Wheat Straw Promo From HPG

20 Oct
Interest people in more of what you have to offer when you give out this wheat straw lunch box set! It’s made of eco-friendly, biodegradable wheat straw plastic. This features a spoon and fork and is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe. Hand washing is recommended for proper care. This is perfect for customers to carry their lunch with them. Add your company name or logo for maximum visibility. 

From their email, “Wheat straw is a renewable and sustainable alternative to most solid plastics. Think about single-use plastic straws or styrofoam coffee cups that truly do not last for more than a single use. These wheat straw items are perfect replacements for those throwaway plastics.”

See the full line of WHEAT STRAW from HPG Brands on their website.

Some Key Points When It Comes To Wheat Straw:

It is extremely lightweight & durable making it a simple solution for everyday products for anyone.

Unlike most plastics, wheat straw is not manufactured from fossil fuels.

Wheat straw is a by-product that is often burnt or disposed of after the wheat grain is harvested. Using this waste for innovative materials and products makes it a great zero-waste solution and adds a secondary revenue stream for farmers all while reducing their carbon footprint.

The products below are made from a BPA-free and food-grade wheat straw material that is guaranteed to have FDA approval.

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.

Marathon Swag Bags Are Made to Self-Destruct

18 Oct

The 40,000 runners in this year’s Bank of America Chicago marathon received recovery bags made from plant-based, recyclable and biodegradable plastic.

By Theresa Hegel of ASI

Runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this past weekend were greeted with a sustainability message at the finish line – in the form of plant-based, recyclable and biodegradable bags designed to tackle plastic pollution.

These recovery bags, handed out at the end of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, are made from recyclable plastic designed to biodegrade in two years in natural conditions. (Courtesy of Polymateria)

The 40,000 recovery swag bags, stocked with post-race snacks and refreshments, are made of a so-called “self-destructing plastic technology” that’s designed to biodegrade quickly in open environments. Printing on the bags reinforces the idea, proclaiming, “this bag is running out of time,” and sharing instructions to “recycle this bag before it self-destructs.”

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon partnered with British company Polymateria to debut its Lyfecycle technology for the race. Lyfecycle products can be recycled, and recipients are encouraged to do so, but Polymateria says its product “offers a Plan B” for the plastic that escapes the circular economy and winds up in the natural environment. Thanks to “time-set biodegradation,” Lyfecycle’s plant-based plastic bags will break down within two years without leaving toxins or microplastics behind.

“Lyfecycle’s goal is to ignite action and cause a ripple effect that will solve ocean pollution and leave the planet in a better place for generations to come,” according to the company.

Carey Pinkowski, executive race director of the marathon, says the partnership with Lyfecycle is exciting. “Since 2010, our team has worked to incorporate environmentally and socially responsible practices into the production of our events, with the goal of limiting our impact on the communities we run through,” he said. “Lyfecycle is helping us advance this mission at this year’s race.”

Liepa Olsauskaite, head of activation for Lyfecycle, noted that the company is constantly pushing the limits of its technology. “Five years ago, it would have seemed impossible to product a self-destructing plastic bag,” she said. “And now, the bags that we are debuting at the marathon are not only recyclable and biodegradable, they are also made from renewable plant-derived materials, making it the most sustainable solution on the market.”

The recovery bags use renewable sugarcane, rather than fossil fuels, in the manufacturing process. Sugarcane captures carbon dioxide as it grows, reducing the impact the packaging industry has on climate change, according to Lyfecycle. Sugarcane plastic is also recyclable.

Lyfecycle uses a proprietary additive in the sugarcane plastic that lets it “self-destruct” after a set time period, transforming into an earth-friendly wax substance that breaks down in natural environments.

The Chicago marathon was the first running event in the U.S. to launch Lyfecycle’s technology, and Olsauskaite noted that it’s “part of a larger goal to showcase what this solution can do at scale.”

“With each event we participate in, we’re getting one step closer to stopping 450 million tons of plastic from reaching our oceans by 2040,” she said.

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.

New California Laws Ban PFAS Chemicals From Apparel, Personal Care Products

10 Oct

Promotional products companies will have to comply with the regulations.

By Christopher Ruvo, originally published by ASI

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that prohibits PFAS chemicals from being added to cosmetics, personal care products, textiles and clothing sold in the Golden State.

