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Sustainable Swag for Eco-Friendly College Students

Published: 2020-05-20T21:45:33+0000 Author: Abby Helgeson
Sustainable Swag for Eco-Friendly College Students

Some of the most collected and loved promotional products come from well-known colleges, revered for their academics, athletic departments and teams, or both. However, even smaller colleges can get in on the benefits of offering sustainable swag.

Why do colleges offer swag at all? If they do, what should that swag look like? Here are some tips, tricks, and answers.

Why Colleges Offer Promotional Products

Most colleges offer promotional products as a way to instill pride in their students, keep their brand at the forefront of potential students’ minds, and to enhance the name recognition of their school.

These are all great reasons from a marketing standpoint. One of the most underestimated and underutilized marketing methods for colleges is personalized merchandise and promotional items. The ability to have your name seen everywhere, even in places where you don’t have a campus, is only one of the advantages.

The other is simply that your students are your ambassadors to those places. Your customized swag can be a conversation starter that leads a student who previously had never heard of your school to enroll in classes. Through offering online courses, the student doesn’t even have to relocate and can become another advocate for your college and your brand.

The Sustainable Difference and Generation Z

Why offer sustainable swag? Studies show that your next major source of students, Gen Zs, crave environmentally friendly products. They are also looking for companies, brands, colleges, and even housing that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The better they can identify your college as a “green” choice, even with your swag, the more likely they are to attend and to share that message with their friends.

If sustainability is not on your radar when it comes to personalized swag so far, you’ll want to change that to reach the next, more socially conscious generation. Not only is this good for you though, but it is also good for the environment. That’s not only good PR, it’s just good business.

Eco-Friendly Sustainable Swag Colleges Should Consider

When it comes to the swag you can offer, there are a lot of choices out there. What you choose depends in large part on whether you are selling customized merchandise or giving it away to new students and parents. You may even offer specialized and limited swag items to your faculty and staff.

Here are a few items to consider:

  • Recycled Journals and Notebooks: Whether offered as a new student giveaway, an item for sale in the bookshop, or even both, recycled journals and notebooks are useful sustainable swag. You can even offer an eco-inspired notebook with a pen, both personalized with your college name and information.

  • Recycled Tote Bags: Good for shopping or carrying books, recycled tote bags show parents and students your commitment to reducing harmful environmental waste. A great example is this recycled cotton market bag customizable with your college logo or mascot.

  • Organic Personal Care Items: When it comes to simple swag that can get used every day, few things are more popular than organic personal care items. From simple things like a wheat lip moisturizer ball to chapstick and other products, your name will never be far from your student’s minds.

  • Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes: Let’s face it, if a college student or even staff member is going to make healthy choices, they better bring their lunch. Even better is if they can feel good about carrying an eco-friendly lunch box. One option is this Kraft Cooler Bag. For a bonus gift, offer a wheat utensil lunch set to go with these personalized items.

  • Eco-Friendly Apparel: One of the most popular items any college offers is sustainable apparel like this Threadfast hoodie. No matter what your apparel needs, a more sustainable approach will make all of your customized wearables more popular.

These are just a few examples of the sustainable swag you can offer for eco-friendly college students. Offer them the items they crave, and they’ll become lifelong partners with your college.


Gen Zs not only crave sustainable products, but they are looking to be a part of organizations, align themselves with brands, and even make their choices about education based on who is “going green.” The more sustainable your swag and your campus, the greater your appeal to the next generation of students will be.

When it comes to sustainable swag, at PromoLeaf, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got eco-friendly promotional items for almost any purpose. Are you looking for the best sustainable swag for your college, or do you just have questions about customizing a variety of items? Contact us today. We’re here to help you with all the custom items you may need.


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