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Logomark Eco Flyer

31 Mar

New flyer of Earth Day ideas from Logomark.

Featured items are

Solo® Re:vive Mini Backpack

Huron Recycled Cotton Drawstring Tote

Albany Bamboo Notebook & Pen

Perka® Castellana 6-Piece Steel Straw & Utensil Set

Huron Recycled Cotton Tote

Charlie Plunge-Action Ballpoint / Stylus / Mood Pen

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

RuMe® Recycled

30 Mar

Gemline now has RuMe® Recycled products in their line. These RuMe® Recycled are new for 2021. They are also really nice. Proforma can decorate RuMe® Recycled bags with your brand or artwork. Minimum orders are low at 24 bags.

“RuMe®, short for ReUseMe, is the provider of premium, everyday accessories geared toward creating an organized way of living. Designed with environmentally conscious consumers in mind who don’t want to sacrifice style and functionality for sustainability.”

Take a look at the video from Gemline. Please contact us for specs, design layouts, and virtual samples.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

Inspiring Ideas for Earth Day

17 Mar

Inspiring Ideas for Earth Day from Raining Rose.

Sustainable, natural and organic. Consider your Earth Day promos covered. 🌍 We have eco-friendly products with lasting power that won’t end up in the trash.

Idea #1: Connect with eco-conscious audiences. More people are reaching for products that can be recycled or made with sustainable materials – we have a product that achieves both! Clients can showcase their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint while promoting their name. We recommend: Sustainabalm (as low as $0.95)

Speak to the importance of organic ingredients. Ingredients that are certified to be good for you and the planet are becoming more and more important to clients and their brand values. Representing their brand with a high-quality, retail product made with 95% organic ingredients will leave a lasting impression.

We recommend: EOS Lip Balm (on sale for as low as $2.81)

How to use it: Reach your audience with a brand boosting mailer.

Target Markets: Eco-friendly beauty salons, organic nursery/garden centers, organic catering businesses.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

EARTH DAY 2021 Sales Flyer

26 Feb

EARTH DAY 2021 Sales Flyer from Magnet Group

Flyer

If you are interested in these products to promote your business, or if you wish to see samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

New Eco-Friendly Versions Of Popular Bags

24 Feb

 

Bungalow RPET Foldable Shopper Tote

Bullet sent us a note this morning announcing that a number of their most popular bag styles will now also be done in recycled poly as part of their ECOSMART line.

Specifically, the new recycled content bags are;

Oriole RPET Drawstring Bag – The Oriole RPET Drawstring Bag includes an open main compartment with a cinching rope closure and reinforced bottom corner tabs. This bag is manufactured from 100% recycled 210d polyester made from water bottles.

Robin RPET Drawstring Bag – The Robin RPET Drawstring Bag has a large main compartment with a cinching rope closure. The zippered front pocket also features an earbud port and reinforced corner tabs. This bag is manufactured from 100% recycled 210d polyester made from water bottles.

Hipster Recycled rPET Fanny Pack – The Hipster Recycled rPET Fanny Pack is as cool as they come with a zippered main compartment and an adjustable waist strap and buckle. The belt extends to be about 47in. This fanny pack is made from recycled water bottles.

Bungalow RPET Foldable Shopper Tote – The Bungalow RPET Foldaway Shopper Tote has an open main compartment with double handles and a unique fold-away function that gathers into a corner with drawstring closure. This tote is made from 100% recycled 210d polyester made from water bottles and the material is easily wipeable to protect against germs.

All off the bags are part of the partnership with 1% For The Planet, where one percent of sales will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to protecting the planet.

If you are interested in these products to promote your business, or if you wish to see samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

Eco Gifts For Virtual Conferences And Tradeshows

22 Feb

Online Events Reduce Your Footprint – And So Can The Gifts, article present by PCNA Eco Style.

January is about more than trying to stick with New Year’s resolutions. It’s also a big month for conferences, tradeshows and sales meetings.

Now that those events are moving to virtual platforms, people are discovering that hosting them online has some advantages – for one thing, it opens up the event to more presenters and attendees, who no longer have to worry about scheduling conflicts or the time, effort and expense required for travel.

Another huge benefit of going virtual? It eliminates the environmental impact of bringing together hundreds or thousands of people:

+ No travel to and from event.

