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Promoting A sustainable Future

Published: Fri 24 Nov 2006 02:18 PM
Promoting A sustainable Future
Locally sourced gifts in brown paper bags promote a more sustainable future
An innovative idea from a Wellington businesswoman has prompted the launch of a new company that promotes local entrepreneurs and sustainable products with style.
After years of receiving corporate gifts from conferences, special events, work functions and Christmas parties, The Brown Paper Bag Company’s founder, Wendy McGuinness, became increasingly disappointed that many gifts were imported. In her view, New Zealand-made products are often far superior than their imported counterparts.
New Zealand products are often fresher, taste better, are more innovative, use minimal packaging and have kiwi flair. Add the fact that they are made by New Zealanders and you have a winning combination of “quality product, locally manufactured with sustainability and style”.
The Brown Paper Bag Company specialises in creating gift bags containing products sourced within 100km of Wellington (including Marlborough, the Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast). “It’s about making people aware of the local economy. For example, how many Wellingtonians are aware that Whittakers chocolate is manufactured in Porirua?”
Gifts are presented in a brown paper bag with a personalised shipping tag. The Brown Paper Bag Company gives people who are interested in supporting local business and sustainability a chance to make a difference by rewarding their investment and entrepreneurship and at the same time reducing food miles and helping make their local community more resilient and independent.
The gift bags are already proving popular amongst businesses in the lead up to Christmas, and for upcoming conferences, functions and special events. “Businesses want to ‘add value and be good corporate citizens’ as well as provide original and unique gifts to staff, clients or suppliers.
Unfortunately they don’t always have the time to source local or sustainable gifts, which is where The Brown Paper Bag Company can help” explains Wendy McGuinness.
The Brown Paper Bag Company sources an extensive range of products including: locally published books, locally baked biscuits, hand-made chocolates and candies, fair trade and organic coffee. Themed gift bags such as After Dinner, Kiwiana and Picnic are available, or gift bags can be tailor-made with a unique range of local products to suit. The Brown Paper Bag Company also creates gift bags for customers in Auckland and Christchurch with products sourced from within 100km of the respective city’s centre.
Wendy McGuinness says “I believe that we need to support local business by encouraging demand for quality products that add value to primary products and have a sustainability focus. It’s about creating demand and rewarding investment in products that fit comfortably within our ‘green and clean’ national brand.”
A committed sustainability advocate, Wendy McGuinness is also editor of the non profit website www.sustainablefuture.info (a sustainability information portal). The proceeds from The Brown Paper Bag Company go towards funding www.sustainablefuture.info
The Brown Paper Bag Company is online at www.brownpaperbag.co.nz
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