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Pike Messenger Bag

5 Dec
Due to the nature of any recycled material, Alchemy bags, which are constructed of recycled bike tire inner tubes often show the wear and unique markings associated with them. The pictures represented may not be exactly identical to the products you receive.

Due to the nature of any recycled material, Alchemy bags, which are constructed of recycled bike tire inner tubes often show the wear and unique markings associated with them. The pictures represented may not be exactly identical to the products you receive.

Alchemy is now making a line of high style totes from recycled tires, actually bike tires to be exact. So if your business has anything to do with bike racing, bike manufacturing, bike events, or sales, your promotional items might just have arrived.

Take for example the Pike Messenger Bag. We recently ran a sample of this bag for the City of Arlington, Texas, Parks and Recreation department (which shows that your core business need not be bike related for these bags to still work for your brand). Each bag in the line really is just telling a story about what can be done with recycled materials. Completing that loop of the recycled story, there was trash, now there is a bag in its place.

Alchemy says each Pike Messenger Bag is made from 67% of their “Upcycled Material”. The eco-friendly bag is a medium sized messenger with a inner divider (15” laptop capable), waterproof exterior pocket, two internal pockets (plus pen slots), and internal key clip.

Constructed of upcycled inner tubes, the bags also boast reflective tape for nighttime visibility, adjustable shoulder strap made from upcycled seatbelt, and full front flap with Velcro® closure for extra security. Even the zipper pulls are recycled from the air valves of the bike inner tube.

They are a great size at 9″H x 14-1/2″w x 4-1/2″. Decoration is done via embrodiery of a PVC patch direct to the front cover of the flap. All bags bear the Alchemy brand AG logo, and come with a hagtag that tells the story of their creation.

All and all, very cool, very hip.

If you are interested in made in the Pike Messenger Bag to promote your own business, contact Proforma Green Marketing or email 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 if possible.

100% Recycled Credit Card Size Ice Scrapers

9 Dec

Credit Card Ice Scrapers

Here is another smart and practical promotional idea from Garyline that I think is great for this time of year, the 100% recycled material 3250 Credit Card Ice Scraper.

I have written before about the sustainable materials line from Garyline, and how it always seems to be practical as well as creative. Currently working with a pool maintenance client we got to talking about inexpensive ideas to keep their brand in front of their client during the winter months.

A simple idea presented at that meeting was to imprint the Credit Card Ice Scraper with two simple  taglines. Either, ‘Winter is Here, Is Your Hot Tub Ready’ for clients with hot tubs, or ‘Spring is Coming, Is Your Pool Ready’, for clients with pools. These items would be left during services scheduled for December, January, and February, and also given away/sold during the winter months at the client’s retail locations.

It is a simple idea to keep client’s name in front of their customers during this traditionally slow period for pool services, while at the same time reminding current and possible clients that pool maintenance is key to proper pool upkeep.

Made in the USA and Union printed, the Credit Card Ice Scrapper runs in both recycled materials and standard materials, with BLACK, ECO (TAN) and DARK GREEN the only color options available in the 100% recycled material. As the name suggests product size is about the size of a credit card at 3 3/8″W x 2 1/8″H. An optional keyring attachment is available as well.

If you are a promotional items distributor looking for more information on Garyline items Stu Schoenfeld is your contact at Garyline. If you are interested in the Credit Card Ice Scrapper for your own winter marketing contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

“Metalike” Union Made BPA-Free Tritan Bottles for the 4th

4 Jul

MXB34 - 36 oz. ShimmerZ Mountain Bottle

Garyline is now producing a line of what they are calling Metalike water bottles. These bottles are actually PBA-Free Tritan Copolyester, a very high grade of plastic from world-class resin manufacturer Eastman based in Tennessee.

As I have written before Tritan Copolyester is a type of plastic with several key characteristics including high degrees of clarity, toughness, heat resistance, and chemical resistance (no leaching to the liquid or vice versa). The Tritan Copolyester is the same high quality copolyester resin that is used by such retail brands as Nalgene and Camelback in their bottle lines.

