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Author Archives: Misty Smith

  1. Private Label Products to Sell Online

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    Are you looking for the best private label products to sell online?

    Private label products (a.k.a. white label products) have, for the first time in a decade, outpaced the sales growth of national brands. Moreover, online shopping is shaping up to be the next major merchandising opportunity for private label products.

    Private labelling, white labelling… whatever you call it, the concept is essentially the same. However, there are a few distinctions (although it’s a very fine line).

    A product sourced from a manufacturer and then sold exclusively under the retailer’s brand.  In doing so, you’re contracting with the manufacturer to produce a product to your specifications (such as custom colors, sizes, etc.)

    Private label products are usually less expensive than national brands, and have the potential to bring in a large profit.

     

    A product that’s created by a manufacturer for sale by many retailers. Each retailer is allowed to resell the product under its own name and branding.

    By attaching their existing brand name, the retailer usually charges a premium on the product (even though the product is developed, controlled, and serviced by the manufacturer).

    So, why is it that private label products are set to outpace national brands? According to NielsenIQ, “Private label sales are poised to accelerate after a disappointing 2020 thanks to continuing innovation, e-commerce potential and consumers’ growing willingness to try new brands.

    More specifically, retailers and e-commerce stores typically own their online platforms which means they have more control over promotions and product placement from the start of the customer journey. Targeted promotions for specific product lines such as “back to school” promotions for store-branded stationery help to drive growth of owned brands.

    "Back to School"

    Speaking of stationery, it is one of the most popular categories for private label products. From envelopes to pencils and rubber bands, stationery products are a daily necessity which means increased brand loyalty and familiarity. On top of that, private label products for stationery are inexpensive and offer a low price-point.
    best private label products to sell online

    Hands-on Learning for K-12, College, and STEAM

    Finding a niche market and starting small with your private label product is important.  As we already determined, stationery products are a big part of everyday life which makes them a great place to start. Not only could you offer these items directly to the consumer (or end-user), but you could also offer them to your niche market in bulk. From K-12 public schools to private universities and colleges, stationery products are in high-demand. Consider cross-promotions to educators in STEAM programs which boast your private label stationery items as tools for “hands-on learning.” Find your niche and unique selling point and build your own private label business from there.

    Once you’ve decided to sell private label products online, it’s important to find a reliable private label manufacturer to partner with. While most people would assume that it’s a very complex and difficult process, it’s not. You just need to know where to look and what to avoid.

    One trustworthy method is to use a suppliers’ directory. Thomasnet is one of the most trusted directories you can find. They’ve been the go-to resource for supplier discovery and product sourcing in the US and Canada for over 120 years. This free resource allows you to search for manufacturers by product and location. They also offer incredible insights into the industry with actionable information, ideas, and news that can help you thrive in the evolving digital industrial economy.

    Looking for a private label manufacturer of packaging or stationery products to partner with? Fill out our contact form and someone will be in contact with you!

  2. Complete Tool Box Kits With Essential Items

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    Whether you’re a seasoned DIY’er or a rookie, ensure that you have a complete tool box kit by referencing this handy checklist from Bob Villa and Alliance Rubber Company.

    Hardware stores began to see a spike in sales at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. As can be expected, they’re continuing to report a major increase in categories for cleaning supplies and household essentials, but there has also been a major surge in sales for items such as appliances and materials for DIY home projects.  

    In a recent interview with CNBC, Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said, “As customers are sheltering in place, they’re looking at that deferred list of home projects. As they spend time around the home, they now have more time on their hands to tackle some of those things.”  

    Lowe’s isn’t the only major retailer reporting a surge in sales relating to home improvement projects. True Value CEO John Hartman noticed a shift after stay-at-home orders went into effect across America. “We’ve had a huge surge in paint, and with the onset of spring in many parts of the country, a lot of lawn and garden sales,” he said. With the increase in availability of curbside pickup, these numbers continue to rise. 

    Who knows DIY Home Improvement more than Bob Vila?  

    If you’re planning on starting a DIY project of your own, the list of items you need for the project might be obvious. While you may know that you need paint, paintbrushes, and drop cloths to repaint your living room, you might forget about those handy-dandy items you need for a complete tool box kit to ensure that the project runs smoothly.  

    Don’t make it harder than it has to be!  