+ No lighting, heat or AC for the venue.

+ No heaping mounds of trash destined for a landfill.

Sustainability and eco-consciousness emerged as big trends in 2020, so promoting 2021 virtual events as a win for the environment makes a lot of sense – starting with an eco-friendly swag bag. And as a bonus, all the products you’re about to see are part of our 1% For The Planet program, meaning one percent of sales are contributed to environmental nonprofits.

Pretty cool, huh?

Dege Eco Knit Half Zip | 18306 (M) and 98306 (W)

Want to feel good about what you’re wearing? This half-zip is made from recycled polyester AND it looks great. The convertible collar gives you two different ways to wear it. It also has moisture-wicking, snag-resistant, wash-and-wear fabric with UPF 40+ protection (light colors UPF 15-24) and an anti-microbial finish to keep you feeling fresh.

Can’t have a killer swag bag without really cool apparel. Trend-right style and casual comfort make the Dege a standout, but what’s even better is that it’s made with more than 30% recycled polyester, taking plastic waste and turning it into something you can feel good about wearing.

 

Cougar Wheat Straw Ballpoint | SM-4482

The Cougar Wheat Straw Ballpoint features 40% wheat straw barrel. Click action mechanism. Black ink cartridge with 1.0mm pen tip. 800m writing length. Through a partnership with 1% For The Planet one percent of sales of this and all EcoSmart products will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to protecting the planet.

Here’s the thing about people doing virtual events: They can’t take notes on their laptop! So a pen and notebook really come in handy. (We’ll get to the notebook in a second.) The Cougar Ballpoint has a barrel partly made with sturdy, sustainable wheat straw instead of planet-harming plastic.

5” x 7” EcoFlex PerfectBook | PEC-700EB

Flexible, wraparound 100% recycled paper covers in Natural or Black. Includes 1-color foil or blind deboss imprint. 100 sheets of 60# lined EcoFiller, or blank. Graph or dot grid available for an upcharge (contact sales for pricing). Perfect-bound spine

OK, about that notebook. The EcoFlex features a flexible wraparound cover made with 100% recycled paper. In other words, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for your eco-friendly swag bag.

Wheat Straw Storage With Utensils | SM-2226

The Wheat Straw Food Storage with Utensils comes equipped with a band to hold the lid and utensils in place. Container is microwave safe. Do not put band or utensils in microwave. Through a partnership with 1% For The Planet one percent of sales of this and all EcoSmart products will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to protecting the planet.

Food storage is another gift that’s big right now, with more people packing lunch as part of the new routine for 9 to 5. And in case you’re wondering, the wheat straw container is microwave-safe.

Recycled 5oz Cotton Twill Tote | SM-5830

This recycled cotton twill tote is great for any convention and helps promote corporate social responsibility. It is manufactured from pre-consumer waste generated by factories during the fabric cutting process. Approximately 70%-80% recycled cotton and 20-30% RPET. Through a partnership with 1% For The Planet one percent of sales of this and all EcoSmart products will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to protecting the planet.

Naturally, you’re going to need a nice bag for everything. This trendy twill tote is made with pre-consumer recycled cotton, which is material that’s left over from the manufacture of other cotton goods. So instead of going to a landfill, that extra cotton is turned into an eco-friendly alternative to plastic conference totes.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

There’s a green wave rising in the promotional products industry.

15 Feb

Compelled by evolving end-client tastes, a desire to increase efficiency, and a will to reduce the impact of industry on the planet, a growing number of top promo suppliers are ramping up efforts to operate more sustainably. {reposting from ASI article}

hand holding eco-friendly plant with light glowing light bulb

It’s much more than a trend or even a priority. It’s a tectonic shift occurring within promo and across industries that will fundamentally change and improve production, while also leading to more products being made with earth-friendlier content. Underway for years, the movement is poised to accelerate both in the short- and long-term.

“In the years ahead, people will choose better products made in a sustainable way, not more products,” says Jeremy Lott, president and CEO of Issaquah, WA-based SanMar (asi/84863), the largest supplier in promo.

“Better products work harder for our end-users,” he continues. “They get worn more, make more impressions. Quality, sustainably-made product is a positive for our industry and is here to stay.”

