How to go green & select sustainable branded merchandise for your company

How to go green & select sustainable branded merchandise for your company

Branded merchandise has come a long way since the days of cheap plastic products – in a more switched on world they simply no longer cut the mustard with either your employees or your clients. Whether you need to get some branded merch for an upcoming event or are looking for an employee reward that they will truly appreciate, you should really be looking at something that is planet positive and that they will get a lot of use out of. Just think about it, if they use it all the time, they are showing off your logo and brand to everyone around them – which when you think about it is the exact aim of branded merchandise – to raise your brand visibility and have it associated with positivity.

However, finding truly sustainable branded goodies is not that simple. Just because a coffee cup is reusable does not make it sustainable. There are so many other things to consider. What materials is it made from? Who makes it and what are their working conditions? How does it come packaged?

Here are our handy tips to find truly sustainable products for your next branded merch. purchase:

1. Choose something useful

So, you have given them something with your brand logo on – the last thing you want is for it to end up in the back of a cupboard gathering dust or worse still, getting flung in the bin, right? Choosing something that is truly useful not only means they will appreciate the gift more, but it also means your design/logo is out in the big wide world with them – gaining you positive brand association and visibility. Take an Ohelo cup, not only would they be able to reduce the single use coffee cups in their lives (something that is so greatly needed as 99.7% of them do not get recycled) they can take them to their local coffee stores where they will often receive a discount. Not only do you gain brand visibility, but you save your employees or customers some pennies on their commute coffee – you gain extra brownie points for that!

Ohelo blue swallows tumbler being held by a woman

2. Choose something planet positive

As we gradually come out of the nightmare of the global pandemic, or at least learn how to live with it long term, the climate crisis and sustainability issues are rightly coming back to the front of peoples’ minds. So branded products that help the recipient to easily make a small planet positive change to their lives will become increasingly important.

The average Londoner is still using 170 single use plastic bottles every year. Gifting them a branded reusable bottle that is durable, reliable, and easy to use will help them reduce their single use plastic consumption.

Ohelo plain bottles in black, blue, yellow and pink lined up on a wooden table

3. Choose something that values the people that make it

Truly sustainable products will be made in a safe and fair way. To us that includes many things, from ensuring there is no child labour to having good health and safety systems. Our worker’s rights and wellbeing are vitally important – and our customers can use our bottles happily knowing that everyone involved has been treated fairly. Some things are just worth paying a little more for – and in a world where transparency and social justice is more important than ever it really is crucial to ask about these things when selecting your next merch partner.

Here at Ohelo, we have independent reports showing that all our products are ethically made (2 pillar SMETA reports) – they cover everything from gender equality in the workplace to wages and workers rights. We are always happy to share these independent reports with businesses that are co-branding with us. We would always advise asking if your merchandise provider has any independent reports that cover ethical manufacturing and if they are willing to share them.

Women in field making heart shapes with their hands

4. Choose something that is made from only the good stuff

It is obvious that products that are built to last are going to make better merch items as they will be used for longer by the recipients. You should also consider the things you don’t see – what has been used to make this item? Is it safe for the people that make it? Is it safe for the environment? These considerations will help you pick branded goods that are good for you, good for the makers and good for the environment.

Here at Ohelo we use SAFER MATERIALS than almost all other similar brands – our bottles are LEAD FREE. We pay extra to use a lead free solder. Industry standard still uses a lead solder to seal the vacuum within the vessel (a material banned by the EU for personal use and use in electronics). This is handled by the makers day in day out, which is not good for them or the environment. Most others are either unaware of this problem (which is not excusable as they should know what goes into their products) or go with industry standard as it is significantly cheaper to do so.

Ohelo black and steel bottles and tumblers co-branded with Parkinsons UK design

5. Choosing something that is beautifully branded AND personal

Getting your branded goods just perfect so they reflect your company perfectly is definitely important. You may also want to consider that by personalising your branded goods you could make your employees feel even more appreciated.

Here at Ohelo we laser engrave our co-branded products using a rotary laser which enables to engrave designs around the product rather than being restricted to a tall vertical column (like most other similar brands who use linear lasers for their co-branding services). This means you get a branded product that is perfectly on brand with no restrictions on horizontal sizing for your design. Your employees or customers will be delighted to have a sleek and sophisticated product that won’t fade or peel with time. Branded goods that look just as good after months of use and abuse!

Ohelo yellow tumbler with large teddy logo for co-branding client

For companies that want to go the extra distance we can also offer a personalisation service during the co-branding process. Get the names of your staff added to their bottles for gifts that will make them smile.

We hope that we have enjoyed our helpful tips on selecting truly sustainable goodies for your next branded merchandise. Here at Ohelo we love helping brands create on-brand products that are perfect for their people and the planet. Get in touch with us at hi@ohelobottle.com to discuss your merch requirements and let us help you create perfect sustainable branded goods for your next event.

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