How Self Seal Belly Bands was Born

Jan 11, 2022

Paper Not Plastic

paper not plastic

Two Bad Mice are a greeting card and gift company that was established by Julian and Mami Williams in 1986. About three years ago customers began to ask us to use plastic free packaging: “Paper not plastic”. In particular our Canadian distributors wanted our cards to be delivered in packs of 6 bundled with paper straps (instead of in cello bags which is the traditional way we had been bundling the cards for 25 years). At that time the only way to do this was with strips of paper and cellotape, which was time consuming and looked unprofessional.

So we asked Terry, who owns a company called Swallow House Print, and had been printing our catalogues and making our mug boxes over a decade, to work with us in designing a bundle band with self adhesive tabs. We looked at a number of options, and it took us about a year to work out that peel and seal tabs would give us the strongest adhesive. Thus our first “paper not plastic” product, bundle bands, was born.

Bundle bands Plastic Free packaging
Bundle bands Plastic Free packaging

Bundle bands were an instant success. They looked good and they are made of paper not plastic and our warehouse wanted us to make them for his other clients. Thus Self Seal Belly Bands was born.

Some of our customers were asking us for the cards themselves to be delivered in plastic free packaging. Up until then there were two ways of doing this, both of them unsatisfactory

  • Card Clasps
  • Organic biodegradable plastics which are milky, short lived in sunlight and very expensive

At first we thought of making a band that included a strip of cellophane across the front of the card. This would not have been 100% plastic free packaging, but it would have reduced the amount of plastic. However Terry found a new translucent paper which he passed to me.

At first I was sceptical that the band would be translucent enough. I designed a band with narrow strip on the front, and wide strip on the back and was surprised how elegant and invisible the band was. We played about with the shape of the band some more, getting the ergonomics right and now Self Seal Bundle Bands have a design registered for our Card Bands.

Card Bands

Cards bands have swept through the market and in the first year been adopted by about 30 companies across the world – including in the UK, EU, Canada and the USA.