Sustainable Swag: The Future of Swag
If there weren’t companies actively trying to make the fashion industry more eco-friendly, the future of promotional products like water bottles would look pretty bleak.
In many ways, it still does — mainly because there needs to be more clothing and distribution companies working together to solve our current climate crisis.
The fashion industry is one of the worst sectors for the environment, especially today. It is responsible for 10% of all global carbon emissions, which is more than all international flights and freighter shipping combined. Because of unethical practices, fashion is also responsible for 20% of global water pollution.
The facts and statistics go on and on, but here’s the most important one: clothing production has doubled since 2000 and is only expected to increase.
With so much demand, it can be difficult for the manufacturers of these clothes to come up with cost-effective ways to sustainably create their products.
So, instead of putting in real effort, most large corporations will take the easy and cheapest way out: producing unsustainable products through an unethical process to turn the highest possible profit.
At KOTN Supply, we’re dedicated to creating sustainable swag for all. Let’s take a deeper look at sustainability and how we are one step closer to neutralizing our global carbon footprint.
What Is Sustainability?
Contrary to popular belief, the term “sustainability” doesn’t only refer to something’s environmental impact.
That’s certainly a huge part of it, but it’s not all of it. In the corporate world, sustainability means one of two things: the effect a business has on the environment and society. Their goal is obviously to cover both, but more often than not, it’s either one or none.
There’s even more that goes into it, such as having ethical working conditions and practices.
Many companies have unethical labor practices, including sweatshops, unlivable wages, and harassment throughout their overseas factories. Why? Because it’s cheaper.
So, how does a business or company become sustainable? It’s certainly not easy, or else there wouldn’t be a climate crisis. Let’s look at what it takes for a company to become sustainable.
The material that’s being used to create a product is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of sustainability, especially in fashion.
In terms of strictly materials and fabrics, sustainability would mean how long it takes to decompose and its overall impact on environmental pollution.
There are natural materials such as organic cotton or bamboo fiber and synthetic fibers such as polyester. Polyester is one of the worst fabrics for the environment as it takes centuries to decompose. On the other hand, some clothing is made from recycled materials, which have already been bought and used at least once.
If you threw out a garment made with polyester today, it would still be sitting in a landfill or floating in an ocean when the future 75th President of the United States takes office, and probably even longer. With so many people worldwide switching to stainless steel straws, recycled plastic toothbrushes, and renewable energy sources, it’s time for our clothes to get with the program.
Meanwhile, natural materials such as cotton are compostable and can take less than a month to break down and decompose. For a swag company to be sustainable, they have to be actively using these materials for their eco-friendly promotional products.
Think about what would happen if you ordered one single polyester shirt off the internet.
First, the shirt would have to be made with one of the worst fabrics for the environment. It would then be loaded onto a truck to take to the airport, fly somewhere near you, be unloaded, then driven to your house — all for one shirt.
If you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit? Well, either the process is repeated, or the shirt sits in a landfill forever.
To be fair, it’s difficult to fix this problem. Online shipping and delivery will never stop. However, there is one way to at least decrease the carbon footprint shipping creates: wholesale, or buying/selling in bulk.
Companies can and should ship as many of their products as possible in one trip, even if that means a few extra days of waiting.
Companies that practice wholesale are making a huge difference.
Unethical work practices are yet another aspect of the fashion industry that has been plaguing society.
Because of lower production pricing, most apparel businesses choose to manufacture their products overseas instead of embracing products made in the USA.
This can often result in horrid working conditions and wages that aren’t possible to live on. For a company to be sustainable, its labor conditions must be ethical — which means a clean workspace, decent wages, and consistent inspections and safety checks.
If any of these safeguards are not in place, a company’s production practices can be considered unethical, and therefore unsustainable.
The Three Pillars
We can simplify sustainability into the three pillars: economic, environmental, and social.
To simplify this even more, we can break those down into profits, planet, and people. These are the three main points every company needs to strive for no matter what.
If even one of these pillars isn’t met, a company can be considered unsustainable. It’s a difficult feat to pull off, but definitely not impossible — plus, it’s absolutely necessary for the good of the planet.
So, the next time you shop with a company, make sure their three pillars are covered.
KOTN Supply’s Sustainability
We are adamant that the world can only change one company at a time, and we’re committed to doing our part in making the earth a cleaner and more sustainable place.
Like we said earlier, if one of the three pillars isn’t covered, a company can be in big trouble. Fortunately, we do have them covered — and here’s how we do it.
KOTN Supply is proud to say we’re one of the few to be a B-corporation and were recently voted Best For the World by B-Corp for the second year in a row. We are a part of only 5% of the fashion industry that can trace their apparel all the way from the farm to someone’s closet.
From the minute our cotton is harvested and prepared for creation, we know exactly where it’s going next at all points in the supply chain.
No loopholes, no excuses — just sustainable practices.
The material we use for our corporate gifts is 100% organic Egyptian cotton, which is one of the most pure materials in the world.
There are no artificial fabrics like nylon or polyester in our clothes. These no-reuse materials take centuries to decompose and are consistently dumping microfibers into the oceans which don’t dissolve. Just like plastic bottles and plastic bags, these materials are adding to the mountain of ocean pollution.
As a bonus, our ecosmart Egyptian cotton creates some of the comfiest clothes you’ll ever wear.
From the moment the very first seed is planted, we know exactly where it is and where it’s eventually going to be.
After the cotton is sustainably harvested, it’s then ready to be transported and prepared for the creation of eco-friendly swag. Keep in mind that you can trace these steps yourself after you order your sustainable promotional products as well.
Once your design is finalized and uploaded, we offer three printing options: screen printing, digital printing, and embroidery. Whatever you decide, our hard-working employees will begin to transfer the design onto the blank T-shirts made from our cotton.
Sustainable Swag Ideas
With all this talk about sustainable swag items, you’re probably now wondering what type of apparel we offer that you can include in your next company giveaway or social media gift box.
Remember, KOTN Supply’s high-quality company swag can only be bought in bulk (A.K.A., wholesale). We’re a company that’s meant for people looking to swag out their employees, peers, and other large groups or events.
With that being said, here are some of the products we offer our customers.
T-shirts and Longsleeves
We wouldn’t be a wholesale company without offering the undeniable king of wholesale products: the classic T-shirt.
Work events or uniforms, purchasable swag, sports events; you name it! Whatever your event is, we’ve got you covered with a custom T-shirt.
Not to mention, with fall rapidly approaching, you can never go wrong with a good long sleeve, too.
Sweatshirts and Hoodies
Right behind T-shirts are sweatshirts and hoodies.
Everyone owns at least one, whether it’s their style or not. Plus, bigger is better, and a custom sweatshirt will go a long way in accomplishing whatever your goal is.
Once again, with the weather cooling down, hoodies and sweatshirts are going to be in high demand quicker than you might think.
Do we even have to say it again?
Yes, fall is near. Longer and heavier clothing items are beginning to become in high demand, and that includes sweatpants.
Like our shirts and sweatshirts, our sweatpants are made with the same process and material that has landed us the honor of being one of the most sustainable clothing brands in the fashion industry.
Everyone needs something to carry their stuff, right?
With KOTN, you can rock your custom swag by using a custom tote bag to transport your stuff from point A to point B. It even works as a lunch box for the stuff that you don’t need to refrigerate.
Although there’s a long road ahead of us on the path to total sustainability, companies that excel in the three pillars are charging ahead.
We hope you join us in our fight against climate change and take action every time you order something online, whether it’s reusable straws or sustainable clothes.