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Two Questions to Ask When Selecting Eco-Friendly Branded Merchandise

Products made from eco-friendly materials are not necessarily sustainable. This may sound convoluted but hear us out.

If you are a conscientious buyer, you likely try to reduce your brand’s impact on the planet while promoting your business. Your first thought may be to purchase products that are advertised as being made from eco-friendly materials. While considering the raw materials that go into making a product is a great first step at reducing environmental impact, it’s equally as important to consider the rest of the product’s lifecycle. Here are two questions to ask yourself when ordering eco-friendly products:

1) Does the product have a lower environmental impact than its counterparts?

It is important to consider the environmental impact of a product from production to disposal. Just because a product is made from sustainable materials, does not mean that it has a smaller environmental impact than its counterpart. Make sure to inquire about the lifecycle of the product, not just about its eco-friendly materials.

Friends in sunflower garden wearing District Re-Tees

Let's consider the District Re-Tee that reduces waste and saves resources. It features 100% recycled fabric that otherwise could end up in a landfill. By using reclaimed fabric, the need to produce raw materials is eliminated and the water-intensive dyeing process is avoided. Basically, it's the equivalent of skipping over 6 weeks of showers or cutting 5.87 miles off your daily commute.

Now, let's dive deeper into the product's environmental impact. The carbon emissions generated during the product lifecycle of a District Re-Tee are calculated. To neutralize the carbon footprint, verified offsets are purchased through, an esteemed leader in the fight against climate change that sources third-party, carbon reduction projects. Projects include energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry efforts. This shirt has a lower environmental impact than its eco-friendly counterparts that also use reclaimed fabric due to its neutralized carbon footprint.

2) Will this product be reused?

The reusability of a product furthers its positive environmental impact. However, just because a product is designed to be reused, doesn't mean that it will be. Cheap, useless and unwanted merchandise that is immediately thrown away builds up landfills and contributes to the ongoing pollution of our planet.

Therefore, it's important to select branded merchandise strategically and consider its overarching purpose and usability. To encourage reuse, the product you select should be considered valuable in the eyes of the target recipients. It's important to choose an item that seamlessly intertwines with the recipient's lifestyle.

Two people drinking out of mugs that say "sip & make it happen."

It's also important to consider the artwork that is printed on the product. Fun designs with unique placements are ideal when trying to catch the customer’s eye and increase the perceived value of the product. Rather than placing your logo on the chest of a t-shirt, consider placing it on the sleeve instead. Rather than using your primary logo, consider incorporating your sub-mark logo, a stripped-down graphical representation of your primary logo, into a creative design that mimics retail trends. This allows you to maintain a consistent visual identity while providing flexibility in design.

These small changes will boost the perceived value of your product and increase its life span. You want your target recipient to walk away thinking, “This product is awesome. It’s better than what I was looking at buying myself.” In this instance, you’ve both pleased your target recipient and met your goal of reducing consumption and waste.

Are you looking to communicate your environmental commitment? Let us help you holistically communicate your story through branded merchandise and product packaging. Email projects@promoassets to speak with a member of our team.

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