Design is at the heart of upcycling. If you’re going to ‘save’ a material from the landfill, the product it becomes has to be actually usable so that it isn’t just another form of waste. Upcycling is not easy. We’ve had to overcome many supply chain challenges to upcycle spent malt bags at scale, but where we are at today has made the journey all the more worthwhile. And you want to be on this journey with us as we get better and better!
Not to mention the added layer that we are producing a branded promotional product in the form of brewery merch. Promotional products can sometimes be synonymous with trash or garbage. Cheap branded products are tossed out after one or two times of use. It doesn’t matter how sustainable the materials of the products are; if they aren’t being reused, they’re not sustainable!
Breaking down the design
Today we are producing simple, reliable totes. While the construction may seem simple, it’s incredibly intentional.
Malt bags are awesome for upcycling because they are so durable. They typically carry 50-55 lbs of malt for production. So after that malt is poured out in the brewery process, they can continue to work for you!
The first thing you’ll notice is that the malt bags are flipped inside out to form the tote. This way the malt supplier’s branding is on the inside of the bags and your logo is prominently displayed on the outside. We don’t want artwork competing with each other.
Inside of our Malt Bag Tote
Because of this intentional design, you may find that customers don’t realize your bags are upcycled until they are up close to the tote, reading the hang tag that tells the story and peeking inside. Check out our tips for merchandising your bags to make sure customers can touch and feel the bags and understand how they’re made from your very own bags used in the brewing process!
Strong, heavy-duty webbing wraps all the way around the bag to form the handles. We’ve joked that you could carry bricks in our totes and do just fine. That’s because the handles aren’t going to break off after the strain of carrying around your things does them in. Our handles reinforce the durability of the malt bag.
Check out the handles on this bad boy!
Our totes feature an outside pocket where your brewery logo or artwork goes. Embellishment with malt bags has been tricky. While all malt bags are some form of polypropylene plastic, they do vary from each malt supplier. Some of them are easier than others for directly printing artwork on.
We made the decision for consistent quality to add an outer pocket that doubles as an additional design feature. Now when your customers take their Beer to Bags totes to their local grocer, they can throw their keys and wallet into the outside pocket while shopping. Before this, I was always digging my belongings out from under the bananas and bagels!
You can customize your pocket color by choosing from one of our canvas pocket colors (shop canvas pocket version on egrandstand.com) or by sublimating the background of your rPET pocket design (shop rPET pocket version on egrandstand.com) to be whatever color you’d like. For more information on design options reach out to us or Grandstand, our partner for custom brewery merch.
Your pocket is a blank canvas – have fun!
Finally, the inside seams are reinforced with binding. Whatever color you choose for your straps will be the color of the binding to keep the tote polished and neat. We love the Crush Orange webbing and binding combination!
From the inside binding to the outside pocket, this is a tote made to be reused and cherished for years to come. If you’re looking for unique, sustainable brewery merch, look no further! Start your order on egrandstand.com today. Wondering exactly how the ordering process works? Check out our recent blog post for more info.
We’re not stopping at our fantastic totes either. We recently collaborated with Wine Authorities, a Raleigh/Durham, NC, wine retailer to create a 6-bottle wine carrier from spent malt bags.
We’re working on lunchboxes, coolers, and other tote bag variations too. Interested in a custom product made from upcycled malt bags? Reach out to us today and let’s make something great together!Contact Us