Promotional products companies that want to manufacture, sell or otherwise distribute items covered by the legislation in California will have to comply with the regulations, which are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

“Today PFAS exist in all water-resistant or stain-resistant coatings,” says Jeremy Lott, a member of Counselor’s Power 50 list of promo’s most influential people and CEO of apparel company SanMar (asi/84863), promo’s largest supplier. “We expect alternatives to be developed so that we will continue to be able to offer clothing with the functionality consumers have come to expect. This has a significant impact on the outdoor industry, as waterproof functionality is critical for almost every brand in the space.”

Other industry leaders were assessing the particulars of the legislation, too. 

“We are formulating our action plan,” says Andrea Lara Routzahn, chief merchant at apparel firm alphabroder (asi/34063), the second largest apparel supplier in the North American promo products industry. “It’s all quite new and sudden. Everyone is working to figure this out.”

It was a similar story at Tustin, CA-based Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866). “We’re looking into this,” says CEO Trevor Gnesin, a member of Counselor’ s Power 50.

Newsom put pen to paper on AB 2771 and AB 1817 on Thursday, Sept. 29. Collectively, they prohibit perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as “PFAS,” from being added to a broad spectrum of products in California.

Proponents of the regulations like Newsom believe the bans are warranted because of what they say are health impacts caused by PFAS.

“We are formulating our action plan,” says Andrea Lara Routzahn, chief merchant at apparel firm alphabroder (asi/34063), the second largest apparel supplier in the North American promo products industry. “It’s all quite new and sudden. Everyone is working to figure this out.”

It was a similar story at Tustin, CA-based Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866). “We’re looking into this,” says CEO Trevor Gnesin, a member of Counselor’ s Power 50.

Newsom put pen to paper on AB 2771 and AB 1817 on Thursday, Sept. 29. Collectively, they prohibit perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as “PFAS,” from being added to a broad spectrum of products in California.

Proponents of the regulations like Newsom believe the bans are warranted because of what they say are health impacts caused by PFAS.

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.

How American Giant created the best sweatshirt known to man.

1 Sep

You may have read the article in SLATE back in 2012, “This Is the Greatest Hoodie Ever Made”.

It tells the story of American Giant, and how they think about the things we buy and how they are made.

“I thought it would be a polite interview that would go nowhere, but I quickly found American Giant’s story irresistible. For one thing, Winthrop had figured out a way to do what most people in the apparel industry consider impossible: He’s making clothes entirely in the United States, and he’s doing so at costs that aren’t prohibitive.”

Now American Giant is entering the promotion products industry with a partnership with PCNA. Starting this September, American Giant apparel is available with custom imprinting and custom branding of your business logo, and custom artwork.

This is a whole new level of quality and commitment to Made is USA apparel. Take a look at the full American Giant line at PCNA, read over the original 2012 article, and take a moment to think about your brand, your values, and if partnering with branded American Giant items aligns with your company’s goals and values.

If you are interested in Made in the USA 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.

FTC Orders Apparel Company to Pay Six-Figure Fine for False Made-in-USA Claims

10 Aug

I hating see articles like this. There are many, many options in our industry for Made in the USA, apparel, caps, print, and other promotional items.

FTC Orders Apparel Company to Pay Six-Figure Fine for False Made-in-USA Claims {from ASI August 8. 2022}

The Federal Trade Commission is also making Lions Not Sheep, which sells right wing-themed printed clothing and accessories, notify customers that its products were imported from China and other countries. By Christopher Ruvo

A Utah-based company that sells conservative-themed printed apparel falsely claimed that its clothing was Made in the USA and now must pay a six-figure fine and notify customers that it lied about the where its products were produced.

Lions Not Sheep and its owner, Sean Whalen, must pay $211,335 for removing clothing tags and replacing them with phony Made in USA labels, according to a recently finalized order from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

FTC building

The case is a potential cautionary tale for companies in the promotional products/apparel-decorating industry that want to make Made in USA claims about items they sell.

Beyond paying the fine, Whalen and Lions Not Sheep must stop making bogus Made in USA claims and come clean about products being produced in China and other countries.

