There’s nothing quite like a British summer when it actually properly looks like one. With the sun ablaze nationwide, out too comes a myriad of British summertime events and festivals. The high street is awash with fresh newcomers and tourists alike. So it’s a great time for tote bag designs that really tap into the season with a splash of vibrant colours and patterns that truly promote a sense of Britishness. It’s why we’ve chosen The British Red Cross bags as this month’s bag of the month (BOTM). Here’s the low down on the brief, how it was made and more importantly, where you can pick one up for yourself.
The British Red Cross
Formed over 100 years ago, the British Red Cross help millions of people, not just in the UK but around the world get the support they need when crisis strikes. From the simple act of hiring a wheelchair to supporting victims of modern slavery, the list of great works the British Red Cross is a part of, is endless.
It’s also a household name on the high street. They have more than 340 charity shops across UK, powered by an army of volunteers.
Many of us have donated clothing or household goods to a store nearby, which is turned into cash that tangibly changes lives.
The Design Brief
Considering their fantastic work, we were delighted when the British Red Cross approached us to produce their 2018 Spring/Summer collection. The British Red Cross commissioned three exclusive designs to feature on three separate cotton bags. They form a collection that’s sold via their online gift shop which stocks a range of exclusive products from tote bags to Christmas cards. What’s more, all profits from sales are used by the British Red Cross to help people in crisis both here in the UK and around the world!
In order to achieve the colour representation and accuracy that would do justice to the art work, we first decided on which production processes would be required to achieve it.
Dyed Cotton Fabric
Untreated cotton fabric generally comes in an off-white oatmeal colour – natural to the fibers original hue. It’s generally starchy and quite stiff to the touch. When you dye, bleach or wash the fabric before it’s made into a bag, the fibres become softer, less starchy and more natural to touch. It’s a technique that many customers find creates a more luxurious and premium looking bag. Ironically, dyed or washed cotton can in fact look less processed and more organic. It’s certainly a softer finish. We decided that the British Red Cross bags would be treated in this way. The soft natural webbed handles offset them perfectly and make the bags really comfortable to carry.
If you’re interested in seeing (or feeling) a sample of dyed or washed cotton, give our team a call and we’ll happily send a sample out to you.
Printing on our new Rotary Printer
The Red Cross bags were silk screen printed using our new rotary printer. The Grafica-Flashtex looks like a giant spider or something out of star trek and it’s much bigger than it looks in these pictures. In reality, it’s a simple machine to operate. Unlike doing the job by hand, the pressure remains consistent throughout the job offering flawless productivity, speed and registration. This is especially important when printing designs with lots of colours.
The finished design
Featuring three exclusive limited edition prints: one a striking illustration of a Kingfisher. Another a handful of swans on light blue background. And finally our personal favourite, bees pollinating flowers. The colours represented are perfect for summer time; elegant and contemporary.
Where can you buy one?
The British Red Cross bags can be found in selected British Red Cross shops on high streets across the UK and online at giftshop.redcross.org.uk. Retailing at the amazing price point of just £5 each, these really make great gifts. The best thing about them is knowing profits go towards helping people in crisis around the world and at home.
Client: British Red Cross
Bag Style: C1BG
Description: Kingfisher, Bee, Swan
Material: 8oz Natural Cotton
Min. Order: 1000 Units
If you’re thinking about your next bag job, you can save up to 25% using our Economy Service and choose your own pantone colours, sizing, zips and labels. Save these two seasonal cycles to help you plan ahead in good time.
SPRING/SUMMER COLLECTIONS Start speaking to our team in November
AUTUMN/WINTER COLLECTIONS Start speaking to our team in April