Suppliers have certainly been backing up their promises with measurable gains. It’s a stark contrast to the misuse of terms like “green,” “eco-friendly” and “sustainability” as marketing buzzwords. But what does sustainability really mean?

Under the EPA’s broad definition, it’s conducting activities in a manner that ensures that human impact on the environment is sufficiently mitigated in pursuit of the protection of natural resources and of future generations’ access to water, material, resources, and social and economic requirements.

In a business sense, particularly as it applies to manufacturing and operations, sustainability is creating and/or providing product through economically sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts. Those actions conserve energy and natural resources and also protect employees, community and consumers.

Suppliers are making these sustainability commitments because they believe they’re the right thing to do – and because consumers are demanding it. The millennial and Gen Z generational cohorts – which are, broadly speaking and taken together, those in their later 30s on down to 10 year-olds – are particularly keen on green.

For instance, a UNiDAYS survey found that 93% of Gen Z members believe that brands have an obligation to take a stand on environmental issues. With estimated buying power of more than $140 billion, that’s a perspective brands ignore at their own peril. “GenZers are passionate about environmental causes,” says Deep Patel, a serial entrepreneur and GenZ member.

S&S Activewear: Make an Imprint

One of the recent headline-grabbing examples of sustainability in promo comes from S&S Activewear (asi/84358), the third largest supplier in the industry. In January, the Illinois-headquartered company announced that it had completed a two-year long project that involved installing solar panels at its six U.S. facilities, which cover about 3.5 million square feet collectively.

Drone footage shows the solar panels on S&S Activewear’s U.S. facilities.

Clean energy generated from the 2,456 high-performance panels will prevent the equivalent of more than four million pounds of CO2 being released into the atmosphere annually, while also powering S&S’s operations. At two of the six locations – in Nevada and Bolingbrook, IL – solar will provide nearly 100% of the energy necessary to run the distribution centers.

The multimillion-dollar project was a monumental undertaking that featured an array of challenges, such as navigating the different restrictions and incentives from each state, municipality and utility where S&S distribution centers are located. It also entailed getting facility landlords on board, not to mention the technical aspects of ensuring that high-quality solar solutions were being installed.

S&S’s solar initiative is part of its broader “Make an Imprint” program, which governs the firm’s corporate, social and environmental efforts for making the communities where it operates better and mitigating deleterious environmental impacts.

S&S leaders, which credit solar firm PurePoint Energy with being an invaluable partner that helped bring the project to fruition, say the effort was well worth it.

“There’s no question that consumers across all end markets expect their supply chains to be more environmentally focused,” says Frank Myers, chief financial and operating officer at S&S. “The brands we partner with are focused on sustainability, as are we. Our company values having fun – and a big part of that is enjoying the outdoors with our friends, families, vendors and customers. As a company, we’re inspired to operate more responsibly and preserve our environment for future generations.”

Gildan: Genuine Responsibility

The fifth-largest supplier by revenue in the North American promo industry, Gildan (asi/56842) has been a longtime leader with environmental initiatives.

Stat about Gildan's renewable energy

The Montreal-headquartered company’s “Genuine Responsibility” is a social, environmental and governance program that guides how the firm’s apparel is designed, made and sold. For some 16 years, Gildan has implemented specific tools and programs to track its environmental impacts and to ensure its sustainability objectives are met.

The approach has born fruit. In 2020, Gildan ranked 32nd on The Wall Street Journal’s new ranking of the Top 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies. It was one of only three apparel companies to make the list. Also, for the eighth year running, Gildan made the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices as the only apparel manufacturer included on the North American index.

In December, Gildan was named as a top performer in CDP’s Climate Change Report, earning an A- score that placed the company in CDP’s leadership band for a second consecutive year. CDP is a not-for-profit charity running a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.

Gildan makes the details of its sustainability progress available annually in publicly available reports and its Genuine Responsibility microsite. For example, in 2019 Gildan decreased its GHG emissions by 10.5% compared with 2018. Also, Gildan reduced its wastewater/effluent intensity (total effluent volume by kg of production) in 2019 by 14% when compared to 2015.

“Our ownership of our facilities and our expertise in making the products we sell allow us to implement leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into every stage of the process,” Gildan says in a statement. “This allows us to improve the impacts we have on our people, their communities and the environment where we operate.”

