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Friday, July 15, 2016
To whom this may concern,
 
I am asked this question often by customers, especially those who buy in bulk to distribute at an event, and are seeking to maximize every dollar.
“Why buy Made in USA   Reflexite/Orafol®  or 3M®  reflective belts? We can get similar looking belts for far cheaper from China or Korea.”  
I ask in return, “Are you interested in a promo giveaway or in a safety item? If you want a promo, then take the Chinese material. It’s cheaper – in price and in quality. You’ll get your logo out to more people, for sure. But if you care to keep people safe, and especially if your organization is one that represents safety, such as a PD, FD, or EMS, then PLEASE make the prudent choice, and opt for the brand-name, made in USA belts.  Simply put, dare to compare. We’ve done, and continue to do, our own extensive field testing, as have many other recognized third parties (ANSI is one such organization). The Reflexite USA belts are by far the brightest, with 3M coming in as a close runner-up. They can often be seen from blocks away, and those are the ubiquitous Bright Ideas™ belts you see so often and from such a distance  around Lakewood. That extra few hundred feet of vision can make all the difference between a motorist avoiding or colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclist.  The motorist has those few precious seconds to steer away or brake. Considering that so many pedestrians and bicyclists in our town are dark-clothed, and many roads are poorly lit, do not contain sidewalks, and are not straight, it is all that more crucial to grant our citizens the greatest chance. Obviously, you care about their safety. That’s why chose to hand out reflective belts in the first place. If so, please give them the best shot at it.
Another several pointers: The USA made material is more durable, meaning it will last longer. That’s more for your money. In addition, it is engineered to reflect even when wet, such as in the rain or snow. Those are times when visibility is reduced and braking time is prolonged! And lastly, when a pedestrian or bicyclist dons a reflective belt, they assume they are now visible. It is a disservice at the least, and dangerous at the most, if the belt you give them does not own up.”
 
Some quick specs to compare:
Orafol USA 340 series retro-reflective material: Luminance of 580 candelas/lux/sq meter. Exceeds the minimum reflectivity requirements of ANSI/ISEA 1072010 for Level 2. Withstands up to a minimum of 75 washes.
Typical Chinese material : Luminance of 300 candelas/lux/sq meter. Does not meet the minimum reflectivity requirements of ANSI/ISEA 1072010 for Level 2. Withstands up to 25 washes.
 
Thank You,
Y Leiman,

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