Mucky colours, limited choice, higher costs and longer lead times? If you’re not buying recycled or other eco-friendly items the likelihood is you have the same pre-conceptions as many others and they’re putting you off.
The three main points we are asked about are always the same; aren’t they more expensive, are they still mucky coloured and isn’t there a limit to what’s available. These days there is often a fourth; can they be produced as quickly as standard promotional products or do they still take ages. This last one is the easiest one to dispel so I’ll deal with that first. Speaking from my own position we offer a next day, 3 day and 5 day despatch service, I’m also aware of our competitors offering express services on at least some of their eco range.
As for the other three they too should be resigned to the past, unless these pre-conceptions can be dispelled you’ll struggle to find the green options out there or change the minds of those around you.
The point about choice has no grounds these days. If you are prepared to do the ground work there are green or ethical alternatives to literally thousands of products required for our industry – my company alone provide over 200 products and we’re particularly restrictive in what we allow into our ranges. There are electronics, bags, clothing, desktop, kids and outdoor ranges, paper and plastic based products, wooden and metal products that all have benefits over their standard virgin counterparts.
Mucky colours and camouflage effects are also a thing of the past, though lots of buyers actually still want this. We design some items to look more “natural” as that’s what we’re asked for. A lot of marketing literature also focuses on these natural ranges as they are more easily identified as eco friendly. However the choice of colours and finishes now far outstrip the limited selections of the 80’s and 90’s, partly this is due to technical improvements, partly fashion but mostly demand. All corporations want items that reflect their brand, and colour is a large part of their corporate identity. Don’t just select or focus on the natural looking items as that’s what you associate with eco-friendly, you may well find something much fresher and brighter.
Lastly price; there is any number of price variations within virgin non eco products and there is a place for all of them. Not all eco products that are more expensive are so because they are eco friendly, there are differences in quality and finish with recycled items as well as standard. There are cheaper and dearer items available from eco suppliers for any number of reasons. There are of course some ethical items that cost more than their standard equivalents, it’s for that exact reason that they are in fact ethical, the items in question are supporting higher wages for growers and producers.
Let’s be honest, in this day and age I, and the myriad of other companies supplying eco friendly and ethical products, wouldn’t be in business if we couldn’t supply a well priced, brightly coloured wide range of products that couldn’t be delivered within an Express lead time. If you’re missing out on recycled and ethical products it may just be that you haven’t moved on and therefore can’t see how things have changed, beware though your competitors out there may have.