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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.

Printing and Sustainability

19 Nov

Got an email from FOREMOST GRAPHICS this morning, outlining the TWO SIDES! paper initiative. Worth taking a look if you have concerns about commercial printing and the environment.

Print and paper have been the preferred communication medium for more than 2,000 years. By gaining a better understanding of printing’s environmental impact today, we’re positioning print and paper to continue as the communication medium of choice.

The Two Sides initiative explodes the myths and sets out the facts about print media’s sustainability in a clear and concise manner. By helping people gain an understanding of why Print and Paper is a versatile and sustainable communications medium.

Two Sides is telling the sustainability story of print and paper. By tackling the relevant environmental and social issues head-on with factual, authoritative information that exposes the myths, explains our industry’s true sustainability and gives stakeholders a solid foundation for making well-informed decisions about the use of print and paper.

Check out how Two-Sides can help clear the air on Printing and the Environment:

TWO SIDES!

Might also want to take a look at their fact sheet page, https://twosidesna.org/Two-Sides-Fact-Sheet.

If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to lower the impact of your promotional printing, email info@proformagreen.com for information.

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.

What is Vegan Leather?

31 Oct

LVL Pounches are one of many items now being made from vegan leather.

The team at Pop! Promos has expanded their line of products with in a number of creative ideas made from Vegan Leather of LVL. These are Pop! Promos items, so of course expect lots of color, lots of fun, but what exactly is meant by Vegan Leather? I asked.

The term vegan leather is one that is relatively new to the promotional products industry. Simply put, vegan leather is a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional leather. Most vegan leather is made using plastic-based polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane materials. In the past, the term “pleather” (plastic leather) was used because of the makeup of the base materials.

While it’s acknowledged that the use of plastics still has drawbacks, in comparison to the resources and waste output of creating leather, it still creates less of an environmental impact, in addition to being cruelty free.

Vegan leather also offers the consumer a durable, high-quality material which can be decorated in a number of exciting and versatile ways. From full-color detailed imagery to solid patterns, vegan leather is an excellent canvas for branding opportunities!

Low Maintenance: In addition to being stylish, the crosshatch texture of LVL products is easier to wipe clean than traditional pebbled leather, so your full-color designs will stay brighter and last longer.

Luxurious Feel: The LVL Line is crafted with high-quality vegan leather with a fashionable crosshatch texture. Modeled after traditional Saffiano leather, the elevated, dimensional texture of our vegan leather feels just as luxurious as it looks.

Cruelty Free: Made from durable crossline PVC, the entire LVL Line offers an animal-free, ethical alternative to your favorite leather goods, with the added bonus of full-color customization possibilities at an attractive price.

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.

Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler

2 Jul
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MATERIALS / DIMENSIONS: Bamboo Fiber, Stainless Steel / 3.25″L 6.75″H 3.25″W

The 13.5 oz Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler is a bio-composite of 70% bamboo fibers and other natural materials. The stainless steel interior and push on lid for added hot and cold retention and the base of tumbler features nonslip grip for extra stability.

The Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler is BPA Free, PVC free, and Phthalate free. Just don’t put in the microwave.

For companies with a natural theme to their brand, the Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler is a great marketing and promotional peice to tie into your brand identitiy, for employee gifts or sales call leave behinds.

The imprint size on the Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler is 5″w x 4″h with a one color imprint maximum. Laser engrave on the tumbler is also an option. Decoration is available on both the body and the lid. And the Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler ships with a gift box.

If you are interested in the Gaia Bamboo Fiber Tumbler. to promote your own business, or if you wish to get a sample, 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.

Rain, Rain, go away

31 Oct

51% Post-Consumer Recycled PET.

Please, enough with all the rain already. Or maybe we just make the rain work a little for your marketing plans?

The 48″ EcoSmart® Stick Umbrella from LEEDs is a 48′ canopy umbrella made of 51% recycled material, with a full wood handle, shaft, and tips. Those wooden touches add a classic feel and look to the 48″ EcoSmart® Stick Umbrella, and that enough makes it stand out as a promotional item. The extra bonus of 51% recycled material, is , well, a bonus.

