Adapting School and Office Supplies for a Microbe-Conscious Market

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Continental Accessory Corporation has partnered with Microban® International to develop a line of smarter school and office products featuring built-in antimicrobial protection. Sandy Ho, Head of Manufacturing for Continental Accessory in Hong Kong, talks about how this innovative approach can provide peace of mind for students, parents, teachers, and office professionals.

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The Company: Continental Accessory Corporation

Continental Accessory Corporation is a family-owned operation headquartered in Jericho, New Jersey, USA, that is committed to innovation across the retail market. The company started as a pushcart business on the streets of New York over 75 years ago, and has grown into a third-generation establishment with a long history of manufacturing and distribution. Its core business is fashion-driven school supplies – U Style® Collections – a product line that has dramatically expanded over the years to include home and office supplies such as notebooks, binders and folders, and cosmetic and trendy accessories, available in over 40,000 stores in the US.

The Challenge: Keeping a clean sheet

Global disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can spark sudden and unexpected changes in consumer demands. As schools and offices begin to reopen more fully after periods of learning and working remotely, many people are rejoicing, while others are more tentative about returning to communal facilities. Workplaces have implemented frequent and thorough cleaning practices, but these day-to-day protocols do not include high-touch stationery essentials, such as notebooks and pencil pouches. These items are constantly handled and placed on different surfaces where they can come into contact with microbes, adding to the cleanliness anxieties some people experience.

The Solution: Stationery for a microbe-conscious world

Continental Accessory has partnered with Microban International to develop a range of school and office products featuring built-in antimicrobial protection, to help prevent the growth of microbes on the surface of stationery items. Sandy explained: “Our core business is fashion-driven school supplies, but, over time, this has expanded and we now also offer home and office supplies, as well as cosmetic and trendy accessories. We are committed to innovation, and wanted to address consumer concerns about the cleanliness of stationery items by offering a range of products with built-in antimicrobial protection. This led us to look for effective antimicrobial solutions from a well-known and trusted name in the field, and we decided to partner with Microban. The 24/7 protection offered by Microban chemistries is perfect for stationery items, which are not generally considered in day-to-day cleaning protocols.”

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Product protection without compromise

As the global leader of antimicrobial additives, all Microban technologies have undergone extensive independent laboratory testing and have a long history of safe and effective use across a wide range of product types. Sandy continued: “Microban technology is built into the product or applied as a coating during manufacture, so that it does not wear away with use. There are over 25 approved additives available, which can be formulated into polymer pellets, powders or liquids for use in existing production lines, allowing them to be integrated without affecting the surface finish, color or durability. We worked closely with the company to carefully choose the optimal chemistry for each raw material and manufacturing process, resulting in products that have the look and quality that customers expect, with the added benefit of built-in cleanliness.”

"The 24/7 protection offered by Microban chemistries is perfect for stationery items, which are not generally considered in day-to-day cleaning protocols.”

Sandy Ho | Head of Manufacturing, Continental Accessory Hong Kong

Benefits of built-in Microban® antimicrobial solutions for school and office supplies

  • Continental Accessory customers have peace of mind that 24/7 Microban antimicrobial technology will keep their stationery items cleaner for longer.
  • Incorporating Microban antimicrobial additives into stationery products during manufacture ensures that it becomes an inherent feature that won’t wear away, even after extensive use, for the lifetime of the product.
  • Microban's in-house regulatory department and marketing team have a comprehensive knowledge of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policies to guide partners with their antimicrobial claims across Europe and North America respectively.
  • Continental Accessory customers support sustainability through the U Style promise – a percentage of every purchase is donated to the charity One Tree Planted, supporting reforestation efforts all over the world.