Caractere’s Disposable Linens Mobilized to Aid Syrian Refugees in Germany

This fall, Germany’s administration broke apart from the position held by its neighbors and other members of the European Union on the subject of a pressing humanitarian aid crisis: Syrian refugees. Germany became the first country on the continent to accept a large contingent of asylum-seekers from the war-torn country.

The pilot program will allow 5,000 Syrians to relocate over the course of one year, thanks to the organisation of 25 private flights by the German government. Counting those who will receive this assistance and other refugees who migrate on their own, estimates place the number of people to flee Syria in recent years for Europe at 17,000+ by the beginning of 2014.

Germany and the UNHCR are lobbying other European members to contribute space for the refugees or other resources to help smooth their resettlement.

The UNHCR, or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,  selected the initial group of refugees according to a number of factors.

Those considered “particularly vulnerable,” such as single mothers, minorities and the chronically ill were atop the list.

For the purposes of integration, German speakers had an advantage over other applicants. Additional consideration was also given to applicants with a connection to Germany, such as time spent in the country studying or family currently located there.

Finally a certain number of spots went to the intellectual, academic and professional elite of Syria, judged the group most important for the reconstruction of the country after the resolution of the current crisis.

The first group landed in Hannover a few weeks ago, sending a message the German government wants its neighbors to notice. The government then transported them to Friedland, a transit camp where the refugees spend two weeks.

Germany is no stranger to waves of refugees, as it decided to welcome 300,000 during the wars in the Balkans of the early 1990s. Nearly a million refugees have passed through Friedland over its history.

Given the basics of shelter and food, the newcomers attend German language and culture classes every day. Administratively a step ahead of other asylum-seekers, the Syrians are granted instant refugee status, which means they can start working whenever they want.

After the two week integration and orientation period, the different states of Germany each accept a number of refugees for permanent placement.

Certainly Germany’s actions represent a noble gesture, but this recent decision risks being seen as merely “a drop in the bucket.” This is because some two million Syrians seek asylum abroad, in addition to the four million already internally displaced, according to figures released by the United Nations.

This represents one third of the country’s population, a figure the UN estimates could reach as high as one half by the end of the year. More than 700,000 Syrians have officially registered as refugees in Lebanon. This has overwhelmed Syria’s neighbor, a country normally with a population of 4.5 million.

Unfortunate for the refugees, airline regulations impose a 44 pound limit per person for luggage. Within this limit, refugees must pack all the personal items and effects intended to prepare them for a stay of two years in Germany. Many left their homes in a rush, fleeing violence or destruction, without the time to pack up properly.

Often because of these constraints, refugees come to airport with little more than the clothes on their backs. For these reasons, it’s essential for countries planning to welcome refugees must prepare adequate infrastructure and supplies in advance.

While the core of our activities stem from the hotel industry or public institutions like hospitals and schools, Caractere already has experience in the field of humanitarian aid. Thus, it was with great honor that Caractere recently received a substantial order from Germany to help welcome Syrian refugees in their transition to life in Europe.

Some of our most popular items to deal with natural disasters and large population migrations include those from our hotel supply unit, including warm blanketssleeping bags and children’s linens. Caractere also manufactures a variety of uniforms and work outfits to properly equip the staff and volunteers associated with the reception of refugees.

baby sleepingbag by caractere

Caractere’s Baby Sleeping Bag

To learn more about the different types of products that can help with the reception of refugees,  check out the English language version of the website for Caractere Paris, Disposable Linen!

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CaractereUK

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/CaractereUK

Sources
Amos, Deborah. “For Some Syrian Refugees, A New Home In Germany.” NPR, Sept. 12, 2013.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/12/221764124/for-some-syrian-refugees-a-new-home-in-germany
Heine, Friederike. “Gateway to Freedom: Camp Preps Syrian Refugees for German Life.” Der Spiegel, Oct. 11, 2013.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/second-syrian-refugee-group-arrives-at-friedland-transit-camp-a-927372.html

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A new year with Caractère: Disposable solutions for ‘Back to School’

This time of year coincides with several changes. The long and sunny days start to lose their spark, not to mention length. People move around in droves, beginning new jobs and seeking new titles. The produce available changes, just as the coulors of the leaves on trees. For students and teachers, another year starts to take shape, along with its inherent excitement and anxiety. How can school administrators and education policy makers ensure a safe, easy and comfortable return to the classroom? Let’s explore the opportunities to improve your institution over years past with Caractère’s wide range of disposable products for schools and day care centers!

