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White fabric roll equipment used at Precision Textiles.

Time of ZeDay

A Totowa manufacturer shut down its factory and headquarters for eight hours on Sept. 21 to mark Zero Emissions Day, a global day-long moratorium on the use of fossil fuels aimed at raising awareness about the harm caused by carbon emissions. Though ZeDay dates back 13 years, it was a first for Precision Textiles.

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Reflections: What Made in New Jersey means to me

Amid COVID-19's onset "[t]here were no yard banners or commercials or celebrity tweets citing the role of manufacturing during this unprecedented time in our lives. The only mentions came when there were brief shortages of select products – namely toilet paper. Otherwise, we generally had more than enough to feed us, to medicate us, to protect us and sustain us. For the most part these were not items shipped from overseas, but in many cases, from right down the street. That’s Made in New Jersey to me," writes NJMEP President and CEO John Kennedy.

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Wine & Cheer alcohol shopping cart

Rolling stock

A Wyckoff insurance agent and stay-at-home-mom couple who moonlight as inventors won a patent earlier this year for a shopping cart made especially for wine bottles: the Wine & Cheer Cart.

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Masked covid health care workers

Bringing it in

Last year’s approach to obtaining enough PPE materials amid the onset of COVID-19 was largely an emergency triage system, said Mitch Cahn, founder and president of Newark-based Unionwear, which manufactures promotional materials but shifted to making personal protective equipment last year. States coordinated to get it where it was most needed, while manufacturers switched to producing it. But memories are short, and with supply chains between China back online, many are simply “chasing the lowest-cost product,” Chafe said.

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Aya Paper Co., a line of sustainable stationary started by SaVonne Anderson in 2019, will be available at Whole Foods and Nordstrom locations nationwide come October.- AYA PAPER CO.

‘Just because’

“There’s power in spreading joy. The world is not always flowers and sunshine but even when it’s difficult you can find something to celebrate,” says SaVonne Anderson, the creator of sustainable stationary company Aya Paper Co., which will be available at Whole Foods and Nordstrom locations nationwide come October.

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NJMEP names finalists for Manufacturer of the Year Awards

"The employees that showed up every day to produce the products, medicine, and food that helped dampen the impact the pandemic had on the nation received more attention than they have in decades," said New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program CEO John Kennedy. "They deserve more but it was nice to see them recognized to some extent."

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