So this new line of bottles from Garyline is giving you a really high quality, metal looking water bottle, that is less expensive, easier to clean, and much lighter than a stainless steel bottle.

With 16 styles to choose from the Garyline Metalike line have a style and price point for just about any target audience. With campaign season just around the corner Made In The USA water bottles will likely be in demand for campaign events and fundraisers.

Items like the MXB34 – 36 oz. ShimmerZ Mountain Bottle are a good representative of the complete line. This U.S. Made / Union Made 36 oz. Metallic Poly-Pure Mountain Bottle is molded with food-safe plastic, is dishwasher-safe, and of course BPA-free Co-polyester.

Colors available are Copper, Metallic Black, Metallic Blue, Metallic Lime Green, Metallic Red, and Silver. There is even a seasonal Metallic Pink that is currently on closeout.

What is not to love about this guy?

If you are a promotional items distributor looking for more information on Garyline items Stu Schoenfeld is your contact at Garyline. If you are interested in Garyline items to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

BPA-Free Coffee Tumblers Big In 2011

25 Feb

Blue 16 oz cup2go, 11 colors currently available

The latest attack on the disposable coffee cup from the promotional products industry is a new group of BPA-free plastic tumblers designed to look like paper but provide a reusable and brandable alternative.

These new mugs look a lot like the same unbranded products the public has seen at Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and other retailers. The idea is getting a reusable tumbler to market that acts more like the classic paper coffee cup, a light drinkware item, that fits the hand, and the car holder, in the same way as a paper cup.

In this category of reusable, BPA-Free tumblers, different vendors are approaching the idea from different angles. Some are going with an explosion of color, some with pre-prints, and some with a retake on the classic paper layout with paper wrap.

The 16 oz and 20 0z cup2go from The Express Line is a double wall plastic tumbler with threaded lid, and these guys are all about color. The cup2go currently is available in 11 very vibrant colors, including early morning favorites like Apple, Pink, and Yellow.

The 16 oz cup2go is available with a 3-3/4 x 3 x 8-1/2 imprint area, while the imprint area on the 20 oz is 4 x 3 x 8-1/2. Both models are dishwasher and microwave safe.

DA8166 16oz. Mighty Plastic Calendar Mug

For a pre-print approach we turn to the Debco 16oz. Mighty Plastic Mug, now available as the pre-printed DA8166 16oz. Mighty Plastic Calendar Mug, with 3” W x 1” H vertically on side imprint.

(The Mighty Plastic Mug is actually available in a number of trims, all of which stand 7″ H x 3.75″, and mostly run a 6.5” W x 3” H imprint area, and come with a twist top lid.)

The DA8166 16oz. Mighty Plastic Calendar Mug come pre-printed with a four-color process imprint of the 2011/2012 calendar. The pre-print idea has done very well for bags, and I expected it to quickly catch on in drinkware as well.

The calendar idea will likely work well for HR and other corporate programs with a focus more on employees and the office environment, whereas I see the cup2go more about college campuses and resort towns.

The last idea is best shown by the DPT18 DUNCAN from Avaline.

The Duncan BPA-Free Tumbler

The DPT18 DUNCAN is featured in the Avaline 2011 catalog but it is not currently on the Avaline website, as Avaline has these mugs on back order. They will be available again soon. The first time I saw this configuration was actually from a client who had purchased a mug very similar to this design at a retail outlet.

Basically the DPT18 DUNCAN faithfully reproduces the paper coffee cup out of BPA-Free plastic in white, and then accents that cup with a bright silicon wrap to add color to the product.

Since the imprint is on the mug and not the band, your imprint rides a little low on the tumbler, but the overall impact, especially when the imprint is match to band color, is rather nice.

I like the look. The DPT18 DUNCAN is my choice for the farmer’s market, the corner coffee shop, and the PTA fundraiser.

If you’re looking for more information on these tumblers go to the source. The ASI contact for the The Express Line is Nicki Russo, talk to Jeremy Rich at Debco, and for Avaline information you want Jenn Olivencia.

