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Proud Path from PCNA

26 Apr

PCNA is going all in (nearly) on sustainable, renewable, and climate friendly products available to the promotional products market through their new company wide program called ProudPath.

From the PCNA website, ” Introducing ProudPath™, a new platform that will make it even easier to deliver for your customers’ environmental and social responsibility objectives. Whether you want retail brands that give to great causes, need products made with eco-friendly materials or would like to support a small business, ProudPath™ is designed to empower you with the right solution, making it easier to create gifts people can feel good about. ProudPath™ also represents a call to action for our industry. This is an opportunity to reimagine the present while shaping a future that will make us all proud.”

The program is worth a look. PCNA seems to have organized and centralized those parts of their business related to sustainability. And then add a number of new products, and announced continuing support for a number of environmentally focus organizations, including 1% For the Planet, Well Aware, and ONETREEPLANTED.

Used for bottles and containers, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most commonly recycled plastic in the world.
Pre-consumer is salvaged from the manufacturing of cotton goods, while post-consumer is from used tees and towels.
Recycled plastic, organic cotton, FSC®-certified bamboo and more. Our eco-friendly products are made with a variety of materials — all of them better for the planet.

Taken as a whole, the ProudPath initiative is rather expansive, especially for a promo company, and certainly worth taking a look at for idea for your next marketing campaign.

If you are interested in this product 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.

Spector 2022 Feels Good Catalog

29 Mar

The Spector 2022 Feels Good Catalog has been published online.

This is a full catalog of the sustainable and recycled products in the Spector line.

Notebooks, drinkware, pens, backpacks, desk item, the Spector 2022 Feels Good Catalog has a little bit of everything.

If you are interested in this product 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.

Wheat with Memory

8 Mar

Here is a quick case study sent to us by iClick on their Wheat Straw swivel drive.

“Activation: Grow Organics is a small, family-owned business that creates organic and locally sourced baby foods in their home state of Washington. They started out selling primarily at farmer’s markets but they were very interested in expanding into brick and mortar stores.

They had been using catalogs to showcase their offerings, but they wanted a less wasteful option to spread the word even more. They felt physical catalogs did not align with their company values of sustainability, but they still liked the idea of handing something out in meetings.

The iClick – Wheat Straw allowed them to hand out digital copies of their catalog. The item itself is eco-friendly, being made out of wheat straw, a byproduct of wheat production. Plus, they know the iClick – Wheat Straw can be reused in the future and will not be tossed in the trash. This led to more brand recognition, a giveaway that really aligned with their company values, and a partnership with a major supermarket chain.”

If you are interested in this product 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.

1% of everything to support the bees

1 Mar

Our friends at Raining Rose have announced a partnership with Heifer International.

“We recently announced that 1% of our annual profits will go to Heifer Internationala global nonprofit that supports farmers and their communities. That’s right, 1% of our profits on EVERYTHING we sell will go to support honeybees, supplies, and training for beekeepers.”

Raining Rose easily has some of the best lip balms and lotions in the promotional products industry. Additionally they offer Made in USA, USDA Organic Lip Balm, Sustainabalm, and post-consumer packaging solutions in their product line. (Check out the new DIY Lip Balm Kit)

Here is the full announcement from their website.

How our Giveback Program Works

Every time you place an order with Raining Rose Promos, we willdonate 1% of our annual profits to Heifer International, a nonprofit that seeks to lift communities from poverty and eradicate hunger all around the globe.

It’s that easy – there are no stipulations or fine print, because we want to make our impact as big as possible.

About Heifer International

Heifer International is an Arkansas-based nonprofit with a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities. They work in 21 countries around the world to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that guarantee a living income to local farmers.

Their community development model focuses on building social capital by increasing income and assets within farming families, improving their food security and nutrition, and protecting the environment – with women’s empowerment and connected communities at the very center.

Our Partnership with Heifer International

As a Certified B Corporation, we believe in “doing business for good.” Our partnership and commitment to Heifer International allows us to take another step forward in acting as good stewards to the communities  that provide our business with so much.

100% of Raining Rose Promos donations will directly support

honeybees, supplies, and training for beekeepers.

Why Honeybees?

Honeybees are essential to thriving crops worldwide, and beeswax is a primary component to many of the lip balms produced by Raining Rose Promos.

We are excited to direct our donations toward Heifer International’s work in educating Central and South American families to scale their beekeeping operations, both to improve their lives financially, but also to restore an essential resource in agriculture.

Help us make a difference by supporting our cause with personal care products, and watch the video to learn more about the important role bees play in our livelihood.

If you are interested in this product 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.

