Luckily, it’s a common statement nowadays: “We are a sustainable company!”, But it takes quite a lot to be truly sustainable, while being profitable and and able to grow as a company. In 2013 we, two highschoolfriends with entrepreneurial experience and a passion for flags, started Semaphore Signs in response to the loss of one of the oldest flag companies in the Netherlands, where we all had a history.
Without being fully aware of it, our business plan was basically sustainable: we just wanted to make beautiful and distinctive good flags. Intended for users who want their flying presentation to reflect the pride in their company or institution. We were specifically not in the business of producing as much as possible at the highest possible price. We did want to acquire a position as a small but fine flagmaker within the, quite tense, market of signing. advising and working along with the possibilities of our customers and going for the best result in that image. This basis and our network brought us to Copenhagen, where we won the tender in 2014 for the exclusive delivery of Blue Flag, one of the most impactful projects of the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Inspired by meetings with the national operators of these projects, we started looking for a way to make flags more sustainable. In 2017 we were the first flag makers to deliver flags on canvas made from recycled PET fiber. then, our great company has been supplying many more sustainable institutions and companies worldwide and we are doing our utmost to become more sustainable in other areas as well as our sustainable products and mindset. For example, we transfer an amount to the Global Forest Fund for each flag sold. We also keep the organization and our accommodation tailor-made and as efficient as possible. Finally, we use part of our margin for sponsoring various environmental education projects worldwide.
These are all small steps, but they attribute to the least we all can do, together: creating awareness. That’s exactly what our PETflags do, besides being the most sustainable option in signing. Are you ready to take that step with us for your company or institution? We’ld love to be your partner….
To minimise our ecological footprint and form a social point of view, we opt for suppliers and partners who produce in the EU. Ofcourse we know that’s no guarantee for sustainability, but we believe that EU producers, whether or not driven by EU rules, have taken considerable steps in sustainable and socially responsible production in recent years. An important early choice has also been to develop a specific bunting that lasts significantly longer than the average bunting used for flags. A stronger flag leads to lower volumes and therefore less use and waste.
Based on average energy and water consumption, we have calculated what it will cost to offset the CO2 emissions of 1 m2 of printed flag bunting. Based on these data we compensate the production of more than 10,000 flags that we supply to the FEE projects every year. We invest the total amount of this compensation in FEE’s Global Forest Fund. The next step is to implement this for all the flags that we make for our customers.
In the past 50 years we have grown used to the habitat of throwing away used products, instead of repairing or recycling them. This also counts for flags, used or surplus. Once it was common for customers to send their torn flags for repair. Nowadays, this is a very rare situation. We see a growth in promotional material, produced for a very short period of use. We would love to go back to the time when we were asked to repair flags, which can extend flaglife considerably. It probably won’t be our core-business, but we like to offer the opportunity. The people who actually do the repairs, are men and women with a distance to the labour market. We also turn worn and torn flags and banners into beautiful other products, like hammocks, bags, purses and other fashion items. For that we found our partners in sewing workshops such as Funny Flags in Rotterdam and iDid in Utrecht.
Semaphore Signs, Rotterdam flag makers with an old soul, but with a new mission: sustainable flags! Three years ago we were the first in the world to use recycled PET material as a cloth for our flags, banners and banners. In the meantime, we are no longer the only one, but thanks to the lead in this innovation, Semaphore is the preferred supplier of international sustainability organizations. For example, our PETflag and & SIGN cloths flutter in dozens of countries for the campaigns of Blue Flag, Eco Schools and Green Key, projects of Unesco partner FEE, the Foundation for Environmental Education. International sustainability organizations such as PADI (diving courses), Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd have also opted for our canvas.
Not only the recycled raw material makes the Semaphore flags particularly durable; the technical specifications the fabric gives the flags on average a considerably longer service life than any flag. That quality is confirmed by testimonials from the most flag-challenging places around the world.
For the complete information about PETFlag Click here!
Got the heats for our flags? We'ld love to be your partner in signs and we can't wait to create new projects on bunting. Hoist your digital signal flag by using the contact form or give us a call on +3110-8900260. We'll send a return signal right away!