Global Market Trends

Purchasing trends

There has been a big shift in purchasing trends for office supplies this year. In fact, it probably won’t be a great surprise when we tell you that hygiene products, signage and safety screens have risen to the top of companies’ priorities over the last few months. There was also a greater move towards ordering office home office desks, chairs and ergonomic supplies online to help create comfortable and safe working spaces for employees working from home.

With your business supplies provider, it’s great to know that during these challenging times they are able to supply a varied range of products including office stationery, print, signage, hygiene, PPE, furniture and catering items to name a few!

This means you will spend less time searching for items you need and have fewer invoices to process, saving you both time and money. Ordering from one trusted supplier during challenging trading times like these is important as supply can fluctuate. Centralising orders with one supplier is a sustainable purchasing move and will also help to simplify the delivery process.

Working from home

Of course, the most radical change in office work this year has been the move to working from home. Remote working has been the ‘new normal’ during the lockdown, and it has been so successful that companies are looking at downsizing and moving to smaller premises. This has brought about a shift in purchasing trends, and there has been a consequent surge in the need for equipment for the home office such as desks, chairs and technology. Office workers are adapting technology to remote working practices, and webcams and headsets have been trending products.

Keeping schools safe

The world of education has also had to adapt in order to get students back to school safely. Our education supplies are as popular as ever as the autumn term begins, but we have seen equally strong demand from schools for our COVID-19 essentials to help keep pupils, teachers and other staff safe. These include masks and visors, and floor stickers and signage to ensure pupils stay socially distanced, as well as hand-sanitising stations, protective screens and cleaning products.

Retailers are open

Retail is another sector that has seen major changes. Again, PPE products such as disposable gloves, hand sanitiser and visors have become a staple for small and large stores alike. Protective screens are an absolute necessity to protect staff and customers, as is social distancing signage and floor tape. These can be bought alongside the everyday essentials that are always needed by shops such as till rolls, carrier bags, cash bags, banknote checkers, etc.

One emerging purchasing trend that will continue is the shift towards eco-friendly products. The growing demand for companies to be more sustainable is not just in terms of using recycled paper – it is across their use of all products, from pens to cleaning supplies and face masks to furniture. That is why we label products available online that have eco-friendly credentials, making it easier for our customers to do the right thing. And as more products come on the market to meet the increase in demand, the more we will be able to help. Read more about sustainable purchasing here.

office worker mask after lockdown

Work smart, save money: 14 tips for reopening your office

If your business has been operating remotely but you are about to reopen the office, there is a lot to consider in order to get things ready to welcome back your staff. But just because these are extraordinary times that require additional measures to help keep your staff safe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be out of pocket. It’s worth changing your overall purchasing strategy to save money on office supplies. 

We’ve put together some tips on the best ways to work smart and save money. 

  1. Buy in bulk 

The greater the quantity of supplies you buy, the better the unit price you get, so it makes sense to buy in bulk as much as possible. This is an especially smart move when it comes to products you use on a daily basis such as paper towels, hand sanitiser, face masks, cleaning products, disposable cutlery, etc. 

  1. Negotiate split delivery 

If you want to take advantage of buying in bulk but don’t have the storage space, talk to your supplier about split delivery, which allows you to schedule part deliveries over separate dates. This means you can free up space for other things, and there’s less to unpack!

  1. Hold stock with your supplier 

Another way of taking advantage of bulk-buying cost savings is to talk to your supplier about storing products with them, even if it’s on a temporary basis to enable you to free up space in your office to help with social distancing. 

  1. Compare brands

In the same way that supermarket and generic brands of food can be just as good as branded products, it’s a good idea to shop around for non-branded office stationery and supplies. There are cheaper options available which offer the same quality as the more popular brands, as well as greater availability. 

  1. Save money by saving space

Create more space in the office by shredding old documents and storing archived documents more cheaply off-site. The extra space in your office can be used more smartly – for example, for providing social distancing, housing new sanitising stations or to reposition workstations.

  1. Monochrome 

Make sure everyone changes their default setting to print in black and white rather than colour. That way they will be less likely to accidentally print documents using the more expensive colour inkjet cartridges

  1. Change utility supplier 

You may well be spending less money on utilities while all your staff are working from home, but you could save even more than that by shopping around commercial utility suppliers for the best deals on water, gas and electricity. 

  1. Instant caffeine

Having a drinks machine will help save on the time wasted waiting for the kettle to boil. A machine that dispenses coffee, tea and hot chocolate also ensures there are fewer touch points which makes it more hygienic, especially if you opt to have an antibacterial coating on the buttons. Even if you don’t, they’re easy to clean with antibacterial wipes. 

  1. Sustainable cups

Whether you have kettles or drinks machines, you can save money by issuing staff with reusable cups, which are also much better for the environment.

  1. Does your corporate credit card give you rewards? 

Make your credit card work for you in the form of cashback or points that you can turn into rewards. Banks such as Capital One offer a points-based reward system, whereas others like NatWest, Barclays and Santander offer a small percentage cashback on purchases. 

  1. Digital FM tracking 

Facilities management can be a headache, especially if you are managing it across multiple sites whilst working remotely. Using cloud based FM tracking software makes it a lot easier to manage your assets on one system, reducing the time and money you spend and simplifying supplier, asset management and reporting process. 

  1. Promotional gifts 

Impress clients and employees alike with practical promotional gifts that are reusable and sustainable, such as branded face masks, Antibac coated reusable water bottles or the ever-useful USB memory stick. And remember, the more you buy, the lower the unit cost. The more useful the gift, the more likely it is that your clients will use it, ensuring your logo is in sight for a long time. 

