Sustainability should be more than just a buzzword your marketing team uses; it should be a core tenet of your operations. While sustainability can be achieved in a wide range of different operations, it’s the details that really make it clear whether or not you’re focused on the real outcomes.
For example, if your company claims to be dedicated to sustainability and green operations, but you turn around and give swag to your employees that is manufactured in inhumane conditions using unsustainable materials, what are you really saying about your company?
Luckily, with the infinite resources of the internet available, it’s truly not that difficult to find eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethical products to use for your giveaways. In fact, we’ve put together 40 ideas for you for your next giveaway, whether it’s for customers, employees, clients, or someone else entirely.
Branded jackets can come in a variety of forms, with and without hoods, zippers, and other accouterments, and they can all be printed with logos for a durable and long-lasting swag item everyone will love.
What’s more iconic for a piece of enduring swag than a sweatshirt or hoodie? Zipper fleeces, pull-over sweaters, and hoodies, all with eco-friendly materials, ethically sourced or union-made construction, printed with your logo or event, make great gift items.
3. Custom Tees
Tee shirts are one of the most common kinds of promotional items, and we’ve spent a lot of time sourcing ethically produced, sustainably made, and eco-friendly shirts in a variety of styles, constructions, and printing methods so there’s something to suit your style without compromising your ethics.
Sometimes, a simple tee shirt is a little too casual for your office; instead, a good polo shirt adds a branded touch of class to your team when they wear it to events, meetings, or just day-to-day. With different colors, styles, and cuts available, there’s something for any brand.
Disposable plastic bags are emblematic of the problems we face in sustainable and eco-friendly products these days, so you can help your team do their part by providing everyone with reusable canvas tote bags to take the place of those disposable plastic bags. They work great as containers for a whole swag bag full of other goodies, too!
For the high-performers, the traveling workers, or just as a high-value piece of swag, a durable leather computer bag can be a sought-after piece of swag. Use it as a contest reward, an event door prize or raffle reward, or a powerful incentive for meeting sales goals.
A little more available and a little less expensive than computer bags, messenger bags can be a more convenient and usable item for your team members while still being both high value and visible with your logo printed across their surface. They even come in several styles so you can pick the one most useful to your staff.
Fanny packs may be the butt of many jokes, but they’re undeniably useful in those situations where people need a small bag to carry items but don’t want a heavier messenger bag or other sack weighing them down. These branded bags can hold other swag, or they can be part of the toolset for the staff hosting an event.
Coolers can be made from eco-friendly materials, and that’s just what we have here. Get a branded cooler sack that can hold six or twelve cans of beverage, and bring them to your events to hand out as door prizes, give them as rewards to your team, or offer them as loyalty rewards to customers!
String packs are a very useful kind of small form-factor backpack, and a branded string pack is a great way to provide extra value to anyone you want to gift. They also work great as bags to hold other swag, including other items from this list. Or, larger and more durable backpacks can also be printed with your branding for higher-value swag.
A coffee mug may be a stereotypical piece of branded company swag, but they’re commonplace for a reason. Durable mugs with logos printed on them can be used in the office or at home, and since they come in numerous styles, you can pick something other than a boring basic mug for your employees or customers to enjoy.
Whether you want to help make your employees’ commute a little easier, give customers a branded option to remember you while they travel, or just offer something a little different than the usual swag; travel mugs are a great idea. With a variety of sizes and styles, there’s something to suit any brand.
Who doesn’t love a good water bottle? Branded water bottles go the distance and keep your employees or customers engaged and hydrated, whether it’s for a walk for charity, an event in the heat of summer, or just as part of an ongoing health initiative.
Ethically-made tumblers can be printed with single logos or designs all around them, suitable for pretty much any purpose you could desire, as long as that purpose includes giving away branded tumblers.
Glassware can range from promotionally branded mason jars with handles all the way up to elegant whiskey glasses and other high-quality, sought-after items. Whether you need them for your event or you want to give a few nice pieces to someone for reaching a career milestone, glassware is a great eco-friendly and ethical option.
Durably made with union labor, foam can holders help keep a can cool (or a glass warm) while the hand that holds it can stay safe to do more for you and your events. They can also be made with eco-friendly recycled materials, depending on the style you want to grab.
Seed paper is a great option for disposable items; it’s biodegradable and is laced with seeds. It can bring new life and vibrance to whatever location it ends up. These seed paper coasters are flat and absorbent to keep your tabletops dry and can be discarded or planted to bring fresh flowers and color to your landscape when they’re done.