As part of that, Whalen/Lions Not Sheep must notify customers by mail or email that the products they purchased were not actually produced in the United States. Particularly, the FTC ordered that Whalen and co. tell clients in writing that the FTC has “sued us for making false claims” and that “although we screen(print) or embroider products in the USA, many of the items we sell are imported.”

Lions Not Sheep sells its own line of decorated T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and sweaters on its website, as well as through Amazon and Etsy.

The company markets its products heavily through social media channels. Graphics and themes in the messaging – including anti-Joe Biden sentiments – cater to a right-wing audience. Owner Whalen is also an author, founder of business networking app Meetrz, business coach and speaker. His Instagram page has around 281,000 followers.

Authorities said that Lion Not Sheep’s Made in USA claims online and on product labels included: “Made in the USA,” “Made in America,” “Are your products USA Made?” “100% AMERICAN MADE,” and “BEST DAMN AMERICAN MADE GEAR ON THE PLANET.”

In most cases, the FTC said, the products advertised with these claims were wholly imported shirts and hats with limited finishing work performed in the United States.

Companies cannot claim that products are made in the United States unless they can show that the product’s final assembly or processing – and all significant processing – takes place here and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced here.

Companies can make qualified Made in USA claims, but they must include a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients or components, or processing.

Also, to claim that a product is assembled in the United States, companies must ensure that it is last-substantially transformed in the United States, its principal assembly takes place in the United States, and U.S. assembly operations are substantial. Promo products pros should note that in April the FTC started enforcing new rules related to claims that a product is American-made.

If you are interested in Made in the USA 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.

Meet the Family Behind KarmaLit’s Custom Soy Candles

26 Jul

For the founders of the Colorado-based supplier, it was all about creating new family memories – centered around its sustainable, hand-poured candles, with a built-in educational giveback program.

By Nyah Marshall, ASI June 27, 2022

There’s probably only one thing that Golden State, Favorite Hoodie, String Lights, Book Club and Front Porch have in common: They’re all scented candles available from KarmaLit (asi/63906). For Sejal Parag – founder of the Colorado-based sustainable soy candle supplier – there’s a certain scent-attached memory that stimulated her idea for KarmaLit and its uniquely named premium candles.

When Sejal was a child, every evening around 5 o’clock her mother would light a candle while making dinner. As Sejal began having children of her own, those memories came flooding back, and she wanted to take advantage of the full-circle moment to create significant scent-attached memories with her own daughter.

However, the candles that Sejal and her husband, Ashil, lit in their home had to check off certain boxes. As young parents who at the time lived in San Francisco, it was important that these candles were inexpensive but premium, burned cleanly and were filled with passion.

“I thought, I have this memory from my childhood, I am now building new memories for our daughter, and I’d like to have this product, but it doesn’t exist,” Sejal says.

So, she created it – while pregnant with a son and taking care of a 1-year-old daughter – launching KarmaLit from the family home in 2014.

“KarmaLit was born from one necessity, but also a little bit of a closing the loop on where we were in the chapter of our lives and now building new memories with our children,” Ashil says.

As the company made its way onto Etsy and into trade shows, art shows and farmers markets, the Parags soon found an audience that more than resonated with their brand. At their very first art show, Sejal was working KarmaLit’s table for less than two hours before she had to call her husband to tell him to bring the rest of the candles from the studio because they were almost sold out.

“I thought to myself, there’s just absolutely no way. How was this possible? Did she forget 12 of the 13 boxes in the car?” Ashil recalls.

Soon, large orders and major brand partnerships began to roll in, and Sejal’s dream of recreating memories with eco-friendly soy candles became a reality.

“We thought to ourselves, OK, we’re really onto something here because we can actually provide a premium product that’s not a throwaway and that people can connect to,” Sejal says. “Candles are unique in that way. They connect with a massive and wide base of an audience, and it’s one of those products that everybody has a small memory of in some fashion.”

KarmaLit’s candles are also a hit with the promotional products industry. Top 40 Los Angeles-based distributor Nadel (asi/279600) works to deliver elevated experiences, and KarmaLit’s candles have been key to that strategy.

“KarmaLit have been a critical part of our team’s success as we lead with more retail-inspired gifts that go beyond the product,” says Carmela Wagner, vice president and global brand consultant at Nadel. “The support throughout the production process is excellent – truly, KarmaLit is a trusted partner that has elevated our offerings that differentiates us in the space of branded gifts.”