    Before you begin any project make sure you run through this quick list of items that Bob Vila recommends for every tool box. In doing so, you will have all the tools at your disposal when you need them, and you won’t have to worry about the inconvenience of stopping mid-project to obtain those much-needed items. 

    You’ll notice that the 8th item on Bob Vila’s list of essential toolbox items is: RUBBER BANDS! 

    We happen to know A LOT about rubber bands. After all, Alliance Rubber Company has been manufacturing them since 1923. So, you may be asking yourself, “What are the best rubber bands for my project?” 

    Rubber Bands come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and compounds. The type of rubber band that would be perfect for painting, might not be the best type of rubber band for building a bookcase. So, we have included some typical DIY projects below along with the rubber band that would provide the most assistance. If you want to know how these standard sizes convert to actual size, be sure to take a look at our Rubber Band Size Chart 

    DIY Woodworking Projects 

    • #62 Advantage® Rubber Band to unscrew a stripped screw 
    • #74 Advantage® Rubber Band for added grip on a tool or to unscrew a tight jar lid 
    • #84 Advantage® Rubber Band to remove pencil markings from walls
    • #63 Advantage® Rubber Band around spring clamps to hold hardwood edging in place until the glue sets 
    • #14 Advantage® Rubber Band around the jaws of needle-nose pliers to create a small-parts clamp (works especially well for starting small finish nails) 

    Any Project 

    • #81 Advantage® Rubber Band to insulate (low-wattage) exposed electrical wires. *Make sure the electricity is off first* 
    • #73 Advantage® Rubber Band around door knob front & back to prevent door closing
    • #82 Advantage® Rubber Band around the top of a hammer to prevent it from scratching surfaces when removing nails 
    • #64 Advantage® Rubber Band around a pair of pliers to hold a flashlight in place for a “hands-free” hack 
    • #31 Advantage® Rubber Band (cut into a strip) to wedge a bolt head into the bolt socket, allowing you to start threading without losing the bolt 
    • #84 Advantage® Rubber Band wrapped around a drill can be used as a handy spot to hold small screws and driver bits
    • #32 Advantage® Rubber Band to create an anti-skid level when making a line on a wall 
    • #64 Advantage® Rubber Band around the neck of ceiling fan globes where the screws grip to prevent rattling 
    • #30 Advantage® Rubber Band around the packing tape dispenser to keep the end of the tape from falling through the slot back onto the roll.

    Roofing Projects 

    • #32 Advantage® Rubber Band wrapped around tools to prevent sliding  

    Painting Projects 

    • #32 Advantage® Rubber Band wrapped around the center of the paint can to scrape excess paint from brush directly into the can 

    As you can see, rubber bands have so many practical uses that you’ll soon find them to be one of the most essential items in your complete tool box kit! 

     

     

     

     

     

  3. Eco Friendly Packaging

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    With the rising trend of eco-friendly packaging, manufacturers are reimagining how they package their products by aiming to eliminate single-use plastics in their packaging. According to an article from NRDC, “a whopping 91 percent of all plastic isn’t recycled at all.” That statistic seems glaring, but an alternative to single-use plastic packaging is the use of reusable and sustainable products.   With so many uses and benefits, it’s no surprise that rubber bands are gaining in popularity as the choice of manufacturers looking for sustainable product packaging. 

    ECO FRIENDLY PACKAGING

    The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging

    According to an article by EarthDay.org, 30% of approximately 80 million tons of single-use plastic packaging produced every year goes into the ocean. That’s 24 million tons in the ocean that could be eliminated if manufacturers chose other earth-friendly packaging options. One major contributing factor to this type of plastic waste ending up in the ocean is that it has no reusability. Once it’s removed from the package there is no further benefit to the individual. That’s why rubber bands are a great alternative! They’re a versatile tool that can be useful in just about every area of daily life.  They can be reused time and again. Therefore, the long lifespan of a rubber band is a benefit – not a drawback. 

    Each time a packaging item is reused it significantly reduces its carbon footprint. That means, utilizing rubber bands can not only drastically reduce the amount of waste in the ocean, but can also reduce the carbon footprint created from the implementation of single-use plastics in packaging.   

    Additionally, rubber bands are made from latex – a rapidly renewable resource. Latex is harvested from rubber trees much in the same way as maple syrup is harvested from maple trees. A small wedge is cut into the bark causing the latex to ooze out into an attached container. On average, one rubber tree yields 19 pounds of rubber latex annually. 

