During 2023 the awareness and actions of the large corporations working towards a sustainable future was more prevalent and fast paced than ever before. With pressures from governments worldwide along with shareholders and customers, large organisations must move quickly with their actions and intentions of their brands sustainable practices.
The Branded Merchandise industry have been quick to react to sustainability buying trends and requirements.
Manufactures of promotional products have been working with new sustainable materials and processes for many years. Lock down forced factory downtime but allowed many innovative manufacturers the time to refocus on the research and development of new recycled and eco materials enabled with more sustainable ways to manufacture them.
This year is set to bring many new sustainability trends and products with many non-sustainable products being fazed our and replace with more Eco -conscious products.
Here are a few examples of the how promotional products and their materials are changing to become more sustainable.
Lower impact materials
The choice of material is critical to achieve the positive impact of a product.
Recycling plastic is considered an effective way to save non-renewable resources from becoming waste and is an important part of a circular economy; recycled materials also use far fewer resources in production than conventional materials.
The source of the recycled content can be ‘post-consumer’ or ‘pre-consumer’. Post-consumer refers to waste resulting from products used by consumers and then discarded, like plastic bottles.
Pre-consumer refers to waste from production processes (factories) like leftover scraps of fabric. A good option in terms of circularity is to use renewable materials (e.g. cotton, wood) instead of recycled non-renewable material in products.
Products with traceable recycled contents
Being able to track the origin and authenticity of a product claim is now becoming available on certain products . This can be used for monitoring the carbon footprint of a given product by tracking and the distance they have travelled.
Aware™ makes data public to track and validate the end-to-end impact of sustainable textiles from origin to consumer. The Aware™ process begins with embedding a physical tracer in the sustainable textile at source. Scanning, using the Aware™ hand scanner, enables instant verification along the entire value chain. Production data logged on public block chain by every supplier creates a digital twin and virtual flow that follows the physical material flow forward. Every step is validated by Aware™’s digital tokens. This innovative platform transforms a system hidden behind private databases into a democratic, open, and user-friendly platform.
Using less water in manufacturing
Water is a worldwide issue from the melting Arctic to dried outlands and the consequences are found all over the world.
By 2025 50% of world’s population will experience so called ‘water stress’; Having to deal with a lack of sufficient and ready to use water. Water is a very tangible subject.
IMPACT is a collection of recycled products that aim to make a positive impact by focusing on the use of water in manufacturing.
They are committed to using recycled materials (instead of virgin materials) to lower our impact on global resources. The manufacturing of products using recycled materials uses significantly less water. This is important as water is a scarce resource for many.
The WWF state that it takes more than 20.000 litres (5,283 gallons) of water to produce just one kilogram
(2.2 pounds) of cotton, which roughly equals one T-shirt and a pair of jeans.”
Reduce & Reuse
In 2021, the recycling rate for the UK indicated that the remaining waste (44.6%) ended up in landfills. Although not every material can be recycled, the reduce and reuse ethos is very important in reducing landfill waste.
Future merchandise needs to be useful and of a high quality so it can be reused repeatedly, thereby reducing the throwaway element of the one use or non-recyclable lower-quality alternatives.
Zero waste corresponds to the ethos of minimising landfill waste. Embracing a zero-waste lifestyle involves avoiding products that generate waste and opting for reusable and refillable alternatives. As the Zero Waste movement gains momentum, refill stores are becoming more accessible in most towns and cities, with major retailers like incorporating refill stations into their stores.
Branded products such as reusable bags , reusable bottles and reusable straws, all help to reducing the impact of single-use packaging on landfill waste.
At Arcadia we recognise and understand the importance of preserving the planet for future generations by helping to address global environmental challenges.
We are fully committed to creating a more sustainable future by conducting our company and our business offering in a sustainable and ethical manner by minimising our ecological footprint and promoting social responsibility.
Our focus and commitment are to put sustainability at the heart of every decision we make, product we provide and supplier we partner with.