The Eco Trend: Gifts You Can Feel Good About

15 Feb

{reprinted from PCNA newsletter 01/18/2022}

Sustainability is becoming a higher priority for people everywhere, and demand for eco-friendly products is on the rise. Consumers are more mindful of their purchases, and businesses are taking strides to be more environmentally conscious.

The “green” movement is making big waves in the promo industry, so we sat down with AJ Dickson, PCNA Senior Category Director, to learn more about one of the biggest trends of 2022.

Q: It seems like in the past five or so years, we’ve seen a huge increase in eco-friendly promotional products. Why do you think that is?A: “Whether you’re talking about consumers or corporations, there’s been a seismic shift toward sustainability. In retail, shoppers are seeking out eco-friendly products. And at the corporate level, sustainability initiatives are driving decisions. Everyone is waking up and realizing the importance of preserving and protecting our environment, and the promo industry is doing its part by offering a bigger selection of eco-friendly products.”

Q: More and more retail brands are taking sustainability seriously. What’s the driving force behind this change?A: “I think there are a few factors. For starters, people want to buy from brands whose values are aligned with their own, and the brands have taken notice. Also, brands have a responsibility to the environment, and they’re stepping up in big ways. Whether it’s tentree planting 10 trees for every item sold, Karst making tree-free paper from 100% recycled stone or Welly donating more than one percent of sales to provide clean drinking water, it’s wonderful to see companies doing their part. These are the kinds of brands we like to partner with, and we’re always looking for others that share our commitment to the environment.”

Q: Why do distributors who are focused on sustainability look to PCNA?A: “Our commitment to making a difference goes far beyond offering the industry’s biggest eco-friendly collection and partnering with likeminded retail brands. Yes, we want to make it easy to create promo gifts everyone can feel good about, but we’re also taking big steps toward sustainability as a company. Three of our facilities locations have earned Chain-Of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council®, a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. Chain-Of-Custody certification traces the path of FSC®-certified products from forests through the supply chain, ensuring that the FSC®-certified products you buy from us come from responsibly managed forests. It shows that we’re not just here to sell products, but we genuinely want to do our part for the planet as well.”

Q: Recycled materials are becoming more commonly available in manufacturing. Which categories are benefitting the most?A: “It’s nearly impossible to pick just one. Almost every new apparel item we’re launching this year is made with recycled materials. We’ve also added lots of new bags made from recycled cotton and drinkware made from recycled plastic. Aside from recycled materials, we have food storage made from wheat straw and tech accessories made with natural bamboo fiber. Safe to say that all categories are moving in the right direction, and we’ll keep pushing them that way.”

Better For The Planet

Make a difference with eco-friendly and sustainable gifts. Click here to see our entire collection.

If you are interested in this product 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.

K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils

18 Jan

So if you remove the wood from a pencil, is it still a pencil. It seems the folks at K’arst believe so, and have introduced the K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils to the promotional products industry for 2022.

From the manufacturer, “The K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils come as a set of five solid graphite pencils. Made of 100% pure graphite with 2B hardness, it’s the best lead grade for the K’arst paper products. Matte coating to keep your fingers clean. Includes retail gift box.”

Not sure how I feel about this one. With a wide selection of pencils now having FSC credentials, are wooden pencils really something that is a concern. As mentioned in the last post, I am much more concerned with pens, and the plastics they are made of.

However, the K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils do have two things going for them. They look very, very cool, and they are from a well know brand name.

I think as a client gift for architects, fashion, or design related companies, the K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils is a great item to showoff with. Even the packaging looks cool.

Imprint for the K’arst Woodless Graphite Pencils is on the packaging only. But, again, that packaging really lends itself to making the pencils a higher perceived value gift. My daughter is very into art and drawing, and honestly, my first thought when I saw these was to get her a sample.

If you are interested in this product 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.

That is a lot of pens…

11 Jan

So according to earth911, in 2019, “Americans toss 1.6 billion disposable pens annually. These plastic pens end up in landfills and as litter. Some of this plastic waste makes its way to our waterways, where it breaks down into microplastics, polluting our water and harming ocean life.”

That is a lot of pens. It is an amount that gets your attention, but still something difficult for individuals to address.

In truth I am no longer a fan of pens, preferring pencils made of wood grown from FSC sources. Still our industry produces a lot of pens, indeed I have many, many samples here at the office. To me this issue is something that only a systemic change can address.

To the point, if the industry is going to keep making pens, and people keep using pens, we need to start making pens in a more sustainable way.

And this has been happening. Pens with bamboo casings, pens made from biodegradable corn plastic, pens made from the recycled plastic of consumer goods like water bottles, the options keep coming.

