We operate in an industry that gets a bad rep for the use of materials that are considered harmful to the environment.
When people think harmful to the environment their mind usually runs to plastic products, and truth be told, those aren't great once they are disposed of. You’ll be glad to hear that we offer products made from more sustainable materials. In fact, you'll find over 1,000 products on our website that support companies in making a conscious, sustainable choice in their branding efforts.
The options may be a bit overwhelming so we’ve collated a dictionary of sustainable materials to help you along.
Aluminum is amongst the most environmentally friendly metals on the planet. On a percentage basis, it is the most recycled of any industrial metal. Of the more than 1 billion tons of aluminum ever produced, roughly 75% of the versatile and lightweight metal is still in use today thanks to recycling. As you can see, aluminium is one of the worlds' most environmentally friendly metals in terms of efficiency and sustainability. That's because aluminium, once melted down, won't change any of its properties. That means aluminium can be recycled infinitely. On top of that, during the recycling process of aluminium, the metal saves around 95% of the energy needed to produce aluminium from scratch.
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Brass is the most resource-efficient metal we have, and that's because it's made out of scraps from other metals. Luckily for the planet, making brass from new copper and zinc is extremely resourceful, and is considered a waste. Hence, brass is made solely from recycled scrap metals, making it a sustainable, concious choice.
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It's known by many that cork is sustainable, but the story behind it is really cool. The thing is, a cork tree is not cut down by anyone looking to gather cork. Instead, it's the bark of the cork oak that is harvested for cork that you find in everyday products. But here's the cool thing. Once you strip a cork tree of its bark for harvesting, the tree continues to live and grow, and while it does that, it produces more, new bark that can be harvested. Therefore, the easy and sustainable production of cork, combined with the recycling of current cork products makes this material particularly sustainable.
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Cotton is definitely sustainable. On top of that, it's also renewable and biodegradable, which makes it an environmentally friendly fiber through its entire life cycle. As you may know, cotton is a completely natural product grown on fields and needs no chemical processes in order to be turned into a fabric. In other words, the entire life cycle is sustainable.
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Felt is a textile material that is produced by using heat, moisture, and pressurizing techniques to mat, interlock, and weave together animal hair fibers. Some animals need to shed their fur, which can then be used to make felt out of through this process of repeated heat and moisturizing. The material itself is very sturdy after being produced and feels a little rough to the touch. The high durability makes it a material that's used to create products that last for years.
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Glass is completely recyclable, and can actually be recycled over and over again, much like aluminium. It's thanks to this recycling process that huge amounts of our resources can be preserved while saving on energy efficiency compared to making new glass from raw materials.
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Jute is a fibre just like cotton is, but with some different properties. It's typically bags that you'll find made in Jute. Now, here's the cool part of this sustainable material. It has natural UV protection and grows without fertilizers and pesticides (that's important for the future of our agricultural systems). The crop reaches maturity in 4-6 months which makes it extremely efficient as a source of renewable material. Additionally, jute doesn't require any complex watering systems, it simply gets the rain it needs from natural rainfall. Now, two really cool facts: 1) Jute makes the soil it grows in more fertile after its harvest, and 2) Jute, like trees, absorb carbon dioxide in the air around us, and releases oxygen that you and I breathe. And it does it way faster than trees.
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Metal is an essential material in a lot of the products made around the world. The thing is, you have to split metal into two stages when you consider its level of sustainability: 1) the sourcing of metal can be sustainable, depending on how the ores are mined, 2) the use of metal after it has been produced is recyclable without losing its properties. Essentially, metal is great once it's made.
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Paper is actually one of the only truly sustainable products we have in our world. The thing is, paper is sustainable, natural, and renewable since it's made out of wood which comes from trees that grow to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and then release oxygen. But here's the cool thing, since paper is made out of wood, it actually continues to store carbon dioxide (CO2) once it has been produced.