    Uses of Rubber Bands in Packaging 

    Rubber bands provide a multitude of unique applications when used in product packaging.  First, rubber bands can be used to secure the product.  This ensures that the items make it to the shelf looking their best.  Some prominent examples of this can include household goods (such as mop heads), bundles of produce, or health and beauty products. The product will be kept in place and be ready for its end-user.  

    Next, rubber bands can be used to create a high-end look and feel.  An example of this would be bento lunchboxes.  The band gives the lunchboxes a sleek look, while also keeping the lid tightly shut.  

    Lastly, rubber bands with imprints can be used to bundle items for special promotions.   Some examples of this could include a hat/t-shirt combo or a shampoo/conditioner combo.  Since rubber bands can be printed on, a brand can easily create unique packaging while also promoting the use of sustainable packaging.  

     

     

    At Alliance Rubber, we offer high-quality custom rubber bands in a wide range of sizes,  colors, and compounds. Learn more about becoming a distributor of Alliance Rubber products, or contact us to place your order.

  4. Are You Ready For Your Food Safety Audit?

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    As most produce farmers and handlers are aware, food safety is a major concern in the market for fruits and vegetables. More and more produce buyers are requiring proof that their suppliers are implementing effective food safety programs all the way to the farm level. The USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Audit program, run by the Specialty Crops Inspection Division of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is one option for produce operations to meet those market demands. For those that are unfamiliar, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits focus on the use of best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. USDA GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and industry-recognized food safety practices.


    In June 2009, the United Fresh Food Safety Council endorsed a plan to drive harmonization of GAP standards, to reduce audit fatigue and allow operations to focus their food safety resources on achieving food safety, rather than passing audits. This plan evolved into the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, an all-industry effort including growers, shippers, produce buyers, government agencies, audit organizations and other stakeholders.

    Preparing for the Food Safety Audit

    The USDA Harmonized GAP audit remains a voluntary, user-fee funded audit program to facilitate market access. It is not a substitute for FDA or state regulatory inspections. So, first and foremost, before you start preparing for a food safety audit you need to talk with your buyers to find out what they require. 


    While the specific standards vary, the basic food safety requirements to obtain certification are the same. One very important step in preparing for your food safety audit is to organize your documentation. The amount of documentation you need can feel overwhelming, and creating an auditable system is key. In most cases, documentation is the only means of demonstrating to an auditor that your food safety plan is being followed. The USDA has updated its checklist to reflect 81 mandatory items. For each of these 81 items, the auditor must either find that you are in compliance with the requirement, or that it is not applicable to your operation. If the auditor deems any one of these items non-compliant, you will not meet the acceptance criteria to pass the audit even if you are in compliance with every other applicable requirement of the Harmonized GAP standard.


    If this is your first time seeking certification you should consider working with an advisor. It could potentially save you time and money and, in the end, it could mean the difference between getting your produce on the shelf or not. There are many associations in the industry that maintain a list of trusted advisors and consultants, so if you’re not sure who to contact – your local agricultural association is a great place to start.

    Annual Traceability Exercises

    The Traceability Requirement (G-6.1) of the Harmonized GAP Audit states that a traceability exercise must be conducted on an annual basis. A documented traceability program ensures that in the event of a recall your produce can be traced at least one step forward and one step back. In the traceability exercise, you must be able to locate 100 percent of the products shipped to recipients (excluding direct-to-consumer sales) within 4 hours, or as required by applicable regulations.


    Traceability can easily be accomplished through existing records, including field map/numbers, and input records for trace-back; and harvest records and invoices for trace-forward. Minimum requirements for traceability system records include the date of harvest, quantities harvested, field or block numbers, and transporter and non-transporter data.

    Blockchain & Traceability

    There are a number of ways to incorporate traceability into your food safety program. Some growers are opting for enhanced technologies such as blockchain-enabled labels that link the physical packs with digital environments. These blockchain-enabled labels act as a digital ledger that cannot be changed once logged, giving them a high-trust value. At the same time, they provide a means for engaging consumers directly. For instance, one raspberry producer opted to incorporate a QR code on the labels of each package so the consumer could connect to the grower and learn more about storage, certifications, recipes, fun facts, and provide feedback and usage information in return.