So if you are buying pens for the office, or for giveaways, take a minute to check what you are buying, and maybe support these new styles. Because the more they sell, the stronger the argument for the manufactures to keep making them.

If you are interested in this product 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.

Washable Kraft Stone Bound JournalBook

4 Jan

The 5.5″ x 8.5″ Washable Kraft Stone Bound JournalBook from PCNA is new for 2022. And I had to look at this thing for awhile before I really understood what is was.

So, yes it is a notebook. Original I thought the word Stone in the name had to do with the raised decorating technique printed on the sample (show above). Nope. Stone in the name means, just that. The ‘paper’ in the journal is not made from trees, but from stone, “combine calcium carbonate with resin. Add heat and pressure”, equals paper.

This site, from retail company Karst, gives a very good overview of the material itself.

A bonus to paper made from stone, is that is does not really tear. And it is water proof, yes water proof. It seems when stone paper first was available commercial groups like Police, EMS, insurance investigators, military’s, were all first adaptors, since you can write in the rain on this stuff.

From the manufacturer, “The 5.5” x 8.5” Washable Kraft Stone Bound JournalBook features a durable, water-resistant cover with 60 sheets of lined stone paper, which is water-resistant, tearproof and noticeably smooth for a superior writing experience. It also features an elastic closure, ribbon page marker and elastic pen loop. And through a partnership with 1% For The Planet, one percent of sales of all EcoSmart® products are donated to environmental nonprofits.”

The decoration that gives the sample journal’s cover such a pop is considered Deboss by PCNA. The look of the Washable Kraft Stone Bound JournalBook, plus the materials it is made from, really make this a standout item. We expect to see more of these types of journal in 2022.

If you are interested in this product 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.

Snuggle up with the Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blank this winter

1 Dec

Did you know that during 2020/2021 our industry reported a rise in blanket sales of over 77%? With employees and clients working from home, blankets became a perfect corporate gift. Blankets are a one size fits all marketing tool that no one seems to ever want to throw away.

Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket is a perfect example of the power in blankets. Send this item as a gift, and it will stay in your target audience home or office just about forever.

The Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket measures 60in x 70in, and includes custom embroidery of your logo in a diagonal placement about six inches from bottom corner.

From the manufacturer, “The Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket is lightweight and eco-friendly, not to mention stylish enough to spruce up any room. It measures 60″ x 70″ unfolded and 15″ x 17.5” folded. Free run charges for embroidery up to 10,000 stitches. Through a partnership with 1% For The Planet, one percent of sales of all EcoSmart® products are donated to environmental nonprofits”.

We think the The Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket is a great item for relators, apartment communities, and companies that support the commercial real estate industry.

The Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket is available in the check color patterns of Navy, Charcoal, and Tan. These blanks are also a great idea for the Perfectly Packaged Solution. Check out the Perfectly Packaged Solution video.

Cold weather is coming, it is time to snuggle up.

If you are interested in this product 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.

Thule Heritage Indago 15.6″ Computer Backpack 23L

10 Nov

Using name brand items in your marketing efforts is always a good way to go. The better the brand’s reputation, the higher the perceived value of the item given.

Thule was founded in 1942 in the deepest forest of Småland, Sweden, by Erik Thulin, a true lover of the outdoors. Since then, their focus has been designing and developing quality products that help carry your gear wherever your passion takes you.

The new Thule Heritage Indago 15.6″ Computer Backpack 23L goes a step rather in it’s relationship with Bluesign, an independent verifier which works to ensure manufacturing with the lowest possible environmental impact.

So what you get with the Thule Heritage Indago 15.6″ Computer Backpack 23L is a very serious travel backpack, from a well know brand, and with a well sustainable pedigree.

From the manufacturer, “From office to class, carry in style with the Thule Heritage 79 Backpack. The exterior materials of this backpack are Bluesign® approved. This backpack features a main compartment with elevated, padded protection for laptops up to 15.6” and fits books and folders. Find storage for all your belongings with the easy access exterior pocket with small accessory storage and key fob, quick access slip pocket, and large zipped interior translucent pocket stores pens and small accessories. This backpack features must haves like two water bottle pockets, a padded back panel, and webbing grab handle.”

This large bag features the travelers essentials, an organizational pocket, laptop compartment, water bottle pocket, and padded adjustable shoulder straps. For those in the know, 23L refers to 23 litters, the bags carrying size.

Decoration on the Thule Heritage Indago 15.6″ Computer Backpack 23L is in full color, using factory level Digital Print Transfer, with embroidery as a second option.

We love this bag and brand for tech companies that have workers on the go. See all Thule options at https://www.pcna.com/en-us/brand/thule/shop-all

If you are interested in this product 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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