In the beginning, it was clear that several characteristics distinguished KarmaLit from other candle companies. It’s minority- and woman-owned and family operated. The candles are made from wax that’s extracted from soybeans grown year-round by American farmers, making it renewable and sustainable, according to the company website. The soy wax is hand-poured in small batches at KarmaLit’s studio in Denver. However, there were two more values the Parags felt were missing: philanthropy and education.

Prior to creating KarmaLit, Sejal worked for eight years planning events for an educational nonprofit. Plus, as new parents, the Parags were attuned to the state of early childhood education. Both experiences gave the couple insight into the ongoing need to fund the education system and individual classrooms. So, they created the “Smell Good. Do Good.” giveback initiative. For every candle sold, KarmaLit donates to education, using the Donors Choose platform to fund classroom projects.

“Our clients love knowing their gift has greater impact beyond the initial experience,” says Wagner.

That unique combination of bringing peace and comfort to the home, while also providing much-needed funding to schools, put KarmaLit in a bright spot during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand’s premium, inexpensive, eco-friendly candles were a simple investment that many people could make to uplift their space, during a time when it was essential to make your home feel like a sanctuary.

“All everybody wanted was to make something feel a little bit better because we were in such uncertain times,” Ashil says. “And, so the pandemic for us was, it was the stars aligning in a way that our product was well-equipped to take the punches of what society was giving to us.”

The small company has had growing pains, notably as the Parags moved operations from a corner in their kitchen to a studio in Denver while raising two children. But the family connection is essential to the company’s passion. Not only will the children have beautiful, scent-filled memories, but their memories will also be filled with appreciation for entrepreneurship – and all the triumphs and trials of owning a small business. The impact KarmaLit’s brand is making is a direct reflection of the impact the Parags are making in their own children’s’ lives.

“When the soul of a brand is in the right place, it can really thrive and uplift people’s lives and just be a positive agent for change in the world,” Ashil says.

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.

Case Study: Custom Mailer Promotes Ocean Preservation

20 Jul

{From ASI July 19, 2002}

Case Study: Custom Mailer Promotes Ocean Preservation

A clean beauty brand wanted to raise awareness of its partnership with a conservation group during World Ocean Month in June.

June was World Ocean Month, and clean skincare brand Biossance wanted to show its commitment to protecting the sea – through a giveback partnership with conservation nonprofit Oceana. So, naturally, the company turned to promotional products and custom kitting.

Biossance’s PR firm put together special sea-themed mailers to send to about 150 influencers. “They always want their influencer gifting to be super-interactional to get all that buzz and make people feel good,” says Devon Kaiser, an account manager at Top 40 distributor HALO (asi/356000). “They want something they can take with them and not just use once and throw in the trash.”

The limited-edition kit included a variety of creams and serums made with sugarcane-derived squalane. Historically, the substance was made from the livers of sharks, but Biossance created its version through sugarcane fermentation. The company says its vegan squalane saves 2 million sharks a year. Plus, the beauty brand has donated more than $300,000 to Oceana. The kit also included mineral sunscreen – a more ocean-friendly choice than sunblock that contains chemicals that harm coral reefs.

To help reinforce the shark-saving message, Kaiser sourced coolers from AAA Innovations (asi/30023), which included a custom digitally printed wrap featuring the Biossance logo and blue and white sharks. Kaiser also sourced reusable glass water bottles with bamboo lids from Top 40 supplier Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125). Biossance’s PR company also tucked a shark-fin ice cube tray into the kit.

The mailer was a success, Kaiser says, with a number of recipients unboxing their kits on social media.

Kaiser has noticed sustainability becoming a bigger part of the conversation with clients these days, but that conversation is often complicated when pricing comes into play. “I have clients that come in hot and heavy and say, ‘We need organic cotton totes and this and that,’” Kaiser adds. “Then when they find out the pricing they’ll usually fall back to a cotton or rPET tote. … I think it’s kind of like eating organic. You have to understand that it’s not the same as ordering off the dollar menu.”

What Can You Do?

If sustainability is front-and-center in a client’s brand message, it’s important that their promotional products reflect that message. Here are three tips to ensure they stay on brand.