If you are interested in these items to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

2011 (eco) Year Of Color From All-In-One

23 Jan

50% Recycled Material, 26-Color, Maui Tote Bag™

All-In-One has announced 2011 to be their Year of Color, with the introduction of over 150 new promotional products, and as the name suggests, lots of colors.

All-In-One is going with the full color palette on everything from pens, to keyboards, to iPad cases, to totes, and it is the new eco-friendly, recycled content totes from All-In-One that bring their Year Of Color to this blog.

Color is an area that is often neglected in eco-friendly items; in the early years, eco friendly meant green or black. That changed a bit in 2010, and looks to change completely in 2011. The Brand Gear™ Maui Tote Bag™  and Brand Gear™ Miami Briefcase™ are both made from 50% recycled polyester PVC, and both come in a stunning 26 colors.

Let us start with the Brand Gear™ Maui Tote Bag™. The Brand Gear™ Maui Tote Bag™ is a conventional 13-3/4”w x 14-3/4”h conventional tote, with no gussets and a 10″ x 10″ imprint area. The Maui Tote does have an impressive 28 1/2″ handle, so it can easily work as a shoulder tote.  The bags are made from 50% recycled content 600 denier polyester PVC.

Imprinting colors on Brand Gear™ Maui Tote Bag™ is limited to just Red, Orange, Yellow, Teal, Green, Hunter Green, Light Blue, Blue, Violet, Maroon, Black, White, Silver, and Gold. But bag colors are a stunning choice of White, Neon Yellow-Green, Bright Yellow, Golden Yellow, Orange, Burnt Orange, Safety Orange, Red, Cardinal, Maroon, Hot Pink, Light Pink, Purple, Lavender, Navy, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Turquoise, Forest Green, Kelly Green, Gray, Light Tan, Khaki, Brown, Olive, or Black.

50% Recycled Material, 26-Color, Miami Briefcase™

A more substantial bag from the same recycled material is the Brand Gear™ Miami Briefcase™. (Not sure why all the warm weather names for these bags, but I like it, tropical places, tropical colors, warm feelings, it works. Indeed there is also a Brand Gear™ Oahu Tote Bag™, Brand Gear™ Hawaii Deluxe Tote Bag™, and Brand Gear™ Bermuda Briefcase™, all same colors and materials).

Also made from 50% recycled, durable 600 denier polyester PVC, the Brand Gear™ Miami Briefcase™ is a soft sided promotional carrier with added touches like a zippered main compartment, a detachable shoulder strap, and fabric Velcro wrap handle. The inside of the case has spots for IDs, writing utensils, i.e., the normal stuff.

There are three imprint areas on the 15-1/2”w x 12-1/2”h x 3-3/4”d Brand Gear™ Miami Briefcase™, a front top placement at 12”w x 3”h, a front zipper pocket placement at 11”w x 6”h (as shown in image) and a back placement at 12”w x 11”h.

The multiple placements make this unit a winner for teams and conventions as multiple areas provide placement for multiple logos, for example if you are IBM and thinking green, front imprint might be GREEN DATA TEAM, back imprint IBM logo and top placement is maybe location / home office of team member.

And because All-In-One is doing The Year Of Color across their full line, matching your Cardinal or Hot Pink or Purple computer tote to the same color Cardinal or Hot Pink or Purple penflashdrive, keyboard, or even iPad case, is a snap.

So pick a palette of color and go crazy with your promotional materials. Forget green and black; I say it is time to go lavender all the way.

If you are an ASI member Marietta Pugliese is the contact to talk to at All-In-One about their Year of Color. If you are interested in these items to promote your own business contact your local promotional items representative or email for information, samples, and pricing.

An Argument For Reusable Maps

25 Aug

As Seen At Fair Hill

Print a map on paper and it is weak and easily torn. Print a map on a bandanna and it is flexible, packable, strong, and reusable. It also makes a great commemorative giveaway for a travel company, golf course, or charity 5k.

And if you want to go beyond just the reduce and reuse idea of the map itself, ask for a bandanna made from organic cotton, rpet, or other green materials.

That is the pitch. Simple. Bandannas make great reusable maps.