     

  5. Rubber in Textile Manufacturing

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    rubber in textile manufacturing

    The Use of Rubber in the Textile Industry

    The use of rubber strips and rubber bands in manufacturing textiles, footwear, and other miscellaneous garments has grown in popularity over the past few decades.  Rubber bands are useful in a number of ways throughout the entire manufacturing process. From bundling parts and pieces along the assembly line to providing elasticity inside the finished product – the durability and versatility of rubber products make them perfect for applications within the Textile Industry.

    Rubber Bands for Elasticity in Undergarments and Disposable Clothing for Healthcare Environments

    The type of rubber elastomer that is popular for elasticity within the construction of undergarments is TPE.  TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer.   TPE is widely used in the textile industry because it takes less energy consumption, and it is easily customizable with most batch dyes. However, TPE is not the only elastomer used to create elasticity in clothing. Non-Latex Rubber bands are often sewn into the cuff or waistline of disposable clothing used in the healthcare industry.

    Rubber Bands for Denim and Clothing Manufacturing

    Rubber bands are also widely used in the process of manufacturing denim and clothing. They are a convenient and reusable tool for bundling parts and pieces together along the assembly line. In many textile manufacturing facilities, the parts and pieces for the completed product will be bundled together with rubber bands and delivered to individual stations for construction. Additionally, tags with important product information can be firmly secured to the belt loop of jeans or other types of pants using just a rubber band.

    Textile manufacturers often utilize rubber bands to create specific patterns or textures in fabric and upholstery. Common applications include tie-dyeing, tie-bleaching, and acid washing. In tie-dyeing, the fabric is folded or bunched and then tightly wrapped with a rubber band before going into the dye. This prevents the dye from entering every portion of the fabric, leaving behind beautiful and unique patterns in the finished product. Similarly, in denim tie-bleaching or acid washing, the fabric is gathered and secured with rubber bands prior to the washing process.

    Rubber Bands for Thrift Stores and Online Vintage Clothing Stores

    Another popular use for rubber bands is in the resale, consignment, and vintage clothing sector. Thrift stores and online vintage clothing stores are more popular than ever before. Rubber bands provide solutions within the storage and inventory system while also helping to reduce energy, waste, and cost. They’re a price-sensitive, reusable, eco-friendly, and versatile tool. From bundling shoes to attaching custom hang tags to articles of clothing – rubber bands are the perfect solution!

    Other uses of rubber and rubber products in the textile and clothing industry include:

    • Preventing frayed hems when sewn inside the seam of banners or flags
    • Securing product within packaging to enhance the presentation

    As a custom rubber manufacturer in the U.S. since 1923, Alliance Rubber Company provides a wide array of solutions specifically designed for the needs of the Textile Industry. Want to learn more? Fill out our contact form!

     

  6. Rubber Bands for Equestrians and Jockeys

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    rubber bands equestrians jockey

    Jockeys and equestrians have to consider the safety of themselves and their horses.   The comfortability of the riders as well as the health of the horses must also be taken into consideration.  With the use of rubber bands, jockeys and equestrians can create a more comfortable experience, while also maintaining the health of the horse.

    Safety Rubber Bands for Equestrians and Jockeys

    One of, if not the most important piece of safety equipment for a jockey is a helmet.  Rubber bands can be used to ensure that the helmet cover stays secured.  The rubber band wraps around the brim of the helmet and ensures that the skull cap of the helmet cover does not move about. This, in turn, keeps the helmet dressed with the helmet cover while riding and prevents the jockey from having to fumble with or worry about lost helmet covers.

    Another use of rubber bands that involve the safety of the rider is rubber wristbands.  Rubber wristbands are used to make sure accidents don’t occur due to the riders’ silks.  Silks sleeves are loose; therefore, rubber wristbands are used to ensure that riders have a clear pathway to successfully jockeying.

    Rubber Bands for Adaptive Horseback Riding

    Another unique way rubber bands are used in horse riding is during adaptive horseback riding.  “Adaptive Riding” is recreational horseback riding and horsemanship lessons adapted to meet the unique needs of a child or adult with special needs. The idea of therapeutic riding was brought to the United States from Europe in the middle of the twentieth century. According to NCEFT (National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy), “Horseback riding often improves a client’s quality of life by providing them with an opportunity to bond with their horse, instructor, side walkers, and peers.”

    Rubber bands are used in adjusting the tack and equipment to best fit the rider.  An example of this tactic being used is securing the stirrup to the rider’s foot with a rubber band. The rubber band will help the rider to keep the stirrup in place.

