Corporate Swag That Screams “Sustainability”

Successful branding carries through every element of a business’s marketing assets, from its website to its social media and, perhaps most importantly, to its swag. Corporate merchandise should come in forms that reflect brand interests and values while providing employees, customers and others with practical and attractive items they need and want.

So what if a major defining feature of your brand is sustainability? Here are some swag products you might want to stock up on for your company.

Reusable items

Waste is a major concern for those looking to preserve and improve the environment. Single-use products and products with severely limited lifespans contribute to pollution in various ways — by piling up in landfills or escaping into natural environments, especially the ocean. Thus, those hoping to live more sustainable lifestyles typically opt for reusable replacements for single-use goods.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of reusable swag solutions. In fact, most companies should strive to invest reusable merch, which by its nature is more effective at increasing brand visibility than disposable or single-use items. However, giving users the option to replace wasteful products with sustainable, reusable options showing your company’s branding is a good way to associate your company with an eco-friendly message. Some ideas for reusable swag include:

Bags. Specifically, you should consider tote bags, shopping bags and similar items that replace plastic and paper bags, but even backpacks and laptop bags are technically reusable products that can cut down on waste.

Cups and water bottles. Humans need a lot of liquids to survive every day, and many use disposable cups and bottles to contain their fluids. Custom tumblers, mugs and water bottles offer a better solution that can be more stylish, depending on your swag design.

Products From Recycled Materials

Contrary to popular belief, recycling isn’t as easy as placing plastic, glass, metal and paper items in a special bin. In fact, in many places in the U.S. — and around the world — municipal and state recycling efforts have the same end result as regular trash waste, with recyclable materials going directly into landfills and polluting environments. This is because the process of sorting, cleaning and reusing recycled materials tends to be much more expensive than creating materials from scratch.

Most companies opt for reusable swag, but only sustainable companies prioritize reusable swag made from recycled materials. By using recycled materials, you can prevent waste from becoming pollution, and you can reduce the environmental toll of creating new materials. Some ideas for recycled materials worth using include:

Recycled plastics. While some plastics can be recycled back into their original product, most plastics must become something else, like construction materials or fabrics. You might use recycled plastics in water bottles, apparel or pens.

Recycled paper. Paper is the easiest material to recycle, so if you were planning to offer paper goods as swag, you might as well invest in recycled paper options like notebooks and notepads.

Products From Sustainable Materials

In some cases, recycling is much less environmentally friendly than creating something new; for instance, recycling requires recycled goods to be transported long distances, and the processes required for breaking down old products and making new ones can be energy- and resource-intensive. On the other hand, many materials can be grown quickly, inexpensively and without harming the environment — in fact, sometimes this practice actually improves the environment by creating green spaces where there might otherwise be none.

If using recycled materials isn’t in your budget, you can still reduce the environmental impact of your swag by opting for other sustainable materials. Here are some ideas of materials that are much more environmentally friendly, especially in the eye of the consumer:

Bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly without many resources, and it is easy to harvest and transform into other products, especially wood products. You might offer small bamboo goods, like pens and toothbrushes.

Hemp. Like bamboo, hemp crops grow quickly and don’t require special treatment, like augmented soils or undue amounts of water. What’s more, hemp is one of the best natural fibers, so hemp apparel is a sustainable option for swag.

Your swag represents your brand, and your brand represents your company. The more closely you can align your branded merchandise with your corporate values — especially when it comes to sustainability — the better you will be able to connect with your target consumers.