Earth Day: Sustainable Custom Apparel Practices

In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important issue for businesses and consumers alike. With the growing awareness of the impact that our actions have on the environment, many companies are now looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and promote more sustainable practices. One area where this is particularly important is in the production of custom merchandise.

Custom merchandise is a popular marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. However, it can have a significant impact on the environment — from the use of non-renewable resources to the production of waste, mass production of apparel can contribute to climate change and other environmental issues.

Fortunately, there are a number of sustainable practices to keep in mind so you can promote your brand guilt-free.

Graphic showing key tips to building your brand guilt-free.

  1. Choose eco-friendly materials

One of the most important things businesses can do to promote sustainability is to choose eco-friendly materials for their custom merchandise. This includes materials such as organic cotton, recycled plastic, and bamboo. By choosing materials that are renewable, recyclable, or biodegradable, businesses can reduce their environmental impact and promote a more sustainable future.

 

  1. Use sustainable production methods

Another important factor to consider when producing custom merchandise is the production methods used.  Recycling chemicals used for reclaiming screens, using eco-friendly inks, and choosing sustainable fabrics as mentioned above, are all production practices to reduce energy, waste, and water usage, while still producing high-quality custom merchandise.

Learn more

 

  1. Encourage reusability

Another way to promote sustainability with custom merchandise is to encourage reusability. This can be achieved by producing items that are designed to last, such as durable tote bags, reusable water bottles, or eco-friendly coffee cups. It’s a win-win; feel good about helping the environment, and increase your brand impressions and marketing dollars by choose thoughtful products that will be used often and for a long time.

 

  1. Educate customers

Finally, businesses can promote sustainability with custom merchandise by educating their customers. This can include providing information on the eco-friendliness of the materials used, the production methods used, and the benefits of reusability. By educating customers, businesses can promote a more sustainable future, while also building brand loyalty and trust.

Garment care instructions can often get overlooked as a small detail, but can make a big impact in reducing the carbon footprint of anyone who buys from your brand. Adding garment care instructions to your website, product descriptions, and clothing hang tags or woven labels can help promote longevity and also will help printed merchandise stay vibrant.

See suggested Garment Care Instructions

 

Brands doing their part

 

Threadfast

Threadfast is a brand committed to sustainability through their production practices. Their garments are made from eco-friendly materials such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. By using these materials, Threadfast is reducing their environmental impact, as these materials require less energy to produce and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

They also offer a unique program where they have committed to planting one tree for every case of garments purchased throughout the year, resulting in over 45,000 trees planted per year.

Shop Threadfast

 

Diagram showing environmental initiative to plant one tree for every case of garments purchased.

 

Original Favorites

When “eco-conscious” comes up in conversation, our mind often goes straight to materials. However, garment construction plays a major role in sustainability too. Creating quality garments that withstand the test of time through wear and tear, and outlast seasonal trends is a challenge that Original Favorites is committed to. Their model goes against fast fashion and takes a stance on quality over quantity by designing classic silhouettes that never go out of style, and will not end up in a landfill a few months after purchased.

In addition to their thoughtful garment construction, Original Favorites also prides themselves on using the finest, raw materials possible. This wholesale blank supplier is known for their super soft, premium Supima cotton tees.

Photo of Supima cotton

 

Check out our recent Merch Culture podcast with Pete Drago, the president of Original Favorites, for more insight on sustainable practices.

 

Corkcicle

We recently launched Corkcicle in our catalog, as a high quality and eco-friendly drinkware option for this summer season. Drinkware in itself is a sustainable product option as it promotes reusability and reduces plastic waste, but the Sport Canteen is especially great because of it’s durable construction and quality materials that hold up over time.

With every purchase of their product, Corkcicle helps bring clean water to people in need through their charity partnership.

Read more

Green water bottle with diagram showing product features.

 

 

 

Sustainability is an important issue for businesses of all sizes, and it is particularly important in the apparel industry. By making smart choices with eco-friendly garments, supporting brands with a cause, and educating customers, businesses can reduce their environmental impact, while also promoting their brand and building customer loyalty.