SanMar: A Canvas for Good

SanMar has been building on sustainability efforts in recent years, something that came into full bloom with the 2019 launch of “Canvas for Good.” The corporate social responsibility initiative details SanMar’s goals, actions and tangible progress in areas that range from ethical sourcing and charitable outreach, to diversity/inclusion and environmental impact.

“The apparel industry has not done a good job of being good stewards of the planet. For our children and grandchildren’s sake, it is critical we change that.”Jeremy Lott, SanMar

Released last month, the latest Canvas for Good report features some exciting achievements on the sustainability front, says Lott. Through mitigation efforts, SanMar has reduced its total energy usage by 7% from 2016 through 2019, while pairing down energy intensity output during the same period by 23%. Similarly, CO2 emissions intensity is down 20% over the four-year span.

member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, SanMar has been making sustainability progress through smart logistics. The company services eight of its 10 distribution centers via intermodal transport (which utilizes methods such as train and ships in addition to trucks), which reduces emissions. The supplier ships domestically with carriers that have green initiatives and/or are SmartWay Partners, an EPA program that helps companies advance supply chain sustainability. Among other conscientious steps, SanMar runs a packing program that batches individual shipments bound for the same destination, thereby reducing the number of trucks picking up from the supplier’s distribution centers each day.

There are product innovations too, like the District Re-Tee and Re-Fleece, which are made entirely from polyester that’s been produced with recycled plastic bottles. SanMar has also been working with supply chain partners to develop new dyeing technology that reduces waste and water use. “In the coming years, we are committed to developing even more want-to-wear products that reduce our impact,” SanMar executives say in the Canvas for Good report.

Man wearing Ruby red Sanmar t-shirt

SanMar’s Re-Tee is 100% recycled fabric and never re-dyed.

SanMar does acknowledge that its water use increased between 2016 and 2019, mostly due to the opening of a new distribution center in Arizona (2017) and expanding a facility in Texas. Still, SanMar is working to reduce water consumption. As just one example: At the new and expanded locations, the company has installed evaporative cooling systems that evaporate water into the air to provide an energy-efficient cooling method. More is in the works, including establishing a baseline water usage on the expanded distribution network that can then be worked against to reduce consumption.

“Through making good on sustainability efforts, we will have product with better quality made in the most efficient way possible,” says Lott, who ranked first in ASI’s 2020 Power 50. “We all share this one small planet and the apparel industry has not done a good job of being good stewards of the planet. For our children and grandchildren’s sake, it is critical we change that.”

Koozie Group: Keep It. Give It.

Formerly known as BIC Graphic and currently the seventh largest supplier in promo, Clearwater, FL-based Koozie Group (asi/40480) announced in January the launch of “Keep It. Give It.” The program is an expansion and greater formalization of the company’s social impact and sustainability commitment. It focuses on areas like diversity/inclusion, safety/social responsibility, environmental stewardship and more.

ASI Media’s “21 Predictions for Promo in 2021” feature article asserts that the industry will increase sustainability efforts this year. That appears to be happening.

A key component of the eco aspects of the initiative is Koozie Group’s KG Factor, a designation debuted in December that identifies products that lessen environmental impact because they’re kept for a long time (until they break) or gifted. Koozie Group worked with the firm Hanover Research to conduct an impartial end-user survey to identify items in its product portfolio that have the KG Factor. There are currently 510 such products.

“Four out of five people would keep or give a KG Factor product because it was useful, functional, durable and attractive,” says Melissa Ralston, chief marketing officer at Koozie Group. “About 85% of respondents said they would keep these items until they break.”

Going forward, 75% of new products that Koozie Group brings to market will have the KG Factor designation, the supplier asserts. Through design and quality, “By 2024, our goal is to have at least half of our entire product assortment carry the KG Factor,” notes Ralston.

The supplier’s green efforts go well beyond just the designation. They additionally include elements like recycling 83% of waste, making more than 100 products with recycled materials, recycling 4,379 tons of cardboard and paper annually, ensuring 100% of sourced outgoing corrugate packaging is SFI-Certified and made from 100% recyclable and/or recycled materials, and earning the ISO 14001 certification for its facilities in Clearwater and Sleepy Eye, MN, which confirms a business is executing ethical environmental practices on a daily basis.