Naptime hygiene
Does your establishment encourage kids to take nap? A vital moment of rest during a child’s formative years, naps help the child to recharge and reboot. Pediatricians explain the need for naps as a result of the process of growth and development, a highly energy-demanding experience for children. Experts agree that as long as one imposes limits and sticks to a regimen, naps will not interfere with the child’s ability to attain a normal night of sleep.

While most teachers believe in the necessity of naps, the problems of modern life can make this normally simple concept more complicated than necessary. Naptime hygiene, in particular, proves a constant problem for daycare centers and schools. How do some institutions prevent the spread of lice, fleas, chicken pox and other diseases and pests; problems that perennially plague others? How can the school’s administration provide a comfortable solution for children often required to sleep on the floor? How can ease of use, affordability and cleanliness intersect?

To answer these questions, Caractère proudly presents disposable sleeping bags! The bags come in sets of 10 units that measure 2 m (6½ feet) long and 1m (3¼ feet) wide each. Imagine trying to travel or go camping with a group of children and having to organise logistics. Among the prime concerns of food and shelter would be the decision of where to sleep. Clearly, there now exists a quick and simple solution. Custom-designed from a resistant, non-woven fabric, these lightweight sleeping bags can be used as liners inside more traditional insulated sleeping bags, on top of nap mats or thick carpeting, or with blankets and other traditional bedding materials.

Large enough for adults yet cozy enough for children, Caractère designed the sleeping bag liner with every need in mind. In the unfortunate event of a natural disaster, they can provide ease of mind in relief centres and airports. Ever versatile, homeless shelters and other group housing establishments could use them to avoid the spread of infections. Zipper-free, there’s no danger of snagging or hurting yourself, or feeling a cold shock from metal touching the skin. Individually-wrapper packaging ensures a hygienic distribution to each and every user. Finally, created with the environment in mind, the liners can then be thrown away or recycled. To learn more, see the Sleeping Bags page on Disposable Linen’s website.

For the youngest among those at daycare, Caractère also created a baby-friendly version of the sleeping bag. Ideally for children of two to 18 months old, the bags are available in sets of 6 units. A wonderful, innovative and popular product not only for day cares, but also for parents on the go who want the best quality sleeping arrangement for their children. Available in 6 colours, you can choose one to match your mood. This solution ends your worries about cleaning, ironing and looking out for baby sheets!

Both the adult and baby sleeping bags’ lifespans range anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the user’s cleanliness and preferences. In terms of safety, the baby-sized version closes thanks to a Velcro seal sewn on shoulders, instead of the buttons used by other products that pose a choking hazard. A zip fastener on the side prevents injuries to the baby’s neck. Adjustable in size thanks to shoulder straps, the sleeping bag also offers room for a personal touch with the choice of six colours: Blue, Light Blue, Golden Yellow, Light Yellow, Salmon and Light Green. Please see the Disposable Linen website for more information about our comfy Baby Sleeping Bags.

Library and media room cleanliness
Does your school integrate multi-media presentations or activities into its lessons? Research shows that switching from the typical, top-down hierarchy of lectures to a more inclusive and varied set of media sources encourages the development of a child’s mind. In addition, it helps provide a moment of discovery for the children, who feel they have a choice over what information they access and for how long. Why not take advantage of advances in technology to accelerate learning and give your kids a more accurate view of the world?

Unfortunately, the realities of lice and ticks often put a damper on multi-media aspirations. A pesky issue, these critters can dig deep down in the padded foam that lines earphones and headsets, ready to strike at any moment. Once infected, a child can spread lice to an entire class in a matter of days. After a tick attaches itself, it can spread lyme disease and stay on the child’s skin for extended periods of time, undiscovered, sucking blood as long as it desires.

