EcoSmart®: An Interview About The Making of Eco-Friendly Cases
The Malaysian Reserve recently had the chance to sit down (virtually) with David Dorantes, Director of Product Marketing at Targus, to discuss how Targus EcoSmart® technology is changing the industry with eco-friendly laptop bags, cases, and backpacks.
Here’s what he had to say:
How did Targus initially come up with the idea to use recycled bottles?
DD: For tech and tech accessories, the next wave of true innovation will be eco-vation: design that is not only visionary but also socially and ecologically conscious. The design team opted to be thought-leaders in this amalgamation of sustainability and design, and sought out a durable, eco-conscious material construction that would both exceed the durability our customers have come to expect, and help to offset the plastic waste that is growing year-by-year.
Has sustainability always been an important aspect to the core business?
DD: Our involvement in creating eco-friendly cases stretches as far back as 2008 when we launched our first line of EcoSmart® cases that incorporated fabric made from recycled water bottles. The line grew into other collections and has also resulted in being our #1 selling bag. We’ve continued to expand our assortment to other products while increasing recycled material in our existing products. We are also looking at various sustainable initiatives outside of our bag line-up.
Could you walk me through the process of how the bags are made?
DD: Absolutely. First, the materials are certified by Global Recycle Standard, GRS. The recycled materials need to meet the highest standard established to gain certification from the organization. Also, the entire process of the material’s production is ethically traceable, from the source of yarn fiber to the people who were making the yarn.
In a nutshell, here’s a bit about the production process for these eco-friendly bags and cases:
- First, the recycled bottles are collected and cleaned;
- Recycled bottles are then flaked and reformed into plastic pallets;
- Those plastic pallets are re-polymerized and spun into fiber that is woven into the fabric
- The fabric is used for the Cypress bags’ production.
What markets are Targus in and what sort of growth have you seen so far?
DD: Targus is a global company with distribution centers in 100 countries, all of which carry our assortment of recycled bags. Our EcoSmart® line of eco-friendly cases are sold in every region, and units sold have grown over 129% compared to 5 years ago.
Any data on sales or profitability you can share?
DD: We’re happy to say that the EcoSmart® line has sold over half a million units.
I understand the previous two collections have won awards. Do you expect the same for this collection as well?
DD: Yes, we’ve been honored with a Green Good Design Award for our Balance EcoSmart® Backpack and believe that based on the updated enhancements not only to the design, but also in the increased recycled content, that the new Cypress Collection is well positioned to earn accolades as well.
What’s especially exciting to you about this collection?
DD: There’s an interesting aspect in how we establish our eco claims (the process of using weight of eco-materials). The materials used in our EcoSmart® Collections are Global Recycled Standard-compliant (GRS), meaning recycled content can be tracked and traced. These are also Prop 65- and REACH-compliant. Even the packaging used in these collections is made from FSC paper.
What are some of the current trends you see in the industry?
DD: With the recent pandemic, we’re seeing an increased need for work-from-home accessories, as well as laptop device protection. We are also anticipating environmental initiatives to expand even in the post-COVID world.
What's next for Targus?
DD: We have a 10-year goal to incorporate environmentally friendly materials into most of our products. Always advancing, we’re also continuing to incorporate features like eco-friendly technology into laptop cases (e.g., wireless charging in backpacks). We’re also expanding the offerings of the protection technology utilized in our bags and tablet cases.
Learn more about Targus and their full line of bags, cases, and accessories, including the EcoSmart® collection.