I love the branded merchandise industry, and am proud that our family business has become one of the nation’s leading firms in this space.
However, one thing that has bothered me for years is that when companies rebrand or get acquired, a lot of swag unfortunately can find its way to a landfill. I’ve been working with my team to solve this problem. Last month, we launched SwagCycle, a service focused on responsibly managing the lifecycle of branded merchandise.
An important term to consider is landfill divergence. We want to ensure that items do not get thrown away, but instead get repurposed or recycled responsibly.
We’ve developed a simple and efficient 3-step process to address this issue with companies: (1) Assess the inventory of unwanted items; (2) Confirm brand guidelines to determine if excess items can live on with charitable partners or should be recycled; and (3) Match items with appropriate charities and/or recycling partners.
We’ve been working for quite some time to build a proprietary network of charitable and recycling partners to help companies repurpose and recycle their unwanted branded items in a responsible, ethical and affordable way.
The response from the charitable community has been amazing. These include organizations like Second Chances, which accepts donations of clothing, shoes, and accessories to assist homeless and lower-income people to better their lives and to help minimize the amount of discarded clothing sent to local landfills.
We recently helped a leading educational company donate off-brand but very high quality bottles to the United Way and Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Here’s a bit more information on that project.
If you’d like to learn more, I wrote a white paper about Solving the Unusable Swag Problem.
I look forward to your feedback!