Refillable Markers for a Retro Back to School Look
Harkening to a bygone era when pens had personality and were considered items of refinement and craftsmanship, refillable pens and markers are making a cool comeback. “It’s not only the retro feel of refilling your markers,” explains Kerry Tuttle, the North American distributor of AusPen eco-friendly markers, “it’s also the green appeal that is captivating a younger generation.” In North America alone, teachers throw away over 500 million plastic dry-erase markers per year. Clogging up local landfills, markers made of PVC –the ‘poison plastic’ – find their permanent home. Generation Y is well informed, and they see this as a big waste, a threat to their future, and a lack of creativity. The future is retro for the teens, twenty and thirty-somethings. While this cohort of consumers loves all things vintage, they are not willing to abandon their eco-mindedness and turn onto polluting products of past years. That’s why products that have retro sentiment but are made of modern materials or technology are making a splash. Students at high schools and colleges are taking action to bring the non-toxic, refillable, recycled aluminum AusPen dry-erase markers into their classrooms. “They are tapping into their social connections and using social media to create an awareness of this alternative green product,” says Kerry Tuttle. “They are raising money through fundraisers, posting videos on You Tube, and creating action-oriented school clubs to reduce their exposure to toxins found in places like the pink soap in washroom dispensers, the janitor’s cleaning products, and toxic dry-erase markers”. Savvy researchers and online shoppers as they are, Generation Y consumers search out the retro look they like, then figure out how to get the same look or feel as a product from yesteryear, but with a modern and green cutting edge. The sleek and futuristic look of the AusPen starter kit carrying case, made of 100% recycled polyethylene plastic, is reminiscent of the space age design craze of the 60’s, and the popularity of refillable pens evokes memories of the days of the original refillable fountain pens, like the ‘Parker 45’ in this 1967 ad. Going green to get back to school or work is a top priority for young consumers. But if this altruistic passion can be combined with a retro look, then treading lighter on the earth has never looked so cool.