Alphabroder: The Green Team

Another company that’s upping its eco efforts is alphabroder (asi/34063).

The industry’s second-largest supplier recently announced the launch of “Green Team,” an initiative that includes 20 people from across departments who will work to create what the Trevose, PA-based firm describes as a meaningful and measurable corporate sustainability platform.

Andrea Lara Routzahn“Sustainability is moving from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have.’”Andrea Lara Routzahn, alphabroder

“With Green Team, we aim to enhance and build upon all the good things many of our current brand partners, service providers and supply chain partners are already doing really well, and to help others improve their practices,” says Andrea Lara Routzahn, senior vice president of portfolio and supplier management at alphabroder. “We want to make it easy and informative for our customers to learn more about sustainability and curate our sustainable products and brands. Our goal is to be transparent and honest.”

While announced in January, the Green Team began work the previous May. So far, it’s completed two important phases of work, says Routzahn. The first phase focused on research, education and assessing the current state of the company in terms of sustainability. The second phase entailed learning from the first phase and creating recommendations and action plans for achieving green goals. The particulars are still being discussed among executives, but Routzahn expects there’ll be more details to share in the coming months. “Sustainability is moving from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have,’” says Routzahn. “Corporations and organizations that embrace and communicate their own sustainability initiatives want promotional products that align with their corporate sustainability identity.”

Eco Product Evolution

The intensified energy being devoted to sustainability isn’t just coming from promo’s biggest suppliers. Smaller and mid-sized suppliers are also stitching sustainability into the fabric of their business models.

Take Bagito (asi/37896), for instance. A certified B corporation, meaning the firm meets rigorous standards on social and environmental performance, the Santa Cruz, CA-based supplier’s products, which consist of reusable bags, are made from 100% recycled plastic or 100% organic/non-GMO cotton. Socially conscious, Bagito donates part of every sale to its sister nonprofit Power2Sustain.org, an environmental literacy project aimed at students.

Stat about eco-friendly products with thumbs up and green leaf

(ASI Research)

“People can sense that things are changing with our climate and natural world and are thinking more and more about what they can do personally to help,” says Bagito President Mitch Barlas. “I believe that desire to be of service in some small way to help our planet is driving end-users to look for and purchase promotional products that are both made from sustainable materials and are reusable and support sustainability in their daily lives.”

Sustainability is also at the heart of Storm Creek’s (asi/89879) business. The Eagan, MN-based apparel supplier has upgraded 75% of its product line to include recycled materials. The green-focused product innovation is best on display in Storm Creek’s Eco Collection, each piece in which contains at least 35% material that’s been made from recycled plastic bottles. Storm Creek donates 1% of every purchase from the Eco Collection to nonprofits focused on environmental protection through the 1% For the Planet movement.

In this video, Storm Creek explains its commitment to sustainability. The video, released in 2020, mentions that 2.5 million plastic bottles have been deferred from landfills thanks to Storm Creek’s efforts. The number is now about 3 million.

As of this writing, Storm Creek’s eco initiatives had redirected more than 3 million plastic bottles from landfills into useful, attractive garments. Notably, many of the mills from which Storm Creek sources raw materials are Bluesign or Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they follow sustainable practices, including water conservation and using environmentally safe chemicals.

“In grand gestures and in quiet acts,” Storm Creek says, “we strive to do the right thing by our product, our customers, our communities and our planet.”

With the way the world is changing, there’s a growing likelihood that companies that fail to do the same will start to fall behind.

Modern Sprout Glow & Grow Live Well Gift Set

9 Feb

The Modern Sprout Glow & Grow Live Well Gift Set is a reusable candle and planter kit at can easily be sent direct to clients, prospects, or employees. It is a great pick-me-up project, as well as an item recipients will hang onto and reuse.

First, start with the candle. The 12 oz scented soy-blend candle has about 78 hours of burn time. Once the candle life is over, the Modern Sprout Glow & Grow Live Well Gift Set pivots into a desk top grower. From the website, “Burn, plant, and grow! This ceramic candle vessel transforms into a planter after the flame has burned down and includes a complete kit to grow aloe. The grow kit components are tucked in the bottom of the box and include non-GMO seeds, soilless grow medium, plant food, activated carbon and instructions for success.”