  1. Start the discussion early. Kaiser had a client recently that wanted to use soy ink and recycled materials in a mailer, but didn’t bring it up until late in the development process. The earlier such requests happen, the more likely they can be accommodated.
  2. Supercharge giving. If your client is already reserving a certain portion of profits to a particular conservation effort, look for products that include a giveback element – whether it’s for the same nonprofit or something similar. Many suppliers offer retail brands with built-in giving or have their own giveback agreements through organizations like 1% for the Planet.
  3. Level up your packaging. Look for more sustainable packing options that minimize waste while still presenting your client’s brand in an attractive way – and keep items being shipped safe and secure. There are companies, for example, that offer recycled tissue paper that can be custom printed with a brand’s logo.

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.

New Item: Recycled Twill Bucket Hat

15 Jul

Eco Bucket Hats are Here!

Buckets are in high demand right now and Headwear USA has got you covered. Now available domestically and offshore is our 3983 Recycled Poly Bucket Hat. The 3983 comes in 2 stock colors domestically. Check out offshore options for even more customization features including full color sublimation! The possibilities are endless with our Eco Range!

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.

Eco-Friendly Picks for the Outdoors

13 Jul

Summer is here, and everyone is eager to get outside again. That means more camping trips, trail hikes and picnics in the park. And as people spend more time enjoying the great outdoors, they’re turning to outdoorsy products to complement their adventures.

With Mother Nature in mind, PCNA has put together a list of popular, eco-friendly styles we know your customers will love.

Arctic Zone® REPREVE® Backpack Cooler with Sling | 3860-77

Camping trips and long hikes are best enjoyed with cold drinks. This fully insulated eco-friendly backpack cooler is made with REPREVE® rPET, the world’s leading recycled fiber. It features a padded back panel and shoulder straps for comfy carrying, plus a removable insulated sling for shorter adventures.

Bloom Bamboo True Wireless Auto Pair Earbuds | 7197-66

Nothing beats taking a walk with your favorite playlist. These stylish Bluetooth® earbuds feature accents made from FSC®-certified bamboo. On top of quality sound, they feature built-in music controls, voice assistant activation (Siri/Hey Google) and dual microphones for hands-free use. They’ll provide five hours of playback at max volume, and the case can fully charge them in 35 minutes.

tentree Space Dye Classic Hoodie | TM18218/TM98218

Stay cozy on chilly spring mornings with a hoodie as sustainable as it is stylish. Made with a soft blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester, this classic pullover features on-trend heathered fabric, a kangaroo pocket and a whole lot of comfort. Please note: Space Dye items may vary slightly in color and pattern.

CamelBak® eddy®+ 25oz Bottle Tritan™ Renew | 1627-33

Get out and enjoy Mother Nature with this shatter-, stain- and odor-resistant bottle made with Tritan™ Renew, a durable new material consisting of 50% recycled content. Featuring a screw-on lid and bite valve, the eddy®+ lets you enjoy spill-proof sipping on the trail. And with a one-finger carry handle, it’s easy to take with you anywhere!

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.

6 Ways Promo Can Help Protect the Ocean

6 Jul

As beach season heats up, consider these strategies to reduce pollution and help marine life thrive. ~ By Nyah Marshall {from July 1, 2022 ASI}.

The ocean waters enjoyed by thousands, home to beloved beaches and unique marine life, also end up being home to 14 million tons of plastic each year. The ocean is Earth’s largest ecosystem and the planet’s life-support system – when it suffers, everyone feels the consequences. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing; research shows that by 2050 the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish. To ensure a sustainable future, everyone in every industry needs to do their part in protecting the ocean.

When it comes to helping safeguard the seas, the best ideas include: refuse the use of harmful pollutants; rethink how commonly used products can become sustainable; redesign business operations; and conserve materials or donate to ocean-conservation efforts.

Here are six ways the promo industry can help preserve the ocean by encouraging clients to rethink, refuse, redesign and conserve.

1. Opt for Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Applying plenty of sunscreen is one of the first steps many take before heading to the beach on a hot day. And while it’s a great summer promo staple, sunscreen often contains chemicals that are harmful to marine life, including oxybenzone and benzophenone-1, among others, which enter waterways when washed off in the shower or while swimming in the ocean. These chemicals could impair the growth of green algae, deform young coral, decrease reproduction in fish and more.