  1. Discount codes

Everybody loves a bargain, so why not give discount codes for your suppliers to pass on to their own clients. It’s a great way to enjoy new business that’s come directly to you, win win!

  1. Repair rather than replace

If something in your premises is damaged – such as a cracked sink or tile, damaged furniture, or scuffed UPVC window or door – don’t automatically replace it with a new one. A specialist repair company may be able to repair the damage far more quickly and cheaply than it would be to replace it – with the added bonus that repairs are far more environmentally friendly than replacements and can be carried out quickly as typically parts won’t need to be ordered in.

15. Discount Scheme

The last five months have been a difficult period for the economy and many businesses have had to adapt to the challenges that the new ‘normal’ has presented us with. During these difficult trading times, we wanted to find a way to help our customers gain new clients and save money so we have set up a discount page to help make savings within the Quills community.

If you’d like to be included in our discount directory page and possibly gain some new clients, simply email to confirm the information we will require in addition to your logo.

How to safely wear a reusable face mask 

Wearing a face mask or face covering is an essential step to help stop the spread of Covid-19. However, it’s important to use masks safely and hygienically to prevent cross-contamination and ensure that you’re wearing a face mask that offers ultimate protection for your needs

When wearing a reusable face mask, there are some vital do’s and don’ts to consider before choosing and wearing a civilian face mask in public. Take a look at our handy infographic:

What face mask is right for me?

Now that wearing a face mask in shops, galleries, museums, hair salons and on public transport is compulsory, it’s important to choose a mask that is comfortable and offers complete protection. Surgical masks are for use in a surgical environment.  Fabric masks are suitable as a civilian mask for use in public places. 

Antibacterial Coated Masks

Our top picks for eco civilian face masks with enhanced protection is the Nano-Silicon Antimicrobial Mask.  It’s a reusable and eco-friendly face mask and provides enhanced protection due to its antimicrobial coating. Click here to find out more

Already have a disposable face mask? Check out our top tips for safely wearing a disposable face-covering here.

How to safely wear a face mask

Wearing a face mask or face covering is an essential step to help stop the spread of Covid-19. However, it’s important to use masks safely and hygienically to prevent cross-contamination and ensure that you’re wearing a face mask that offers ultimate protection. 

When wearing a medical or disposable face mask, there are some vital dos and don’ts to consider before choosing and wearing a face mask in public. We’ve put together this handy infographic to help summarise this advice: 

How to safely wear a mask infographic 1 How to safely wear a mask infographic 2


What face mask is right for me?

Now that wearing a face mask in shops and on public transport is compulsory, it’s important to choose a mask that is comfortable and offers complete protection. Our top picks for face masks is the Nano-Silicon Reusable and Eco-friendly face mask. Click here to find out more

Which face mask should I choose and why?

face masks blog

Now that it’s compulsory to wear a face mask in shops, galleries and on public transport, it’s vital to have a face mask as part of your daily essentials. However, it is equally important to choose a face mask that will offer you protection against bacteria and airborne pathogens and one that is comfortable enough to last a long time (after all, it’s been a long time since we’ve been allowed to go on a shopping spree right?)

Our top pick for face masks to help keep you protected and cool during this hot weather is the Nano-Silicon Reusable and Eco-friendly face mask and here’s why:


Firstly, what are Nano-Silicon Face Masks? 

Let’s get technical: the photocatalytic antimicrobial surface of the mask has 25 nanometers diameter of nano silicon on each of the three mask layers which absorb light and produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These powerful microbiocides can kill and bacteria and other harmful pathogens by breaking down the bacteria cell wall and attacking their DNA, ensuring they die and cannot reproduce.

Each mask has 3 layers of nano-silicon fabric with the antibacterial surface to prevent cross-contamination each time the mask is put on or removed.  They are made from 100% cotton which means it’s comfortable and breathable. The cotton is biodegradable and recyclable reducing the environmental impact that disposable masks can cause. The mask can kill 99% of bacteria on contact and the masks can be worn for up to 24 hours or for several hours per day over 3-8 days and there are no bad odours due to the bacterial coating. 

Nano-Silicon Face Masks


How long will a Nano-Silicon mask last?

One mask can last at least 6 months so they are a highly cost-effective solution. Tests have proved that the mask is still 99.9% bactericidal effective after 50 washes. Great value and great for the environment as less waste that you’d find with a surgical mask.


How do Nano-Silicon face masks offer more protection than other masks? 

Convenient & Reusable 

Whilst most other cotton and reusable face masks need to be washed after every use, the Nano-Silicon face mask can be worn for up to 24 hours or for several hours per day over 3-8 days and there are no bad odours due to its antibacterial self-cleaning properties. 


Safety & Cross-contamination

Throughout Covid-19, there’s been an ongoing worry that bacteria, viruses and other pathogens remain on face masks which we then touch and this causes the pathogens to quickly spread to your hands, face and key touchpoint areas. Unlike other masks, the Nano-Silicon face mask tackles this problem by providing a self-cleaning surface which instantly kills 99% of any bacteria that comes into contact with the mask. This then also helps to prevent the risk of cross-contamination when the mask is removed. 


Help protect our environment 

Most disposable face masks are made from polypropylene which is hard to recycle and takes decades to decay. The Nano-Silicon face mask is 100% cotton which means it is biodegradable, recyclable and reduces the environmental impact that single-use masks cause. Nano-Silicon masks have no added bleach, fluorescent agents or chemical additives and one mask can last for at least 6 months!

For more information on the Nano-Silicon face masks or to stay protected for you or your employees, head over to the Quills web store here: Colours available include: black, blue, pale green and branded options are available too.