The imprint area on the Modern Sprout Glow & Grow Live Well Gift Set is 1.25″W x 0.5″H on the front or back of the planter. Laser engrave is also an option, as well as personalization, which is a nice addition for gifts.

Three mixes provide three color options for the container; blue green ceramic herb garden with basil seeds, amber ceramic desert oasis with aloe seeds, and burgundy ceramic wildflower with daisy seeds.

The Modern Sprout Glow & Grow Live Well Gift Set are assembled in the USA of domestic and imported components.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

Speaker made from Wheat Straw – Why not?

14 Jan

Great full color speak top imprint.

Strong gift box vibe.

Easily portable.

The new Frenzy Wheat Straw Bluetooth Speaker from PCNA is another example of promotional items made from wheat straw mixed with polypropylene. This new material is being used for more and more items in the promotional products market, however these is the first speaker I have seen.

Description from the vendor;

The Frenzy Wheat Straw Bluetooth Speaker got your attention. The Frenzy Bluetooth Speaker case is made from 51% wheat straw, giving it a natural on trend look! The speaker produces crystal clear sound at over 1.5hrs at max volume. The instruction manual and giftbox of the Frenzy Bluetooth Speaker is made from FSC Certified recycled paper. Bluetooth Version 5.0. Through a partnership with 1% For The Planet, one percent of sales of this and all EcoSmart products will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to protecting the planet

I love the full color imprinting possible on these speakers. I am also a fan of the included packaging. And once again, this is another product that is part of the 1% For The Planet partnership.

The speakers are beige only (but again they have full color decoration on top) which is a neutral color that works with most company logos. Their size is 1.96″ H X 2.2″ W X 2.2″ D.

How does the Frenzy Wheat Straw Bluetooth Speakesound. Really good actually. Go ahead and request a sample, and let us give you a chance to hear the sound for yourself.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

 

Promo Buyer Trends For 2020

9 Jan

Some trends spend years growing incrementally before reaching a tipping point. Other times, a well-placed tweet or celebrity endorsement is all that’s needed to send a trend into hyperdrive. Keeping up can be like a roller coaster ride.

“With the speed and impact that social media has come to have on our industry, we sometimes don’t even know what to expect or plan for next,” says Michael Wenger, co-owner of Top 40 distributor Quality Logo Products (asi/302967). “To say we have all been on our toes would be an understatement.”

Sure, some trends may disappear in a flash (thanks for stopping by, fidget spinners); often though, they just keep building. Trends expert and speaker Daniel Levine says many of the same trends companies have seen in recent years will continue to grow in 2020.

“The most common question I’m asked is, where will that trend be in five years,” says Levine, director at the Avant-Guide Institute in New York City. “The answer is almost always, it will be more intense than it is today. That’s the nature of trends. And trends have a lot of momentum. They usually keep coming and get stronger, until something big gets in their way. All of these trends we’ve seen churning up in business will continue to get more intense, and that’s very much true in the promo products industry.

Sustainable Products

Sustainable products are resonating with young buyers, such as this reusable wheat straw kit (5224) from Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125); hitpromo.net. The straws are composed of reclaimed stalks from wheat and come in a protective travel case.

Adds Levine: “Take a look at what’s been successful in the last year or two, and take that to the next degree.”

Distributors and suppliers say they’re looking forward to growth next year, and look to accomplish that by taking advantage of a few key trends. Here are their top predictions for 2020.

Social Responsibility
Younger consumers are increasingly throwing their money behind brands and products that stand for something. According to the consulting firm IEG, cause sponsorship continues to grow and was expected to hit $2.3 billion in the past year.

Distributors and suppliers say this will continue to create opportunities for the promotional products industry. “Customers want to feel good about their purchases and are asking for products that align with their values,” says Pam Stauffer, director of design for Top 40 supplier Gemline (asi/56070).

Stephanie Friedman, vice president of sales and marketing for City Paper Co. (asi/162267) in Birmingham, AL, has seen a similar phenomenon play out. “There are many companies that want to express their social activism or their social responsibility,” she says. “It’s been such a big area where we’ve seen success: how promotional products can give back to their communities and their employees.”

Sustainability is one of the defining social causes that’s impacting the industry. At the recent ASI Power Summit, Florence Mosnier of the International Partnership for Premiums & Gifts led a session on emerging global trends, and called sustainability “more than just a fad.”

