If you’ve already read our blog post on the design behind our malt bag tote, you know how much we care about product development. We love working with our manufacturing partner to create innovative, upcycled products out of spent malt bags.
We wanted to highlight product development because it’s an ongoing part of our business operations as we seek to make the best products possible. We welcome your ideas and feedback on our journey of upcycling used grain bags!
One interesting learning is that we want to preserve the original weave of the grain bag as much as possible. When we’ve tried to make smaller products like wallets, it starts to pull apart the woven nature of the polypropylene bag. So instead, we try to keep the shape of the regular grain bag as much as possible.
There is still so much possibility with large pattern pieces. We’re currently prototyping other tote bag versions, coolers, backpacks, growler and crowler holders, and lunch boxes.
When we begin prototyping a new product, we first create some visuals of what we’re looking for, whether that’s inspiration from similar products in the marketplace or a direct ask from a customer. Our manufacturer creates a prototype and sends it to our team for feedback. We use it, show it to others, and continue to work with our manufacturing partner on edits until it’s ready to show all of you!
Finally, we work with our manufacturing partner to create a tech pack, sort of like an instruction manual for the sewers who create our product, so that the construction is consistent every time.
We love the texture of the grain bag as it is. It’s water resistant and the crinkly nature is unique. We’ve seen that it works well with materials like tarp, tyvek, canvas and duratek to bring some additional structure to the bag and keep away long term issues from water or wear.
On some of our products we add a solid base, like the 6-bottle wine carrier we made for Wine Authorities, to alleviate ‘sagging’ when you carry around bottles. We’re introducing this into our other designs for carrying larger bottles.
Our 6-bottle wine carrier features duratek sides, a solid sewn-in base, and reinforced box stitching on the straps.
We try to always consider how we will feature our customers’ logos in our design because our products naturally fit so well as promotional products. While we can use heat transfer vinyl to put artwork directly on the bag, we’ve seen issues with consistent quality, which is why we add a pocket or supplementary material like duratek to the bag to apply artwork.
For example, our standard malt bag tote features a canvas or rPET pocket, made from recycled water bottles, for screen-printing or sublimation. You can shop both styles using your custom artwork on egrandstand.com.
Canvas Pocket with Screenprint design for Creature Comforts Brewing Co., in Athens, GA.
But, a pocket doesn’t have to be the only way! We can also apply your artwork with a large woven label. Check out the bags we did for Starr Hill Brewing in VA using a 4x4” woven label with their logo. This way we also kept the malt supplier branding on the outside of the bag.
Our Starr Hill totes feature a large woven label on the outside of the bag.
Another option is to order custom webbing with your logo on it in a repeating pattern for a unique touch. We’ve done this for Meredith College and it turned out amazing!
Custom totes for Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, with custom branded webbing.
As we continue to build our brand, we have plans to launch products with our own styles and designs available directly on our site. We’re really excited to create unique products that will pay homage to the malt suppliers they came from.
Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter in the footer for new product release announcements from our team! We’ll keep you in the loop as we create awesome upcycled products for you!
Ready to get started on a custom idea today? We’re excited to work with you!