Now let us talk about costs. Many marketers currently print tee shirts for state parks, etc., that feature a stylized map of some kind. Single color imprinted bandannas cost a fraction of the cost of tee shirts, based on order sizes. Why not take that shirt artwork and print on a bandanna as well? It is a less expensive souvenir for your audience, however it likely can be sold at a higher margin. For some audiences the uniqueness of the bandanna even has a higher perceived value than a tee shirt.

Fun runs also use tee shirts to raise money or give to participating individuals or organizations. Like towels (yes this idea works with towels as well), a bandanna is a one size fits all proposition. And a bandanna map of a course a participant has run – a completed accomplishment if you will – is much easier to display in an office or home. They can even be signed and framed as awards of achievement. Same idea for golf tournaments, bike races, and regattas.

Here is the video we did to show off some possibilities.

Great Idea for Festivals

Still the killer app for the bandanna map has got to be the hiking trail. A hiker can use this map over and over again. Printing full topographical information on a bandanna map is no problem, basically any map that works on paper can work on cloth, and have a much longer useful life. Any facility with trails needs to think about bandanna maps.

If you are an ASI distributor looking to bring bandannas into your product mix, talk to Pam Scott, Sales Director at Bandanna Promotions. If you are interested in bandanna and bandanas maps to promote your own business contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Mighty Leaf Tea Company

22 Aug

Tea Lovers Gift Set

In 2010 the Norwood Going Green line added eco-friendly gift sets featuring products from the Mighty Leaf Tea Company. These sets work great for holiday giving (this is the time most companies start to think about holiday gifts) as well as a creative substitute for more traditional employee awards and recognition items.

Mighty Leaf Tea Company started on Fillmore Street in San Francisco in 1996, as a shared vision of husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman. The idea was simple, locate and source the “most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere”.

The Norwood Going Green line includes three promotional ideas: Tea Lovers Gift Set, a sampler of 30 Mighty Leaf selections, Relax Gift Set with tea and bath pouches works great in a spa setting, and Au Chocolate Tea Box, which wickedly pairs teas with fine chocolates. All gift boxes are handmade by artisans using tree-free eco-friendly abaca made from wild cogon grass and abaca leaves.

All sets are available on Norwood’s fabulous 24hr service and packaging can be printed with full four-color process artwork. Price ranges from $57-65 per unit based on kit and quantity ordered.

Au Chocolate Tea Box

Ok, the packaging and presentation on these units is stunning, but as with other food items like coffee and candy, the real test rests with the tea itself. Why give Might Leaf tea? The short answer is the tea is very good, and the tea selection includes both great takes on the traditional flavors, as well as specialty flavors associated with the Mighty Leaf brand.

In addition Might Leaf has created handcrafted tea pouches designed to get the most flavor possible from each brewing. The attributes of the total gift – aroma, presentation, taste –  are what tea fanciers dream of, the Norwood sets do not disappoint.

If you are an ASI distributor D’Anna Zimmer is the contact to talk to at Norwood about Mighty Leaf products. I would also encourage looking around the Mighty Leaf website to learn more about the company. If you are interested in Mighty Leaf products to promote your own business, as employee awards, or for holiday giving, contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

RPET Bottle Opener Cap Summer Winner

20 Aug

Hobow Caps has come to market with a sure summer winner. The new Enviro cap from Hobow is a standard style ball cap made from 100% rpet – basically the cap started life as water bottles.

The cap is available in five colors, black, khaki, pink, white, and navy. Each cap comes standard with the recycled symbol embroidered on the brim, and all caps can be screen printed or embroidered.

Ok, so we have another very nice quality 100% recycled content cap. What makes this one the summer winner? Simply this; the Enviro cap, like all Hobow caps, features a bottle opener in the cap’s reinforced brim. You will never lose your bottle opener while bass fishing again.

All jokes aside the Hobow Enviro is a very well made cap and another example of recycled content popping up in the most creative of products. The bottle opener is anchored to the brim by a metal 1.5 inch “Top Plate” which can itself be branded with full color, high definition, epoxy dome image.