Mixing Materials

Mixing of materials is elevating the perception of promo products and giving them an aura of “handmade” quality. One example is this ceramic two-tone mug with wood lid (1626-35) from Leed’s (asi/66887); pcna.com/leeds

“We believe,” she notes, “there’s only a future for companies that commit to sustainability.”

That impact has translated most directly to single-use plastic items. Products like buildable wheat straw kits and metal drinkware are becoming more popular as municipalities ban plastic bags and straws. “Any time a government mandates a change, it’s going to have an impact,” Stauffer says. Friedman predicts that trend could continue into plasticware and other products. “First it was the cups. Then it was the straws,” she says. “The plates and napkins and the utensils will follow the trend. Our space will respond to it with materials to combat that.”

High Quality
The effort to reduce needless waste is driving another trend in the promo industry: the demand for higher quality items. “This idea of quality and heritage and something that has a feeling of being handmade is something I’m seeing in many different industries and appearing in advertising from a lot of brands right now,” says Levine. “People are looking for more meaningful products and experiences. Consumers want things that are more durable.”

Currently, consumers have the dollars to back up that desire. Low unemployment, rising wages and a high level of consumer confidence will push retail sales to $3.8 trillion this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

“People are willing to buy better quality items,” Friedman says. “Really looking at the quality of a product rather than the price is something we’re definitely seeing, which is interesting given the whole tariff situation. More people are willing to invest a little bit more in a piece that has longevity, and that will be able to sustain some usage.”

“Customers want to feel good about their purchases and are asking for products that align with their values.”Pam Stauffer, Gemline

Everyday products that fit consumers’ lifestyles and take their cues from retail definitely fit in with this trend. Thomas Trudel, marketing coordinator for Spector & Co. (asi/88631), says the Canadian supplier is marketing products like its popular Ashbury bag line by highlighting their functionality and lifestyle appeal.

“Our Ashbury bags have been highly influenced by all the travel-friendly ones coming out in the retail market,” Trudel says. “There are wonderful hybrid bags catering to one- to two-day trips as well as three- to five-day trips that we’re calling Overnighters and Weekenders.”

The use of mixed materials offers a hand-made aesthetic that is resonating with buyers. Examples include ceramic drinkware with wood or cork accents, or cotton caps and canvas bags with leather embellishments.

“You see that in fashion, and it’s carrying over into the hard good materials, which is really exciting,” Friedman says. “It’s a nice contrast of materials being used to do the same old thing but in a new, dynamic way.”

Memorable Experiences
Want to stand out in the crowded field? Experiential products are in demand.

For International Chocolate Day in September, Spector & Co. created concept pieces in which it transformed powerbanks and journals into chocolate bars. “The efforts placed behind these types of products are instantly apparent and significantly impactful to brand awareness and separating them from the noise,” says Trudel. “We could’ve taken the International Chocolate Day logo and debossed it on the journal and called it a day, but we’re more fun than that! We want our partners to follow suit and push their creativity to the next level.”

Chocolate Day

Companies are creating unique products and turning them into a memorable experience. For International Chocolate Day, Spector & Co. (asi/88631); spectorandco.com; decorated power banks (T1233) to look like chocolate bars.

City Paper used its expertise in custom packaging to create a “moment experience” ahead of the Super Bowl for an advertising agency that works with Anheuser-Busch. The package was molded to fit two Bud Light cans and a football; when the box was opened, the user could hear the roar of the crowds.

“The moment of opening the box created an experience for the end-user and was a very cool moment of interactivity,” Friedman says. “It really drove home creating the feeling of being at a Super Bowl and hearing the crowd roar, and what that feels like. How do we take something as simple as a box and elevate it to create that moment? Maybe it’s video. Maybe having virtual reality glasses that take the user through an experience. There are so many different ways we can elevate it.”

Crissa DeBree is a contributing writer for Advantages.

If you are interested in these products to promote your own business, or if you wish to see some samples, email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

And as always, if you really want to do something sustainable, do not buy promotional products. All products are consumption at one level or another. So if you must buy, 1) Buy local (i.e. made in USA), 2) Buy useful, long lasting items, 3) Buy sustainable/recycled/recyclable products if possible.

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