Sometimes, an item like a coaster feels bad to discard, even if it’s made of eco-friendly materials. Leather coasters solve this issue by being durably made of different eco-friendly materials, so they can stand the test of time. Cared-for leather goods can last a lifetime, and while most people aren’t likely to care that well for coasters, it’s still an excellent option.
19. Branded Pencils
What could possibly be more typical of a swag bag than a pencil embossed with a company logo or tagline? While few people are going to be enthused to get a single pencil, they’re an excellent, cheap, and ethically-made option to round out any swag bag you’re putting together.
20. Branded Pens
If you want something similarly useful to a pencil but a little more durable and a little higher quality, a branded pen is a great way to go. They’re made in the USA with union labor, so you know they’ll be high quality and durable.
What are your customers, employees, or event attendees going to use those pens and pencils on? Why not give them a notebook to remember you by? These reporter notebooks are bound at the top and have high-quality printing for the cover and customization options you choose.
Spiral-bound composition notebooks are among the most useful kinds of notebooks available for people who need to write with pen and paper, and these notebooks go great in a swag bag with branded pens and pencils alike.
If you don’t want to get a pen and a notebook separately, this combination set offers a pen holder built into the notebook itself, along with custom imprinting for the cover.
Many people are skeptical of the ethics of paper products. They’re better than plastic, that’s for sure, but if you want more eco-friendly recycled paper notebooks, these are great options.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this leather-bound mini composition notebook is a durable and long-lasting branded product with USA production, so you know it’s good.
Keeping track of the passage of time and all the many responsibilities we all have is, too often, left to electronics these days. Sometimes, it can feel good to just keep track of everything in a monthly planner, and one that’s branded for your company can be useful for a whole year. Make sure to give these out in advance!
Weekly organizer books help keep track of all of those responsibilities with style, and the branding helps keep you in the hearts and minds of whoever wins the swag bag in the first place.
Want to keep your schedule visible at a glance? A good desktop calendar with custom printing can do it quickly and easily.
For the readers amongst your staff and customers, a bookmark can be an enduring reminder of the swag, the brand, the event, or whatever else you want to emboss on the leather.
Marketing postcards are all too often just discarded, so why not make that worth something? Seed paper comes to the rescue again.
31. Calendar Pads
Calendar sticker pads are combinations of calendars and magnets and can be a visible reminder of your brand all year round.
With 8 GB of storage capacity, a simple branded USB stick can be a useful tool to include in a swag bag, particularly for the brands that want to go paperless and skip notebooks, pens, and pencils.
They may not be the latest earbuds from Apple, but wireless earbuds can be branded, useful, and enduring, and make your swag bag a lot more high-value to the people who love the technology.
Wireless phone chargers may feel like magic, but what’s even more magical is the ability to get your branding printed on the surface of the charger. You can also provide these for public areas in your business for public charging purposes.
For the more golf-oriented teams, golf tees with branding on them can be a fun little item. Since many people fail to locate their tees, making them out of eco-friendly and biodegradable materials shows just another level of care.
USA-made screen-printed beach towels are large and visible emblems of your brand and can be both valuable and long-lasting products to give out in your swag bags, door prizes, and whatever other means you want.
When it’s rainy and gloomy out, most people aren’t going to be thinking about the branding of their products, but you can turn their umbrellas into marketing opportunities with branded umbrellas.
Custom-branded lanyards can be great for staff in general, for the people working specific events, or just as part of the swag bag for anyone visiting or attending an event. Have whatever you like printed on them and hand them out to everyone!
Sometimes, people want something a little more functional in their swag. A flashlight is a good option, but you can skip the cheap plastic and go with a durable, long-lasting metal Mag-Lite with custom engraving to take things one step further.
Want to host an event but want to make sure everyone feels comfortable with their health? Provide these branded N95 masks to keep your staff and patrons safe while reminding everyone who puts their health ahead of other concerns.
Need Some Eco-Friendly Swag?
Any and all of these items are available from our store. They’re all some mixture of made with eco-friendly and ethically sourced materials, constructed or printed with USA labor, made with union labor, or all of the above. For more information, click the links or browse our shop; this only scratches the surface of the products we offer. And if you have any questions at all, reach out! We pride ourselves on our transparency and commitment, and we’re always happy to hear from you.
Daniel Cardozo, CEO of Ethix Merch, is a passionate advocate for ethical promotional products. With a mission to transform global supply chains, he serves on the Labor 411 Foundation and Advertising Specialty Institute’s Promo for the Planet Advisory Board. Daniel is dedicated to empowering socially and environmentally-conscious consumers.