Branding on both Top Plate and cap creates a useful brand doubling ability. For example a soda company might run all embroidery to read Sam’s Sodas and then run different metal dials to match the bottle caps of each separate soda flavor. Add the mix of cap colors and a creative marketer could really have some fun. Same idea for breweries.

Or just the opposite. Remove all branding but the dial for a more subtle, and perhaps more fashionable look, as in this clipping from an April 2010 Advantages article on the Hobow Caps website. The dial can really make a logo pop.

Caps have always been great branding platforms. Most everyone that spends some time outdoors has a favorite cap, and of course a cap is often a must have fashion accessory. Adding a bottle opener to the brim was just a stoke of brilliance from Hobow Caps. Taking the extra step to go eco was not necessary but very much appreciated.

If you are an ASI distributor Jim Wysopal is the contact to talk to at Hobow Caps about their entire line of bottle opening headgear. If you are interested in the Enviro cap to promote your own business or event, contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Express Line Going To The Dogs

18 Aug

Our friends at express line (yes the company that does not believe in capitalization) sent us a sample of their h2go ss k9 water bottle to check out. One word. Genius.

Like most all water bottles from express line, the k9 can be printed with a full color, full bottle wrap. (Unfortunately our office got sent a random sample so we cannot show off the express line total branding solution in this video.)

But the big news is that the k9 is designed for dogs. Yes dogs. Yes really. It even has a dog paw on the cap.

Any marketer working in the pet health or pet services industries, or with the local parks & recreation department, needs to take a look at this stainless steel water bottle. At our office – in Texas – we were very quick to show this item to a number of organizations that sponsor canine friendly 5K fun walk/runs. You have a water bottle don’t you. So how about one for the four-legged friend. Take a look at the video.

If you are an ASI distributor Nicki Russo is the contact to talk to at express line about the k9 bottle. If you are interested in the k9 for your own dog walk or to promote your own business or event, contact your local promotional items vendor or email for information and pricing.

Ash City Has A Lot Going On

15 Aug

At least once a week I sit down to write about the great work going on at Ash City. Then when I try to actually get something together I just get overwhelmed. What am I going to focus on?

How about the constant growth of the Ash City e.c.o (ecological clothing options) collection? In 2007 it started with 2 units, now Ash City offers over 50 items in seven categories. Currently the line includes blends with Organic Cotton, Soybean Protein, Bamboo Fiber, Bamboo Charcoal Nano-Particles, and Recycled Polyester – RPET.

Why not talk about fabric testing and certification processes used at Ash City? Ash City works with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, as well as Intertek Testing Service (ITS) and American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATTC), and many others.

Or even the outreach Ash City is doing in the community? For more than 10 years, Ash City has worked with Windfall, a charity providing new clothing and basic necessities to over 64,000 people in Toronto, Canada living in poverty. They work with the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC) and the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) through their “We’re Going Pink” and “We’re Thinking Pink” campaigns. Plus UNICEF. Plus the Canadian Red Cross.

I am telling you there is a lot going on at Ash City. For those in the promotional items industry and our clients that want to get a better handle on all the good works happening at Ash City, a good starting place is the new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the Ash City website.

For this article maybe I should just pick something closer to me and go from there. This past week Proforma Green Marketing moved into new, larger offices. There was a lot of moving of stuff in 100+ heat (we are in Dallas, and it is summer time).

The Ash City connection? I spent most of the day in my blue Ash City 85096 Rayon (from Bamboo) Recycled Polyester polo. Ash City is always talking about how wonderful the shirt works in heat, because the waffle weave of the 85096 polo breathes great, and has natural antimicrobial, deodorizing (it pulls sweat off the skin) and moisture wicking properties.

In the searing summer heat of this move the 60% rayon (from bamboo)/40% recycled polyester polo lived up to all those claims. To be honest it is now likely my favorite polo for the summer. Great company. Great product.

For more information on the Ash City line contact Chris Clark at Ash City USA. If you are looking to purchase Ash City clothing for your own office move, or any other purpose like your next golf event or as an upgrade in your corporate apparel, please contact your local promotional items distributor or email for samples and pricing.

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