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Natural latex stems from trees by first harvesting sap from the tree and then turning it into the latex we know and use in products. Another reason why latex is considered sustainable is found in its life cycle of 32 years. Once the tree turns 7, rubber sap can be harvested twice a day for 25 years. Once the tree reaches its end, it's cut down and the remaining wood is used to create rubberwood furniture. As such, the lifecycle is sustainable and waste-free from start to finish.
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Bamboo grows extremely fast, and needs very little maintenance to grow – all without any use of pesticides. Similar to regular trees, bamboo also absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). In fact, it absorbs up to 35% more CO2 than regular trees. The rapid growth of bamboo, coupled with the low maintenance, makes it a great source of material that you can cut almost all the way down, allowing it to regrow, and then do it again. That is a sustainable cycle worth taking into account when on the lookout for sustainable promotional items.
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RPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or in short, recycled polyester. Now, polyester stems from oil and is not sustainable. However, instead of dumping polyester all over the world to infiltrate our planet, we can recycle it instead and thus produce the material RPET. Like that, we can take an already produced material that's not very great, and turn it into something practical like a pen or a water bottle.
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Naturally derived rubber comes from rubber trees which are a sustainable crop that helps us maintain a global balance in our carbon emissions. We're betting a lot of people didn't know rubber comes from trees, is natural, renewable, and recyclable.
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You're probably wondering what silicone is even made of. The answer is that it comes from quartz, an ingredient found in sand. So, silicon cannot be classified as either a metal or a non-metal, rather, it's something called a metalloid, which you can think of as being somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum. Now, silicon is found in many products used in the kitchen, and is better than plastic for one big reason: It doesn't degrade once used, thus releasing thousands of microplastic particles into our oceans and bodies. So while you usually think of biodegradability of products as a good thing, you actually don't want silicon to be degradable. Here's why: If it was degradable, then it would release particles from food containers when you eat, and that's not healthy.
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Stainless steel isn't exactly a material you would ordinarily couple with the notion of sustainability, but the good news is that it is. In fact, it's one of the worlds' most sustainable metals, simply because it is corrosion-resistant and extremely durable. Furthermore, stainless steel can be recycled into new products without losing any of its properties, thus making sure the quality of the metal stays the same even after it has been recycled.
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The story with steel is very similar to that of stainless steel, except that steel, unfortunately, can corrode. However, the good news is that once the steel is made, it's also infinitely recyclable just like the other metals used for products. Now, corrosion can never be completely avoided but can be limited greatly by keeping metal away from highly oxidated environments, which causes corrosion.
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No one needs to tell you why trees are sustainable, but for good measure, we're going to do it anyway. The cool thing about trees is that they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from our atmosphere and release oxygen back into the world. In fact, the average tree absorbs up to 48 pounds of CO2 every year. Besides that, trees are a natural, renewable source of material that grows all over the world, meaning it can be sourced locally in almost every country. This drastically limits travel, which is among the biggest culprits of carbon emission. In short, buying products made out of wood is great not only for limiting the carbon emission impact in the world, but also for absorbing already existing CO2.
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Wheat straw is an exciting, completely natural, and renewable source of material that's used in many everyday products. The products made out of wheat straws, like pens or bags, feel kind of like plastic to the touch, even though they aren't. But, that's what's makes their endurance so great and similar to products you already use. Here's the cool part, wheat straws can be melted back into a pulp, which is then used to create more products again, and again. And this process requires almost no energy.
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Zinc is a material that's naturally present in rock, soil, water, and air. Besides that, it's actually essential to the health of not only you and me but also the health of animals and crops. On top of that, zinc is extremely durable and recyclable, which means it can help save natural resources, which in turn improves the sustainable performance in our world.
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We would like to take a few seconds to explain the level of sustainability in the products you'll find on our site when filtering for certain materials.
The very nature of some of our corporate gifts and promotional items are, by design, more complex to make than others. For example, every pen needs an ink-barrel, which of course cannot be made out of wood, since ink would bleed into it, hence requiring the use of additional material, for example, RPET.
With that said, all of the products you find on our page live up to all regulations in place. This means that the majority of all products you find when using our filtered material selection will show products that are entirely or largely made out of sustainable materials.
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