Fortunately, Caractère’s disposable headphone covers present a perfect solution! Totally hygienic, this is the only way to avoid infections because each user puts on a different set each time. Avoid the lice, ticks, flu viruses and mega-resistant bacteria with sanitary equipment for each user. Luxury gyms and fitness centres already provide their clients with these headphone covers to allow users to listen to music or watch television while they enjoy their favourite exercise activities. This after they found it too costly to give a new pair of headphones to each guest, not to mention the environmental waste that would entail!

Easy to wear and comfortably breathable, the earphone covers feel almost undetectable when worn. Caractère now offers six different sizes of headphone covers, designed and tailored for devices between 1 and 7 inches (3 to 12 cm) in diameter. They also fit the ear pieces of conventional telephones and function as an ideal cover for cellular and mobile headsets, such as CN® ou jaffa®. Fitting snugly, they guarantee your listening comfort while providing the safety desired by parents and health inspectors by showing your respect for hygiene. Individually wrapped and sealed for sanitary conditions, they come in sets of pairs for simple distribution. Each package contains 100 pairs (200 individual covers), in an easy-open box that doubles as a dispenser for the covers.

Video: How to measure the size of your disposable headphone covers

For the style-conscious, Caractere manufacturers them in both black and white versions. Check our website for more information and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our staff is standing by to ensure your transition into this new school year goes as smoothly as possible. Finally, we want to wish the best of luck to the teachers and students out there!

Caractère’s Spring Newsletter: Swimwear, Bedding and Sandals

Disposable Swimsuits – Welcome Slippers – Hotel Mattress Pad Protectors

n°02 – 23/03/2011
Emergency disposable Swim Wear
Emergency Swim Wear

– Better than disposable bathing suits,

these simple and elegant swimsuits are for customers of all sizes who forget their own at home.

You can offer them for free or sell them.

The unit price of less than £5 makes these suits a great deal.

An important service for guests who value comfort and convenience.

To learn more, please click here.

Slippers for all Sizes and Sensibilities

-Welcome slippers have become an essential amenity for accommodations that provide all the comforts of home.

-In addition to custom orders (starting with 20 pairs), we offer a wide range of slipper sizes, in white, black, standard, deluxe and logo-personalised models.


For more details, please click here

Slippers for all Sizes and Sensibilities
Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors
Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors

Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors are a real hygiene problem for hotels.

– Fortunately, economical and practical solutions exist.

– An end to stains, hair or other cleaning issues, these pads can be used for over a month without a change.

– Disposable, meaning time and money saved by removing the chore of washing.

Sold in sets starting at 25 units

– for more information, please click here

For our full range of products or a free estimate, please visit disposable-linen.co.uk , or call020 7193 0887.
Copyright © www.caractere-paris.com

Vakker og Fredelig, Fjorder i Norge: Hiking Norway’s Fjords in Comfort and Style

from Caractère Paris

A Cruiseship in Molde, Romsdal

The coasts of the Scandinavian countries, and those of Norway in particular, are world renown for their spectacular fjords and incomparable views. More often than not, visitors opt to experience their magnificence from below, either on coastline cruise boats or in small canoes. However, as experienced hiker Bill Russell points out, taking “hikes into the surrounding mountains… really provides the visitor the fullest opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of the area in a special way not available by boats alone… it’s a glorious experience viewing the fjords from above.” In fact, he goes as far as to say, “Fjord hiking is the experience of a lifetime.” With over 15,000 miles of coastline and thousands of fjords, fortunately one could never run out of new sites to explore.

from Caractère Paris

Meloyfjord Sunset from Amnes

Sounds intriguing, no? If unfamiliar, you might be wondering what a fjord is exactly and about the origin of their funny name. The word “fjord” comes from Indo-European origins, with fara meaning travelling or ferrying. The Old Norse adaptation of this verb, fjǫrðr (or fjord) indicates a body of water that resembles a lake, often used for cruise and ferry ship transit. In geological terms, the name defines a lengthy, thin inlet surrounded by cliffs of steep hills or mountains. Fjords were created thanks to thousands of years of glacial melting since the last ice age. In fact, as the glaciers melted, through the abrasive pressure exerted by their weight on the land below the ice, the glaciers carved out deep tunnels. After they melted, these tunnels eventually became submerged by the sea. At the same time, this intense pressure pushed the surrounding land upward, creating the picturesque views that enthuse many a traveller to visit Norway today.

