A green Christmas gathering: A neat swag stunt that’s ESG-approved.

We ditched the traditional swag option for a more personal and green approach: We encouraged Abzoids to bring their preferred textile – preferably pre-loved – to screen-print our logo on.

As we approach Earth Day – (reminder: April 22nd!) – I have been reflecting on a green swag initiative from our annual Abzu Christmas gathering. Lift with pride. And: You’re welcome.

First-and-foremost: I can’t take credit for this idea, so shout-out to my work-wife Maria.

Branded swag can be a blessing. Or a regret.

Call it cultish, but well-branded quality swag is simply awesome. If you’re still in the honeymoon phase with your current job, or you’re one of the lucky ones who love what you do and who you work for, getting a high-quality sweater, shell, or some other third thing is just inspiring.

This is for all the obvious reasons, the main one being “free marketing.” An army of little billboards with a positive NPS (Don’t forget to donate to the Wikimedia Foundation.) Yes, please.

Whether you’re an employee or a client, receiving poor-quality swag is humiliating.

God forbid it’s:

  • A polo shirt.
  • A redundant desk accessory.
  • Encompassed entirely by your logo.

But you feel this in your bones already because, well, you’ve read this far. So please, dear reader; continue.

So wha’ ha’ happened was…

We ditched the traditional swag option for a more personal and green approach: We encouraged Abzoids to bring their preferred textile – preferably pre-loved – to screen-print our logo on.

We had three logo sizes and many paint colors available. During our holiday party (preferably before too many snaps), we encouraged Abzoids to pin and print their shirts. It doesn’t take too much hand-holding (Maria: Confirm??), and it was delightful to get a hands-on perspective of the screen-printing process.

Not only did this save us money, but it was an obvious extension of our core values of transparency, honesty, and autonomy. It was fun, and it also just so happened to be eco-friendly.

But I think the biggest takeaway is that when you empower your colleagues with the right core values and the freedom to be creative, the best ideas for your business and your people bubble up.

But I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Screen printed Abzu green swag t-shirts

Screen printed green swag. Well done.

Abzu logo screen-printed on old Abzu-branded swag.

The Abzu logo screen print

Abzu logos on the screen print frame.

Elyse holds an EMBA from Georgia State University and is Head of Marketing and Communications at Abzu. She has 15+ years’ international marketing experience and prefers fast-paced startup environments. Elyse is an avid runner, CrossFit-er, gardener, reader, and swearer.

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