Saturday, March 13, 2010

PVCs in Faux Leather. How Green Is Your Padfolio?

One of the most popular promotional products in the corporate world is padfolios. While there are many stylish options for recycled, recyclable and biodegradable writing pads, folders, and binders out there — some folks insist on a dark, heavy-grained casing to house their writing pads and business essentials.

The problem with most padfolios is that they are made of either PVC or leather. PVC is a highly toxic, dioxin-releasing vinyl. It contains chloride, does not biodegrade, and has been linked to many types of cancer and environmental concerns. And while it's a “natural” material, the production of leather is a very chemical-laden process that uses heavy metals, pollutes our waters, and is unkind to animals.

For Padfolios that have that fancy leather feel, we suggest similar alternatives that are greener than PVC (vinyl) and leather.

While not as green as recycled board, Polyurethane faux leather is naturally soft and flexible and does not require the solvents used for softening PVC and leather. We have found manufacturers that are conscientious about the need to minimize the use of solvents and reduce energy consumption in the manufacturing process.

Among our favorite faux leather padfolios is the 13” x 10” DuraHyde Writing Pad. It looks great, wears well, accommodates an 8.5” x 11” writing pad, has a zippered closure and pockets for all your essentials, and isn’t too pricey. If you want to imprint a logo on it, consider a nice subtle deboss effect that doesn’t use any inks.

Check out this Greenpeace link to learn more about the safer alternatives to PVCs.