Situated on the Pacific Coast of California, and with a population of close to 1.4 million people, San Diego is known for many things: its world-renowned zoo with its adorable pandas, the USS Midway, Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla Cove, and numerous beaches. As a premier ecological destination, it’s no wonder that one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of customizable writing instruments happens to be headquartered there and happens to be making major strides to preserve the world around them.
Goldstar started a little less than fifty years ago when promotional products were really starting to take off. They first offered customizable small pencils for places like golf courses but as the industry grew, they grew as well. They have also expanded internationally servicing Europe from their facility in Dundalk, Ireland and now are a full-service writing instrument provider with just about any pen that you can dream up! They have pens in every style, price point, and any type of ink that you could ever need. In recent years Goldstar has also added stationery, bags, drinkware, and other products to their line – but still enjoy their reputation as the very best makers of pens.
People Love Pens.
Nothing is more exciting than finding that brand new perfect pen, and RJ Hagel, the Manager of Global Marketing for Goldstar, who has been with the company for about eight years, agrees. “I get excited because I like pens, I like to play with them, I like to click them. I’m very particular about the sounds that they make; if it feels hollow, I don’t use it. It’s got to have a specific weight,” he chuckles as he begins to go through his collection of pens. The one he pulls out that he’s most excited about right now is a pen that happens to be made with a mixture of plastic and reclaimed wheat stalk.
Recently, Goldstar has been putting more focus on developing products with a focus on sustainability. “It’s an area of the business that we have definitely worked towards developing… there’s a big benefit in making sure that we’re creating a product that has less of an ecological impact, but still maintaining a cost that appropriates for a lot of people.”
Hagel explains that the parts of wheat that are left over after food processing can be broken down and mixes very well with plastics. With this new capability, they are actually using farm waste to expand their product line with more eco-friendly alternatives like their wheat plastic pens. They remove all the parts of the wheat that are edible and are able to replace 30-40% of the plastic with that wheat. As a bonus, the process itself creates a cool speckled look.
In addition to their utilization of farm waste, they’re also focusing on the use of post-consumer recycled plastics, meaning plastics made from used water bottles and things like that, as well as renewable resources like bamboo to create some of their pens. “We’re really looking at each of our product lines to see how we can make impacts wherever we can.”
Environmentally friendly goals
Goldstar has also started to become more environmentally conscious in their own offices and is optimizing their manufacturing processes to use less electricity. “Laser engraving equipment is typically high powered and high capacity; our lasers are being changed to styles that are lower wattage, so there’s less electricity being used. Our lights are being changed to LED lights. And there are lots of things we are doing to clean up our manufacturing processes behind the scenes too,” Hagel reports.
Hagel says that they want to do things right, not sacrifice who they are and the quality of their products, but still make the most significant impact they can environmentally.
Another factor that Goldstar is taking into consideration? What to do with misprinted products. Hagel explains that they now participate in programs where misprinted writing supplies are donated to other countries in need of school supplies. Because of their location in California, many of those supplies get sent to Mexico and South America to help kids continue their education.
And the future?
Going green is just the beginning. Goldstar has big things planned for the future of its products and company. “One of the things we want to focus on is committing to our idea about simplicity,” Hagel says. “Continuing to evolve our business to make things easier to find, easier to understand.” Their aim is to make their customer’s lives as easy as possible, streamlining their ordering process, updating their website, and more. Check out their website goldstarpens.com to learn more and see what’s next on their agenda!