from Caractère Paris

Bergen from the Fløibanen Funicular

Often, hikers begin their voyages in Bergen, considered by many one of the world’s most beautiful cities and the “gateway to the fjord country.” Rich in an elegant mix of classic Norwegian style and the new minimalist Scan school of architecture, with plenty of cultural institutions, Norway’s second largest city has enough to offer on its own to be worth a visit. However, it’s the city’s proximity to the fjords that interests most tourists.

from Caractère Paris

Sognefjord, Norway, just outside of Bergen

Given the mountainous terrain, one can expect to travel an average of five to eight miles (11-18 km) per day. Waterfalls, rolling streams and quaint cabins line the journey. From Bergen, one can reach Sognefjord in a day, the world’s third longest fjord (the longest in Norway) at 203 km (136 mi) and the second deepest (again, the record holder for Norway) at 1,308 m (4,291 ft). The surrounding  mountains rise another 1,000 metres (3,281 miles), providing unrivalled views of the coast from every perspective. However, don’t let what sounds like a steep incline intimidate you — there are hiking paths available for every fitness level, from the professional to the amateur.

from Caractère Paris

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Further north along the coast, the Atlantic road continues along some of the country’s most beautiful and lesser known fjords. The Troll’s Road, Trollstigen, was a feat of modern engineering when constructed. It cuts directly into the Andalsnes mountain with hairpin turns, surrounded by waterfalls that have been described as “simply breathtaking.” Trollstigen leads to Geiranger, where many view the remarkable Geirangfjord from boat. Experienced travellers boast that the best vistas are from the trails north of Hellyslt. While in the area, the neighbouring Strynevatnet Lake contains gorgeous waters of a unique turquoise colour that cannot be found elsewhere. Also, the peaceful rural town of Hjelle serves as a perfect point to stop and rest.

from Caractère Paris

Sørfjord and Lofthus in Hardanger

One cannot go wrong by continuing along the Panorama Road, which wraps around the Gamle Strynefellsvegen fjord a third of a mile above sea level with stunningly picturesque views. Not to miss: the Kjenndal, Loen, Olden and Briksdal Glaciers. The nearby Saebo and Hjorundfjord sport some of the most remarkable views in all of Norway. With an extremely steep incline (nearly vertical), one is left with the feeling of floating on top of the world. The Highway 60 that passes by Geirangerfjord and Sunnylvsfjord sports what has the reputation of “one of the best vista spots in Norway.” Vinnufossen, in the neighbouring region of Sunndalsora, is the sixth tallest waterfall in the world. The gorgeous, protected Amotan Park will help visitors reconnect with nature, in addition to offering more scenic valleys with impressive waterfalls and a highly recommended hiking trail, the Trodalen.

from Caractère Paris

Stigen Farm, Aurlandsfjord

If you have yet to book the next flight to Oslo, listen to a short excerpt of one hiker’s experience of the fjords: “We hike past mountain farms, similar to the one situated 600 meters above Simadalsfjorden and only reachable by foot until the beginning of the 1970’s. We glimpse these old farm houses, where you can see how your ancestors used to live, and where it is still possible to meet people who protect the local song heritage by singing the old tunes, and by playing the Hardangerfiddle.

from Caractère Paris

Mountain pasture on the Geiranger Fjord

“As we hike along the heritage trails in Ulvik, in the hills and mountains that surround the village, you get to know more about life in the area in the days gone by. The trails beckon and the high pastures where flocks of sheep graze, clear streams, blue lakes, and striking mountains provide hikers with plenty of off-the-beaten track adventures.”

Sounds delightful! At Caractère, we offer a variety of items to make your fjord hiking experience easier and more comfortable. Our products include supplies designed for rural guest houses and camp sites, which range from disposable sheets and blankets to towels and baby hygiene products. For those who plan to take advantage of Scandinavia’s world renown saunas and spas, we also provide massage wear, slippers, sandals, bathrobes and towels. Comfortable, recyclable and easy to use, you cannot go wrong with disposable supplies from Caractère. Best of all, we ship anywhere in Europe, including the UK and Norway. If you choose to go, have a wonderful trip and please write to us about your travels.
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Finally, some links to help you plan. For hiking route ideas and itineraries, see the hiking and itinerary pages of Norway Fjords, Fjords.com, REI, FjordNorway, Russell Tours and Web Walking. For guided hiking tours, visit The Norwegian Trekking Association’s official website. For more fantastic pictures of fjords, see The Norway Fjords and Fjords.com.

