The phrase, “green ribbon” has had many meanings since it was worn as a symbol of solidarity during the English Civil War. In the 20th century, the green ribbon was associated with support for agricultural families, freedom, peace and other awareness campaigns. In the 21st century, “green” has become the mantra, and sometimes the lifestyle for millions of people who believe in healthy living and preserving our environment for future generations. And, for the first time “green ribbon” refers to an actual ribbon – a natural, biodegradable, and eco-friendly ribbon made from cotton.
A Ribbon from History
During the 1920s, the manufacture of cotton ribbons was brought to the U.S. from Germany, and several companies were established to make it. Today, only one remains. After passing through several owners and names, Cream City Ribbon was purchased in 1988 by Lorette Russenberger, who saw the beauty of the technology and the importance of continuing the tradition of manufacturing a natural ribbon rather than plastic.
To bring this historic technology into the modern age, the equipment is now located in a climate-controlled factory near the revitalized center of Milwaukee, WI. “I originally thought that we would eventually replace the old equipment with something more modern, says Russenberger, but we have learned over time that those guys back in the 1920s knew what they were doing. We haven’t found anything that does the job better, and the machines were built to last forever.”
Cream City Ribbon was, and still is, made from continuous lengths of cotton yarn, laid parallel to one another, and bound together with a non-toxic, water-soluble adhesive. For many years, the ribbon was used primarily for industrial packaging, but Cream City Ribbon now produces decorative ribbon, custom ribbons and personalized ribbons, and colorful and printed ribbon for craft work and gift wrapping purposes using colored yarns dyed with water based agents, and soy-based inks. Its materials and manufacturing process make Cream City Ribbon biodegradable in the environment, and naturally acid and lignin free.
The non-woven nature of Cream City Ribbon allows for its flexibility in design and use. It can be shredded, curled, woven, folded, cut, or tied. Fans of Cream City Ribbon are especially taken with its rich colors, which can only be obtained with yarn-dyed cotton fibers. For eco friendliness, malleability, colors and designs, Cream City Ribbon has become a popular “natural choice” for industrial, commercial, and personal users.
Cream City Ribbon: Campaign and Product Spooled into One
In the 1950s, it was discovered that a film of polypropylene could be extruded in large volumes at an extremely low cost, and a new ribbon technology was born. Today, plastic ribbons remain the most common type of ribbon in the market.
Over the past several years, a lot of products, companies, and organizations have begun advocating environmental awareness, and “green” campaigns have been going about many cities throughout the world.[i] However, Cream City Ribbon remains the first and only company in America that manufactures biodegradable, eco-friendly “green” ribbons.
One of the goals of Cream City Ribbon is to increase awareness among individuals and businesses about the growing effects of plastic materials and harmful chemicals to the environment. What sets Cream City Ribbon apart from other ribbons is its lack of petroleum and polypropylene compounds. It may seem like a little thing, but Russsenberger believes that any contribution to the health of the environment is a good thing. “The presence of plastics is causing a lot of mayhem for the environment and wildlife,”[ii]she says.
Apart from their green product, Cream City Ribbon also works with the Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center to increase urban exposure to the natural environment. Russenberger supports their programs, which help to expose urban children to the natural world, and teaches them how plants, animals and the environment are interconnected. A special gift package of 20 spools with 5 yards each of Cream City Ribbon was packaged as an Urban Ecology fund raising product; a percentage of sales from each package is donated to the organization.
After 23 years in business, Cream City Ribbon remains true to the heart and soul of its business – beautiful, high quality ribbon, produced by US workers with US materials, a connection to our history, and commitment to the environment. Cream City Ribbon is truly “green in every color.”
With Cream City Ribbon, you can explore your possibilities. For all your craft needs, we have it for you. From printed ribbon and personalized ribbon, to gift wrapping ribbon and wholesale ribbon, let Cream City Ribbon be your natural choice.
Go “Green” today.
Use natural and biodegradable ribbons.
[i] Post, M. (2008). Cream City Ribbon Gives Back to Earth, Community. OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved from http://www.onmilwaukee.com/market/articles/creamcityribbon.html
[ii] Post, M. (2008). Cream City Ribbon Gives Back to Earth, Community. OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved from http://www.onmilwaukee.com/market/articles/creamcityribbon.html