boxed set or a set of cards featuring photographic abstractions of natural elements taken by Bill McDonough. The cards are available directly from ReProduct's web site.