Eco-Friendly Products are Very Hot Right Now

Eco-Friendly Products are Very Hot Right Now

There was once a time when eco-friendly promotional products were a niche category in the world of branded apparel and specialty items. Today, they’re among the hottest types of items that companies can choose to promote themselves. Green giveaways and all other types of environmentally friendly specialties are very in demand right now, and they could make a great addition your company’s branded material.

But before getting into the eco-friendly specialties game, there are several important things that companies should know. Let’s take a dive into the details about green products.

 

Why Go Green with Promo Items?

The key reason to start adding environmentally friendly products into your company’s promotional inventory is overwhelming consumer and corporate demand for sustainability.

On the consumer level, demand for these kinds of items has never been higher. Spending data tells us a lot here. According to First Insight, a predictive analytics firm, nearly 90% of Gen X consumers would be willing to spend extra for sustainable products, compared to 34% two years ago. That’s a huge increase, and it rings true for all other generations of consumers.

As for corporate demand, sustainability initiatives have been a growing trend for several years that was notably accelerated last year. In fact, the Harvard Business Review called 2021 “the year that sustainable business went mainstream.” They reported that virtually all of the largest companies in the world now conduct sustainability reporting, thousands of firms have set carbon targets, and about a third of Europe’s largest firms have pledged net zero carbon goals in the next two decades.

If your company’s intent is to market to either type of customer, consumer or corporate, then tying your braded materials to sustainability is going to be highly recommended moving forward.

 

What Are the Hottest Eco-Friendly Items?

One of the best things about opting to make your company’s promotional items more eco-friendly is that you’ll have quite a broad range of options to fit your needs. There’s a lot out there, and every day more and more vendors are expanding their sustainable offerings.

Some of 2022’s hottest eco-friendly specialty items include:

  • Pens – Plastic is long gone when it comes to pens. These days, there are all kinds of eco-friendly pens made from things like wheat, bamboo, recycled bottles, and more. There are also new refillable options. Another cool thing is that companies can find several of these writing utensils for around $0.25 each.
  • Reusable Bags – Everyone makes trips to the store. Why not help reduce plastic and paper waste by offering your clients reusable shopping bags featuring your company’s branding? This will also carry your image forward and make additional impressions as the bags are seen.
  • Sustainable Apparel – Apparel is one of the key markets where sustainable products are really taking off these days. Companies have also been replacing their entire wardrobe of branded employee clothing with renewable materials to better tie into their environmental goals. Examples include textiles made from plants (including vegan options), carbon-free manufacturing, and use of recycled and biodegradable materials.
  • Cups/Beverageware – And last but not least, cups, mugs, and other beverageware are also easily sustainably sourced. These have always traditionally been solid choices for promo items, and today they are commonly found as plant-based items or biodegradable, recyclable, or composed of recycled materials.

 

What Should Marketers Know?

One important thing to note when choosing eco-friendly products for your company is to pay attention to how these products are labeled. The goal is to purchase items that are actually sustainable, even throughout their whole manufacturing process. There’s a lot of misleading information out there on certain items, so it’s recommended to at least be familiar with the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides. This guide was specifically designed to help marketers avoid making misleading environmental claims.

The Green Guides cover a lot of different topics and terms, but in general they stipulate that a product’s packaging must explain why it’s safe for the environment. Some of the terms to become familiar with include:

  • Recycled content – The FTC says, “It is deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that an item contains recycled content unless it is composed of materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the waste stream.”
  • Degradable – “A marketer making an unqualified degradable claim should have competent and reliable scientific evidence that the entire item will completely break down and return to nature.”
  • Renewable materials – “Research suggests that reasonable consumers may interpret renewable materials claims differently than marketers may intend. Marketers may minimize the risk of unintended implied claims by identifying the material used and explaining why the material is renewable.”
  • Recyclable – “A product or package should not be marketed as recyclable unless it can be collected, separated, or otherwise recovered from the waste stream through an established recycling program for reuse or use in manufacturing or assembling another item.”

 

Lookin’ Good in Green

Your company would look great in green. By switching your corporate apparel and specialty items to sustainable alternatives, your firm will make an even bigger impression with your audience. There is no question that eco-friendly items are fast becoming the new standard when it comes to promotional materials. Make sure your company looks fresh by making the switch this year.

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