Supplier Spotlight: Ecological Fibers

Ecological Fibers operates on a staunch environmental commitment. All products are acid free, carbon-free, and pH neutral. Their coating facility runs on 100% natural gas, reducing emissions, while a proprietary water treatment facility filters out impurities and returns clean water to the community. All paper waste is recycled, and coating waste is qualified for composting.

They aren’t called ‘Ecological’ for nothing.

It’s hard to understate the importance of Ecological Fibers in the business of paper goods. Luminous colors, lush textures, and an unyielding commitment to the environment, Ecological has transformed not only how cover materials are manufactured, but also how manufacturing relates to the natural world.

Industry and environment

In 1972, Ecological Fibers was founded on the site of the old Narragansett Coated Paper Corporation. It began operating primarily as a distributor of book construction materials. Here, Ecological implemented key sales innovations such as allowing customers to purchase exact quantities and sizes of material, a practice which was highly uncommon at the time in the industry.

By 1979, Ecological expanded their operations to new facilities and shifted their focus from distribution to manufacturing. This expansion lead to a defining innovation for the company. Ecological Fibers changed the focus of their operation from a solvent-based dye to a water-based acrylic coating. Consequently, Ecological became one of the cleanest, greenest manufacturers in the paper goods industry. [1]

A Rainbow swatch book from Ecological Fibers.

 

Choices to dye for

Ecological’s flagship product, Rainbow paper, has enjoyed forty-plus years as one of the most reputable products in the industry. Ecological Fibers doesn’t own a paper mill, they don’t pulp or process their own trees, but what they do exceedingly well is dye paper into rich and vibrant hues. Starting with just eight original colors, Ecological has since developed some eighty-six shades, adding and subtracting from their roster periodically.

Beyond the kaleidoscopic selection of Rainbow paper, there are over 150 different embossed textures available to choose from. The impeccable embossing work of Ecological can (and does) accurately simulate the feel of materials as sumptuous as leather and linen cloth.

Ecological Fibers makes over 1,600 custom samples annually and 70% of what they sell is not in their catalog of samples. In other words, those orders are being painstakingly crafted to suit the specific needs of their partners.

Ecological Fibers is hugely popular in the Publishing industry— and their color offering and coatings show why!

Clean and green

In 1990, the EPA awarded Ecological Fibers for achieving a 100% clean coating operation. Today, Ecological remains one of the only manufacturers in the industry to operate without EPA oversight and regulation.

The acrylic coating method pioneered by Ecological is not only a triumph for the environment, it’s a landmark in paper manufacturing. The solvent-based practices previously employed were prone to releasing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the environment, contaminating air and water.[2] Acrylic coating not only drastically reduces VOC emissions, it achieves spectacular results, proving excellence does not need to be sacrificed in the name of sustainability and social responsibility.

At Taylor Box, our work is only as good as those that we work with. In terms of quality and collaboration, we consider Ecological Fibers a member of our inner circle.

[1] https://www.ecofibers.com/eco-green

[2] http://www.uscoatings.com/blog/water-based-coating-vs-solvent-based-coating/

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