Add you logo to the 48″ EcoSmart® Stick Umbrella, plus mayeb a message, like “I Recycle’, or  “Class From Trash” or “Your Old Water Bottle is Keeping the Rain Off of My Head”, or perhaps something shorter, but you get the idea.

This is a automatic opening umbrella, and it comes with a case that includes a should strap (which is also made from recycled content).

If you are interested in the 48″ EcoSmart® Stick Umbrella to promote your own business, or to get a sample, 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.

USBGB Bamboo Drive

3 Oct

Imprint on cap or body, or both.

Lose that plastic casing, and go with bamboo for your USB drives. It is a nice mix of the natural and technology. Bamboo is a bit better than the plastic casing most USB drives come in.

The Bamboo Drive from All-in-One comes in memory sizes from 512 MB – 16 GB. Decoration on the casing can be color screen print or laser engrave.

I still like Bamboo drives as a simple way to mail, or handout, a lot of information. Videos, music, sale presentations, pre-loading the drives can easily be done at the factory.

Any marketing campaign working on a warm, natural feel, will benefit from the use of a natural casing flashdrive.

If you are interested in Bamboo USBs to promote your own business, or to get a sample, 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.

Bamboo Wine Bottle and Glasses Valet

4 Sep

The bamboo wine valet is perfect for showcasing your favorite bottle of wine and two glasses. Convenient for carrying wine bottle and glasses all in one hand.

If you have followed this blog for a while you know that we like bamboo.

Bamboo is basically grass so we consider it a sustainable building material because it is easy to grow and easy to harvest.

Inside of the promotional products industry there’s often a bamboo equivalent for a lot of the plastic items out there.

Take for example this nifty wine glass holder from Leeds.

The Bamboo Wine Bottle and Glasses Valet provides a very clean look for delivering a bottle and glasses to an outside patio setting. Whether you are the patio (i.e restaurant) or the bottle (vineyard), this is a solid piece that can be used as a point of purchase item, gift, or just used in daily service.

The decoration option on the Bamboo Wine Bottle and Glasses Valet is a center laser engrave (0.75″ H x 3.00″ W), and there are optional laser initials areas about the circular wine stem holds.

Because of the flat design the Bamboo Wine Bottle and Glasses Valet is an easy to ship item, so it could even be used in a mailing campaign.

Take one out for a test drive of the last of the summer wine.

If you are interested in the Bamboo Wine Bottle and Glasses Valet to promote your own business, 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.

FLYER: Celebrate Earth Day With Wall Sprouts Blossom Kits!

16 Mar

flyer

If you are interested in Wall Sprouts Blossom Kits to promote your own business, or to get a sample, 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.

North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve shirt

14 Mar

Fabric: 2.4 oz./yd2/80gsm. Moisture wicking performance. 54% recycled polyester 46% polyester mechanical stretch ripstop. Features: textured ripstop with mechanical stretch. structured collar stand. stylized front and back yokes. heat seal label. Front and back princess seams.

Organic coffee outfit looking for new staff uniforms? Don’t know why, but when I saw the North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve Shirt in the new Oak Moss color, I thought of coffee bars.

Of course there is also a good chance I am just a bit tired and wishing for caffeine.

So, the North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve shirt, as well as having likely the longest name for a polo I have ever seen, is made from 54% recycled polyester, plus a remaining 46% polyester mechanical stretch ripstop. What we have here is a performance polo, with moisture wicking properties, that is made from recycled milk cartons, water bottles, and other plastic.

Pretty neat right, and a perfect fit for an company working on their sustainable branding.

The North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve shirt run sizes XS – 3XL. They are custom embroidered in the USA at the factory. Color options are Black, Red, Night Blue, Oak Moss, and White.

There is a matching men’s companion available as well.

North End has been making exceptional clothing for the promotional industry for over a decade, and North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve shirt is a great addition to their line up.

If you are interested in North End Sport Red Ladies’ Charge Recycled Polyester Performance Short-Sleeve shirt to promote your own business, or to get a sample, 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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