Since it was first recognized in 1970, Earth Day has grown to a global mobilization of over 1 billion citizens strong who share a commitment to fight for the health of our planet. With even a greater sense of urgency, this year’s theme of Invest in our Planet has a focus to “preserve and protect our heath, our families and our livelihoods” and calls on all citizens to “act boldly, innovate broadly and implement equitably”.
At BOSSPRO, we are always looking for ways to push sustainable products – ones that leave less of a footprint on the planet and offer just as high a level of quality, trendiness and usefulness for your brand. To be considered sustainable, a product should use less water and energy during production, use materials made from renewable resources or waste products, and have reduced chemical waste and emissions. Best case scenario products would be biodegradable and with minimal packaging.
We’ve created this guide to explore some of the more popular materials on the market and help you become a more environmentally conscious consumer when purchasing your everyday branded merchandise!
Recycled cotton reduces the amount of new cotton being produced and used, and reduces the impact of cotton farming. Cotton farming not only requires 250 billion tons of water annually, but also heavily relies on pesticides.
Recycled Polyester (rPET)
Made from recycled plastic bottles, this process diverts plastic from landfills. Plastic is melted to make fibers, which can be turned into fabrics. These fabrics can then be turned into products such as t-shirts, reusable grocery bags, and backpacks!
Cellulose (Recycled Paper)
Cellulose insulation is made from up to 85 percent recycled material and uses less energy to manufacture than other types of insulation. By sourcing local materials like the paper you put in your recycling bin, using low-energy manufacturing and reducing the need for long-haul transportation, cellulose insulation is an environmentally responsible choice.
Hemp is an eco-friendly crop, requiring little water, pesticide, or fertilizers to grow quickly. Fabrics are also biodegradable.
Strong and durable, bamboo is another plant that grows quickly and easily, and doesn’t need pesticide or fertilizers. Bamboo can not only be used as a fabric, but for other eco-friendly goods, such as cutlery, toothbrushes, cutting boards, etc.
Did you know cork comes from trees? Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees that grow in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, cork is sustainable and renewable. Cork is naturally elastic, fire resistant, cushioning, anti-microbial, biodegradable, and buoyant, making it a fantastic material for items such as shoes, and leather and wood alternatives.
To reduce dependence on traditional plastics, biodegradable resins are derived from plants such as corn and soybeans, making them biodegradable and compostable. They are widely used as plastic substitutes for items such as single-use plastics (e.g. cutlery, disposable food packaging), cosmetics, and medical products.
Seed paper is an eco-friendly paper made with recycled materials embedded with plant (e.g. wildflower) seeds. After the paper is used, it can be planted.
Wheat straw is a byproduct from grain harvesting, and when the leftover stalks are used to make plastic, it becomes compostable! It is most commonly used for straws, but is great for other plastic replacements.
Fabrics and Materials to Avoid
Materials to avoid would include products made with new plastic and synthetic fabrics such as polyester, rayon, spandex, acrylic, nylon, and rayon. These fabrics are made from petroleum and/or coal-based chemicals, making their production harmful to the environment.
Look for many more ideas on how you can make better choices when purchasing everyday merchandise for your employees gifts and client giveaways in our latest Boss Curated – Fresh & New Lookbook.