The Eco Trend: Gifts You Can Feel Good About


Sustainability is becoming a higher priority for people everywhere, and demand for eco-friendly products is on the rise. Consumers are more mindful of their purchases, and businesses are taking strides to be more environmentally conscious.

The “green” movement is making big waves in the promo industry, so we sat down with AJ Dickson, PCNA Senior Category Director, to learn more about one of the biggest trends of 2022.

Q: It seems like in the past five or so years, we’ve seen a huge increase in eco-friendly promotional products. Why do you think that is?
A: “Whether you’re talking about consumers or corporations, there’s been a seismic shift toward sustainability. In retail, shoppers are seeking out eco-friendly products. And at the corporate level, sustainability initiatives are driving decisions. Everyone is waking up and realizing the importance of preserving and protecting our environment, and the promo industry is doing its part by offering a bigger selection of eco-friendly products.”

Q: More and more retail brands are taking sustainability seriously. What’s the driving force behind this change?  
A: “I think there are a few factors. For starters, people want to buy from brands whose values are aligned with their own, and the brands have taken notice. Also, brands have a responsibility to the environment, and they’re stepping up in big ways. Whether it’s tentree planting 10 trees for every item sold, Karst making tree-free paper from 100% recycled stone or Welly donating more than one percent of sales to provide clean drinking water, it’s wonderful to see companies doing their part. These are the kinds of brands we like to partner with, and we’re always looking for others that share our commitment to the environment.”

Q: Why do distributors who are focused on sustainability look to PCNA?
A: “Our commitment to making a difference goes far beyond offering the industry’s biggest eco-friendly collection and partnering with likeminded retail brands. Yes, we want to make it easy to create promo gifts everyone can feel good about, but we’re also taking big steps toward sustainability as a company. Three of our facilities locations have earned Chain-Of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council®, a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. Chain-Of-Custody certification traces the path of FSC®-certified products from forests through the supply chain, ensuring that the FSC®-certified products you buy from us come from responsibly managed forests. It shows that we’re not just here to sell products, but we genuinely want to do our part for the planet as well.”

Q: Recycled materials are becoming more commonly available in manufacturing. Which categories are benefitting the most?
A: “It’s nearly impossible to pick just one. Almost every new apparel item we’re launching this year is made with recycled materials. We’ve also added lots of new bags made from recycled cotton and drinkware made from recycled plastic. Aside from recycled materials, we have food storage made from wheat straw and tech accessories made with natural bamboo fiber. Safe to say that all categories are moving in the right direction, and we’ll keep pushing them that way.”

Better For The Planet
Make a difference with eco-friendly and sustainable gifts. Click here to see our entire collection.