To further efforts to protect the ocean and consumers, recommend mineral-based sunscreens, which often use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Raining Rose (asi/80489), an Iowa-based supplier that manufactures many USDA organic personal care products, is one choice for mineral sunscreen and lip balm.

2. Choose Items Made From Recycled Ocean Plastics

This computer backpack (3900-01) from Leed’s (asi/66887) is made from recycled ocean plastic.

A number of suppliers have incorporated recycled polyester into apparel and other promo products in recent years. A few companies, however, have taken the concept a step further, sourcing ocean and ocean-bound plastics. Leed’s (asi/66887), a division of Top 40 supplier Polyconcept North America (PCNA, asi/78897), for example, offers a line of bags made from REPREVE Our Ocean – a synthetic fiber made from ocean-bound plastics certified by an independent third-party organization.

Outside the promo industry, more and more brands are offering similar products. Waterhaul makes sunglasses out of 100% recycled fishing nets. Prevented Ocean Plastic collects plastic from coastal areas at risk of ocean pollution and recycles it so it doesn’t end up in the ocean.

3. Avoid Apparel With Microplastics

100% organic cotton apparel, like this classic tee (EC1000) from econscious (asi/51656), help avoid the issue of microplastic shedding that affects some performance wear.

While bottle caps, plastic bottles and single-use bags are some of the more obvious and prevalent pollutants found in the ocean, microplastics can be just as – or even more – harmful, especially considering that many people are unaware of the everyday products that contain them. 

These plastics, which are 5 millimeters or smaller in diameter, are often added to personal-care products like toothpaste and skin exfoliants. Plus, fleeces, leggings, outdoor gear and other clothing that contains acrylic, polyester, polyamide, spandex and nylon shed up to 700,000 microfibers with each wash. These microplastic-containing fibers end up airborne, settling as dust that can be inhaled, or bypass water-filtration systems and end up in the ocean where they could be eaten by marine life. Once consumed, microplastics can block an aquatic animal’s intestinal tract, negatively impacting the entire ocean. 

To help lessen the damage, consider sourcing apparel made from natural and organic fibers, rather than synthetic materials. Many industry apparel suppliers offer lines of 100% cotton apparel, and several, like econscious (asi/51656), feature a lineup of certified organic clothing.

4. Choose Bamboo Over Plastic

This cutting board (20-6906) from Totally Bamboo (asi/91565) is made of flat-grain bamboo.

Ultimately, less plastic manufacturing and distribution will help to limit pollution in the environment and ocean. When it comes to sustainable materials that successfully replace traditionally plastic promo product favorites, bamboo is a great choice for everything from pens to eating utensils to summer-must-have sunglasses.

Many consider bamboo to be the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of sustainable, eco-friendly materials. It’s completely biodegradable, solid, durable, highly renewable and requires no pesticides to grow. Another plus: The smooth, wood-like appearance of bamboo-made products is elegant and upscale. Bamboo textiles and apparel are also popular, though there are disputes about whether their manufacturing processes are actually sustainable.

5. Support Ocean Conservancy Groups

Donating to an ocean conservation organization is a simple yet powerful way the promo industry can make strides toward protecting the ocean. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an environmental conservancy group that does substantial work for ocean conservation concerns. Specifically, the group advocates for sustainable fisheries, habitat preservation and slowing pollution.

Oceana is an international advocacy group that directs its efforts solely to ocean-related issues. Among many other projects, Oceana has helped to limit ocean pollution and protect vulnerable marine life.

Parley for the Oceans is a unique group that invites volunteers from all backgrounds to help support its cause. Scientists, artists, environmentalists, musicians and more are enlisted to help limit plastic pollution in the ocean.

6. Create Eco-Friendly Marketing Campaigns

Lastly, saving the ocean doesn’t have to be an initiative solely created for an Earth Day marketing campaign. Get creative with promotions and product suggestions by regularly including eco-friendly, sustainable items that help protect the ocean. You – and your clients – can also create a giveback program where you pledge a portion of your profits (perhaps through an organization like 1% for the Planet) to protect the oceans, and feature the program in all marketing efforts.

After all, 46% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if a promo product they received is environmentally friendly, according to the 2022 ASI Global Ad Impressions Study.

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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