Finally, a short video about hiking in the fjords from Visit Kristiansund:

The Way of Saint James, the Annual Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and Disposable Bedding: How and Why?

from Caractère Paris

The Way of Saint James

Many hikers (called “pèlerins,” or pilgrims in French) discovered disposable linens for the first time by frequenting the lodgings along the ancient Way of Saint James. The annual pilgrimage across the southern half of France continues the length of the northern coast of Spain until those brave enough to meet the challenge reach the Atlantic coast. Hikers typically start out in Paris, Vézelay, Le-Puy-en-Velay or Arles, and end their several week- (and sometimes month-) long journey at the main Cathedral of the Galecian city of Santiago de Compostela (in Spanish, or Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in French). Hikers and hotel owners have posed us many questions regarding the journey, so we wrote this article to explain what solutions we provide.

from Caractère Paris

Disposable Flat Sheets

First, the hiker wonders, “Will I sleep comfortably in disposable sheets“? No question here — this first issue is quickly resolved because the walker will sleep like a baby, no matter what. First of all, because he or she will be exhausted after a long day of walking! More important though is the fact that disposable sheets look and feel exactly like traditional cotton cloth ones. The disposable linen, whether it be a flat sheet, a stretchy fitted sheet or a sleeping bag, is always soft, flexible and tear resistant. They weigh less than traditional cloth sheets (meaning they are lighter to carry), but the non-woven material provides better heat insulation and more warmth than cotton on cool nights, while still allowing the body to breathe, perfect for tents and rural guest houses.

from Caractère Paris

Disposable Fitted Mattress Cover

The second most common question is, “Why has the accommodation chosen to use disposable sheets? Is it because they cost less? While this is often true, it’s not the sole reason. Price aside, there are also benefits to disposable sheets in terms of hygiene. First about the price: more often than not, the hiker will only stay one night at each stop along the way, moving onto a new town or village the next day. Every hotel and inn owner knows that changing the sheets every day is a pain and costs a fortune. Yet, the hiker is often not willing to pay more for his or her room simply because he or she is staying one night, and everyone still wants a clean bed upon arriving to the accommodation after a long day of walking. We all know nothing is worse than sleeping on sheets that have not been changed!

from Caractère Paris

Bed Bugs, Preventable with the Mattress Cover

Thus, the best solution for the hiker is the disposable sheet. Each sheet can be used between one to three weeks, depending on the hiker’s preferences and their cleanliness. The requirement for hygiene is solved for the hotel owner by providing always clean sheets, which prevents complaints from customers.
However, the main reason hoteliers tell us they choose our products is hygiene. Over the past five years, bedbugs have started to appear in rural guesthouses that welcome the march participants. Hikers have accused these cottages of a lack of hygiene or care, without thinking that it was in fact their own journeys into the forest that carried the nasty critters into town from nature. Routine use of hygienic, disposable mattress sheets, protectors and pads helps prevent mattresses from bedbug invasion, which presents a very difficult (if not impossible) problem to eliminate once it has appeared.

from Caractère Paris

Scallop shells commonly found along the Way of St. James

Finally the hikers bring with them another major concern: They walk all day, every day for a long period of time. To relieve the pain and blisters they experience, they often apply lotions and pain-relieving ointments. Unfortunately for the host, these oily, thick products are extremely difficult remove from conventional sheets and bedding.
Disposable sheets (such as a fitted sheet placed on top of a waterproof mattress pad) are often the best option to provide consistently impeccable linen quality.
It is clear that for more than purely financial reasons, the use of disposable sheets and linens ensures an excellent level of hygiene that the clients have the right to expect, even if they are only staying one night or paying very little for their rural lodging.

Caractère wishes a happy, safe and hygienic hike to all of this year’s participants in The Way of Saint James!