Tag Archives: sustainable

Cotton Tees Without Dye

27 Jul

Anvil Natural Pre-shrunk 5.0 oz. 100% Organic Cotton Tee

As the summer event season is in full swing, our office is receiving many requests for event tee shirts. A lot of folks want sustainable alternatives although many planners are disappointed when they find out the cost of bamboo or recycled or organic content tee shirts. They are also disappointed by the fact that most of these shirts are made overseas – although printed in the USA.

When considering sustainable tees planners often get blinded by content, stressing the recycled cotton or recycled water bottle (rPET) / organic cotton blends. But there is another option I urge folks to consider, and that is the option of non-dyed tee shirts.

The fact is all cotton tee shirts are plant material, that means they are biodegradable (it is just cotton people, and FYI a recycled content rPET tee shirt is recycled plastic, so what happens to rPET once the tee shirt hits the landfill?).

A cotton shirt without dyes is a cotton shirt that skipped perhaps one of the most polluting aspects involved in processing cotton. In our industry these shirts are often called natural tees, and nearly every manufacturer offers the natural tee option in their line, whether the shirts are of sustainable materials or not. (Take a look at Anvil’s impressive sustainable line and see if you can spot all nine natural options.)

Even better may I suggest a natural cotton tee shirt, Made in the USA, for use in the USA. No dyes and less of a carbon footprint, as there is no overseas shipment of goods to the US. American Apparel, Anvil, UltraClub Collection by Bodek and Rhodes, and other manufactures are producing made in the USA tee shirts, many of which have the natural option.

Additionally it costs money to dye shirts so non-dyed natural shirts are often a little less expensive than dyed shirts of the same model. A non-dyed tee tends to have a parchment like color which does age with time and wear.

So if you are looking for a sustainable tee option, consider the 100% cotton natural tee shirt, and if possible buy local, i.e. USA Made. The planet and your wallet may both thank you.

If you are in the business and need more information on natural tee shirts please contact the manufacturers mentioned. If you are interested in natural tee shirts to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

2011 Sustainable Material Umbrellas from Rainkist

8 Jun

The Shield Umbrella from Rainkist

The 2011 Eco Friendly line of umbrellas from Rainkist are made with a sustainable, environmentally friendly fabric derived from recycled plastics. In addition the handles, but not the skeleton or shaft, of these umbrellas are made from 65% shredded wood, which Rainkist expects to decompose within 2-3 weeks after placing into the soil.

Again, I like the idea of a more sustainable umbrella, the use of fabrics from recycled plastic, fabrics whose very nature reduces or at least delays that plastic content ending up in my landfill. However, please can’t we use natural cotton, or even pricey organic cotton canvas for the canopy of a sustainable umbrella. Yes, we would need to deal with the sky high price of cotton, but cotton is biodegradable, and I think a better material for a sustainable umbrella than the non-virgin polyester which is used in most eco umbrellas today.

Also, wood for handles is great, but for umbrellas that do not need to collapse, can’t more manufacturers use wood, even bamboo for shafts and other components. Indeed why is there not a bamboo fabric, bamboo skeleton, bamboo shaft umbrella on the promotional items market? I am sure it comes down to cost, but I would love to see that umbrella.

With my rant out of the way, I do applaud Rainkist  for offering four umbrellas in their ECO Friendly line, and in making sure one of those umbrellas – the ECO25002 – is a golf sized umbrella with a large 64″ arc, and huge imprint area of 10″ x 8″. The ECO25002 is a manual opening umbrella, not a folder, and Rainkit advertises that allows them to make the umbrella with less than 1% total metal components.

Umbrellas are indeed great branding vehicles. They are both useful and practical, and a high quality umbrella will advertise your brand for years as the owner uses the umbrella as part of their daily routine. Indeed all Rainkist umbrellas come with an unconditional lifetime warranty.

For hotels I love the gimmick of printing “follow to” above the hotel’s logo on guest lobby umbrellas. It shows that the hotel in question is not letting their guests get soaked, and helps to brand the hotel with a sense of humour. If it is a golf umbrella, print it with “follow me to the 19th hole” to help advertise a cool drink and nice meal at the end of the game at your own course watering hole.

For more information on Rainkist contact them directly. If you are looking to purchase a sustainable umbrella for your own business contact your local promotional items distributor or email info@proformagreen.com for samples and pricing.

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