    Horse Braiding Rubber Bands

    One of the most popular uses for rubber bands in the equine industry is ponytail, braiding, and grooming.  The popular braid used in horse racing is called the lattice plait.  The lattice plait is used to take care of a long mane. Two rubber bands will be used to hold the end of the original two sections together.

    In fact, the practice of braiding a horse’s mane and tail has an interesting history. Check out this article published by Horse Journals to learn more about the different types of braids. It covers everything from Hunter Braids to Jumper Braids and includes helpful instructions and images.

    •••

    As a custom rubber manufacturer in the U.S. since 1923, Alliance Rubber Company provides a wide array of solutions specifically designed for the needs of the Equine Industry. Want to learn more? Fill out our contact form!

     

     

  7. EPDM Automotive Applications

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    EPDM Automotive applications are the fastest-growing among other popular segments such as building & construction, wire & cables, lubricant additive, and plastic modification. EPDM (a synthetic rubber) is most commonly utilized in vehicle weather stripping, seals, sealant, wire and cable harnesses, and brake systems. This is thanks to its flexibility, resiliency, and weatherability.

  8. The Pandemic and The Floral Boom

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    The pandemic created a perfect storm for a floral boom. Most people were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another.  The days where you could go outside and enjoy the sun without having to worry about what might happen were gone.  Days turned dreary and consumers were looking for something to spark joy –  flowers.  This led to an increase in demand for floral products.

    Why Floral?

    For many, before the pandemic COVID-19 hit, floral was a symbol of happiness and hope.  Many people fell into a slump during quarantine and sought out ways to lift their spirits. As a result, any consumers bought flowers as a way to bring happiness to this unforeseen situation.   Nearly 70% of the American population purchased flowers during the pandemic and will continue to do so in 2021.  Finding ways to adopt flowers and floral into your marketing mix is the perfect way to reach the consumer post-pandemic.

    How to Catch the Consumer’s Eye

    The way consumers shop has changed exponentially since last March.  It is important for a product to catch the consumer’s eye, especially with the ever-changing retail landscape.  Consider these options:

    • Give the background of the flower
      • A new trend in the retail landscape is to know the background of the product. Consumers want to know who grew the plant they were buying.  They want to know the story of the product and be conscious of all aspects of their purchasing decision.
        • Brand-It™ Hang Tags gives you the ability to add your name, logo, and product background to enhance the quality of your branded item.
    • Provide all necessary information
      • Since consumers are more conscious of their purchasing decisions, provide all the necessary information on how to take care of the product and the benefits of owning the flower. One key benefit could be better air quality in the environment the plant is located in.
        • ProTape® includes a scannable barcode for ease at checkout and can also include your name and/or logo to enhance the quality of your branded items.
    • Implement sustainable packaging
      • A growing trend, not specific to the floral industry, is sustainability. Consumers want to know how the product they are buying will affect the environment they and others close to them are in.  Some ways to ensure the product being sold is sustainable is by implementing recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging.
    • Sell online
      • Post-pandemic, more and more consumers have shifted to shopping online. Providing an e-commerce platform or the use of social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook would be beneficial to see a boost in customer reach and sales. The use of social media will allow users and customers to share their experiences about the product being sold.

     

    If you’re interested in learning more about our floral products that will help you catch the consumer’s eye, please visit our Produce & Floral Products Page. Want to speak to someone about these products? Fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch!
  9. Earth-Friendly Rubber Bands

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    Did you know that rubber bands are made from a natural, renewable and biodegradable resource, making them sustainable and eco-friendly?

    It’s true – rubber bands are better for the earth than many other items commonly used for bundling or packaging.

  10. 2021 Summer Surge in Travel and Events

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    Expect a 2021 summer surge in travel and events as restrictions are lifted. People are eager to get out and socialize again which is increasing demand across a wide range of industries such as Gift, Novelty, and Hobby Crafts.

    According to data from the Transportation Security Administration, more than two million people have passed through U.S. airports each day since the start of the year. That’s roughly three and a half times more than we saw in 2020 – and it’s a great sign that business will continue to thrive through the end of the year.

    Travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, summer camps, and event attendees will find these items to be very useful for this 2021 summer surge in travel and events

     

Band Bandology logy

Features on the unlimited uses of rubber bands.

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