Sustainability Education Centre
LEARN MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY…
You may see us using some of the following terms in our communications. Here’s what they mean:
Lower impact materials to look out for
In order to make an informed decision when choosing your branded merchandise, it is important to consider what the product has been made with.
We have a broad mix of materials, some of which will allow your product to biodegrade, or others could be recycled or reused. We hope the below carousel will educate you on which material(s) you may want to use for your merchandise.
If you would like to talk through which material may be best for your brand / the purpose of your campaign, we are a well-educated team and would love to discuss your requirements further.
ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) is 100% recyclable. ABS is assigned the number 7 recycling code. It is clubbed with “Other Plastics” on number 7 group. The process of recycling is simple and like the recycling method of PET. Once the recycled ABS has been fully reformed, it is ready to be re-used. ABS can be recycled for 2 or more times.
Aluminium is lightweight, durable and 100% recyclable. We use aluminium in many of our metal products, such as pens, bottles, keyrings and technology. Due to the durability of aluminium, your branded product can be used repeatedly. This discourages the use of using single use plastic alternatives such as disposable bottles and plastic pens.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants (grass) and it can replenish itself within a year with minimum water needs and without the need of fertilisers to boost its growth. Since bamboo is naturally pest-resistant there is no usage of pesticides. Bamboo is a very renewable resource, strong and durable. It absorbs CO2 from the air and releases oxygen which improves the air quality. Bamboo is 100% natural and biodegradable.
Cork is the bark of the self-regenerating cork oak tree. It is ranked among the most durable organic materials with the property of stabilising the air temperature and humidity. It is a very flexible material and be treated in a simple natural way. It has good adhesive properties, making it easy to use in combination with different materials. In general, the cork industry is regarded as one of the most environmentally friendly. Cork is 100% natural and biodegradable.
Tyvek is tough, durable sheet products that are stronger than paper and more cost-effective and versatile than fabrics. It is a recyclable material that is also breathable and allows water vapor to escape. Tyvek is also water and tear resistant.
Glass is a sustainable and budget friendly material. With different styles and sizes for any occasion, you can use these for when you are thirsty to help avoid single use items. Do your part by making this small change. Glass is a great material that can be re-used which makes it a perfect match for our collection. Easy to clean and long lasting.
Hemp is one of the oldest and most eco-friendly textile fabrics. It is made from fibres of the fast-growing cannabis plant that is naturally pest resistant and that can grow without the assistance of fertilizers and pesticides. This makes it a 100% organic crop and therefore very environmentally friendly. The production process of the hemp fibres is a very sustainable one and since these organic fibres are 100% recyclable.
Many of our confectionery items are available in Kraft boxes. This is 100% recyclable, compostable, biodegradable and it’s made entirely from paper fibre with no PE lining. It also contains 0% plastic. The company that makes it are BRC and ISO9001.
Organic cotton is equal to cotton with the difference that it is naturally grown without use of any pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, or any other chemical. To know for sure that the cotton is indeed organic, manufacturers go through extensive supply chain verification by third parties and only certified cotton can be marketed (example by GOTS). Number of organic cotton farms is increasing vastly however still counts for a very small part of overall cotton production worldwide.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a natural plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch (usually corn or sugar cane). It is an eco-friendly, renewably sourced and biodegradable alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. The increased usage of PLA will reduce the carbon footprint of many industries. This non-toxic green material can be used for all kinds of products such as grocery shopping bags to safe reusable tumblers.
Recycled fabrics are made from waste fabrics (any textiles). Collected textile solid wastes are reprocessed to fibre and then back to fabrics for further re-production of bags, garments, or linen. Most of the manufacturers work with two streams: pre-consumer waste (scrap from production) and post-consumer waste (used textiles collected). The colour segregation occurs during the process to avoid as much as possible the re-dyeing of the fabric.
We have introduced a new range of paper products. The same items you already know and love, made with sustainability in mind. This is only one of many ways we are adapting to help the ecosystem. Did you know the average tree can be used to produce over 8,000 pieces of paper? Once the paper is sorted, it is processed into usable raw materials which we mould into convenient items.
rHIPS.b is a biodegradable polymer made from 100% waste and recycled products. It is made from things like old yoghurt pots and the inside of fridges, so no virgin materials are needed. It naturally biodegrades in compost, landfill and water by being broken down by over 600 naturally occurring microbes. The biodegradation process is accelerated by 200 times faster than standard plastic and is the first of its kind on the promotional merchandise market. It works through the addition of a Biodegradable Additive that enhances the ability of naturally occurring microbes to consume the plastic.
Slate is a mineral product / 100% natural. Its production process is very simple and has a low environmental impact (minimum manufacturing as it is handcrafted from the quarry). Natural slate can be easily recycled at the end of its life.
PET is the most common type of plastic, mostly used for packaging and single-use disposable bottles/containers. A large part of the solid waste in the world is attributed to this packaging. Recycled PET is known as RPET, and it is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. The use of recycled PET by giving a new life to an already made product in place of virgin resin results in reduced environmental impact.
Jute is a fibrous tall plant, mostly grown in Bangladesh and India. Jute is durable due to its woody composition. The great thing about Jute is that it grows without needing too much water or any chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It’s an extremely renewable material as it reaches maturation in only 4 to 6 months! It’s also biodegradable (it degrades biologically in 1 to 2 years) and compostable.
Stainless steel products are designed to have a long life. It’s a favourable material for many manufactures as it is a corrosion resistant and durable material. However, once a product has reached the end of its life, stainless steel is 100% recyclable. The recycling process of this material is carried out globally all over the world. According to the British Stainless Steel Association, any stainless steel object has an approximate recycled content of 60%.
Becoming Climate Wise
Back in 2021, Firebrand partnered with Climate Wise. They attended our A World of Merchandise 4 event in 2022 to provide a seminar about who they are, the impacts of climate change, Firebrand’s offsetting impact and steps that we can all take in our personal lives to lower our impact. Please note: our journey has progressed since this was filmed in 2022 but if you have time, grab a cuppa (in a reusable, branded mug of course!) and enjoy learning more about climate change!
Our lower impact packaging options are growing. Many suppliers we work with have made the switch from a plastic bag to a compostable PLA bag where a bag is necessary.
Many of our tech products are delivered in a sustainably sourced paper pouch or box.
Most of our confectionery offering is now available in packaging made from PLA, Kraft Paper and recyclable materials.
On some of our products, there is even the option to go bespoke with your own custom design on our packaging. This packaging is often made of recycled materials and / or is recyclable. It completely depends on the product but please enquire if you are interested and we can see if it’s available on your chosen merchandise.
Our warehouse at the Firebrand Promotions office is equipped with a card shredding machine. Over the past two years, orders leaving our warehouse are wrapped in reused, recyclable card rather than single-use bubble wrap.
If you would like a packaging solution that houses multiple products, you may want to consider a swag box. Our box concepts are recyclable and can be branded with your design. Watch how we used recyclable packaging to gift our customers with a box of lower impact products.
Get in touch
Let us discuss how we can help your business reduce on merchandise waste. It is important for brands like ours to help the environment. It will also help to keep your brand in front of your audience for longer whilst helping our planet. It is a win/win situation while avoiding the bin…
Why not challenge us? Let us know which branded merchandise you usually buy, and we will find an eco-friendly alternative for you.get in touch