thewashingmachinepost




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how green is my valley?

green oil redesign

in the early nineties, a colleague and i progressed from simply repairing bicycles to selling the blighters, in the days when carriage to the islands was a) possible and b) cheap enough to make it a viable proposition. delivery in those days was more often than not via the much maligned parcel force, a method that suited us just fine, as our workshop was in the garage adjacent to the post office. lugging boxes of bicycles straight from the truck to the workshop was simplicity itself.

assembling bicycles became something of a stock in trade, particularly around christmas, but in truth, the hardest and lengthiest part of the process was removing miles and miles of bubble-wrap, snipping a panoply of zip-ties and removing polystyrene tubing taped to every tube section of the bicyle. it was necessary to fit the front wheel, assemble saddle to seatpost, fit brake levers and bar grips to handlebars after clamping the latter into the stem. this was in pre-aheadset days and before removable stem face plates.

since the large type along the top flap of the card box in which all this arrived clearly stated that assembly should be carried out by qualified mechanics, we were probably invalidating some sort of warranty. neither of us were qualified, but in those days, very few were. that meant, however, that the packaging was of no concern to the customer, as long as their bicycles were nice and shiny and sporting at least twenty-one gears.

some twenty odd years later, the most recent bicycle to arrive at the croft for review purposes arrived in a card box for which it is probably necessary to gain planning consent and very likely pay council tax too. the bicycle sitting calmly inside was fully assembled, with only the bars needing to be straightened and tilted upwards and a suitable pair of pedals attached. what confounds the heck out of me is why it was once seen as necessary to cossett every inch in bubble wrap, but now the only piece of packaging was a thin tube of polystyrene preventing the bars from damaging the top tube.

what changed?

what has changed, and very much for the better is the understanding that presentation is king. though we always have one eye on the price tag, the other is on the packaging, a point-of-sale aspect that can have every bit as much bearing on a possible sale as the efficacy of the contents. this is a progressively dawning realisation at the green oil company that has led them from the early days of their "first label designed in Microsoft Word, printed on paper and hand applied". if ecology wasn't really your thing, less than shiny packaging probably wasn't going to persuade you otherwise.

green oil redesign

contemporary marketing nous demands more and even the company's 2012 rebranding "didn't quite work", but ceo simon nash now figures they've got it just right. he's probably correct, but if i was in need of any convincing, the package received at the croft over a week ago accomplished its purpose ten-fold. the bottle of oil, of chain degreaser, chain wax, bike cleaner (only partially filled with concentrate), brush and eco sponge were protected from the harsh, outside world by the most novel form of padded packaging it has been my pleasure to come across: a large pile of dried leaves.

i have no idea if this is the manner in which regular shipments are despatched from green oil headquarters, but i cannot deny being mightily impressed with their ecological train of thought.

the reformed packaging of each item is undoubtedly more attractive than its predecessors, but what hasn't altered is the efficacy of the liquids inside those bottles. i have spent much of my career, degreasing chains by spraying them with gt95 and wipng them clean with a sturdy rag. those, however, were the old days, now superseded by use of the delightfully aromatic green oil chain degreaser, followed by a link by link drop of green oil for effective lubrication.

currently, 'tis the season to get mucky, a season when my chain cleaning obsession goes into overdrive. fortunately, i have nice, bright, shiny, ecological friends to cater to my every chain-based whim.

but do you rhink their recycled notepaper really contains elephant poo?

green oil company

saturday 21 november 2015

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................