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.

Out of The Woods® Seagull Cooler

8 Feb

The Out of The Woods® Seagull Cooler is part of the full Out of The Woods® line now available from Gemline for use in the promotional products industry.

For your marketing needs, the Out of The Woods® Seagull Cooler boasts six actual imprint areas; Front Panel Center 7″ W x 7″ H, Front Panel Lower Center 7″ W x 3.5″ H, Front Panel Upper Center 7″ W x 3.5″ H, Front Pocket Center 2.5″ W x 4″ H, Front Pocket Lower Center 2.5″ W x 2″ H, Front Pocket Upper Center 2.5″ W x 2″ H, with imprint done as CMYK heat transfer.

Other than the addition of your brand, the Out of The Woods® Seagull Cooler is the same item as offered on the Out of The Woods® website.

From the manufacturer, “All Out of the Woods bags feature Supernatural Paper™ which is sustainable, washable and vegan. These reusable bags are designed to support all your daily adventures. A stylistic update to the classic brown paper bag lunch featuring contrasting Supernatural Paper® panels and etched metal hardware for a Western flare. Featuring a spacious interior and insulated lining to keep snacks fresh whether you’re headed on a hike or to the office. PEVA heat-sealed lining. Top grab handle. Supernatural Paper™ is FSC®-certified (FSC® C153080), made of tree cellulose, a renewable resource, from responsibly managed forests. To care for your bag, hand wash inside and out with a mild detergent and warm water.”

The very stylish Out of The Woods® Hedgehog Lunch Bag comes in Ebony or Sahara, and is branded with the official Out of The Woods® brand patch, so your clients will know what they are getting.

We like these bags for mobile office and commuting workers. The reusable, washable bag is a big upgrade from the brown paper sack, and demonstrates a company or program’s commitment to sustainability.

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.

Field & Co. Fireside Eco Duffel

1 Feb

The Field & Co. Fireside Eco Duffel is a duffle that wants to get outside, go to the gym, take a weekend trip. This Recycled Polyester duffel is really ready for just about anything.

From the manufacturer, “The Field & Co. Fireside Eco Duffel is great for outdoor adventures. It features a durable tarpaulin-coated bottom along with a main material made from recycled water bottles. Adjustable straps on the front can carry a sleeping pad or other rolled items. The spacious interior pocket has a back organizational panel and custom plaid-print Field & Co. lining. It also has a zippered shoe pocket and double exterior lash tabs for attaching other necessary items via carabiner. The adjustable padded removable shoulder strap features Sherpa lining for added comfort.”

The shell of the Field & Co. Fireside Eco Duffel is constructed of 100% recycled polyester. Factory decoration methods for the Field & Co. Fireside Eco Duffel include Digital Print Transfer, Embroidery, and Digital Print Transfer via PhotoGrafixx.

Placing your logo or marketing message on a named brand like Field & Co. Fireside is always a easy way to add perceived value in the perception of the recipient.

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.

Refresh Glass Rescue and Transformation Process in 60 Seconds

27 Jan

Refresh Glass is bring a new idea to the marketing table. I love new ideas. Their pitch, take old glass bottles, and make new glass tumblers.

Take a look at the video

See the unique Refresh Glass rescue and transformation process in 1 minute. Working towards our 10 Million Bottle Rescue Mission, we collect empties from the community and repurpose the orphaned bottles into functional wares that can be reused and enjoyed for years to come.

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.

Out of The Woods® is coming to Gemline in 2022.

25 Jan
Above: Out of The Woods® Seagull Cooler – Insulated and padded to keep your produce fresh at the Sunday farmer’s market or your workday essentials protected, and spacious enough to double as a weekender bag

From the Out of The Woods homepage on GEMINE, “Out of the Woods® specializes in reusable bags and insulated coolers that are FSC®-Certified (FSC® C153080) and made from Supernatural Paper™ using tree cellulose sourced from responsibly managed forests. These products are washable, durable, and sustainable – designed to reduce the negative impact on the environment by developing lasting products made of better materials.”

The Out of The Woods line brings a new dimension to sustainable items available to the marketing professional, and are sure to be a great fit for sustainability, values, ethical, and responsible marketing projects.

The brand has a very contemporary look to it, and will certainly work for projects built around fashion, style, and design.

To see all Out of The Woods for 2022, that can be decorated with your custom artwork or brand, take a look at the GEMLINE Out of The Woods Selection with this link.

We will be posting on individual Out of The Woods items as we get a chance to review the line. So stay tuned for more on this new, exciting concept.

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.

Modern Sprout Seed Ornament

29 Dec

These showed up but a bit late to the party (let us blame supply chain issues) but what a fun idea.

The Seed Ornament by Modern Sprout is an ‘eco-friendly ornamental see kit’ made of molded paper pulp. Here is the run down from the manufacturer.

“Deck the halls, plant and grow! Make the holidays more sustainable with Modern Sprout’s Eco-Friendly Ornament Seed Kits. Featuring festive seed types in bold and playful packaging, these plastic free ornaments are the perfect accent for decking the halls. Once the holidays are over they become an excellent indoor gardening activity to take you from the post holiday blues right into spring fling!
Each ornament includes seeds and an expanding coco disc for planting.”

Seed Ornament by Modern Sprout varieties include:
Grow Joy Poinsettia – A holiday favorite, this plant features an incredible range of foliage colors perfectly complimented by brilliant red-orange foliage blooms
Grow Hope Spruce -This species of spruce is native to the northern part of North America and a favorite Christmas tree variety
Grow Cheer Cosmos – A cousin to the daisy, cosmos yield an abundance of delicate white and magenta colored blooms
Grow Peace Eucalyptus -This versatile and aromatic plant features slender sage green stems and delicate small leaves.

Your custom imprint is placed on center on the back panel, at a maximum of 1.25″W x 1.25″H. Full color imprint is possible, however one color imprints seem to work best.

You can seem more items from Modern Sprout on there website, https://www.modsprout.com/. Already a number of these items are available to the promotional market from our partner Gemline, see items on the Gemline site here.

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.

Get Comfy in KAHUZI Eco Sherpa

22 Dec

The Women’s KAHUZI Eco Full Zip Sherpa jacket is all about comfort. This warm and snuggly jacket is made with similar materials as used in the industries most popular Sherpa blankets, and contains 30% recycled polyester.

From the manufacturer, “Made from eco-friendly 30% recycled polyester sherpa fleece, the women’s Kahuzi Eco Full Zip Sherpa is ultra-soft and cozy for everyday comfort. It earns extra style points with contrast detail on the outer collar, zipper piping and welt pockets. The shaped seams and tapered waist deliver a better fit. It even has zippered pockets to keep valuables safe. It looks great on its own, but it’s also great for layering.”

Jackets are available in BLACK-on-BLACK, BLACK-on-GRAY, and BLACK-on-DESERT KHAKI (as shown). Decoration for the Women’s KAHUZI Eco Full Zip Sherpa can be done as embroidery and full color transfer (for jacket interior).

We like the Women’s KAHUZI Eco Full Zip Sherpa for corporate uniform and gift programs. The Women’s KAHUZI Eco Full Zip Sherpa has an up-to-date look for daily wear.

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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