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Sustainable Marketing: Spread the Word on Reusable Tote Bags

Priscilla Greene |

Marketing today takes many shapes, while always trying to help companies stay ahead of the competition. An old – but still valid – motto says that promotion is the soul of commerce. If you have a company (in any industry, really), you know how much you invest in your marketing strategies. Also, you should be able to analyze what tactics convert the best in more sales, more customers, or an increased level of client loyalty.

In the past years, we all know that the online environment replaced many paper-based marketing strategies. Did you ever receive a flyer or a note with a message from a client or customer and just threw it away into the trashcan?

While paper, even wasted on paper-based promotional objects, can resume its existence in a recycled form, you will nevertheless lose the message or the offer written on it. In other words, in today’s world, paper marketing fails its own purpose. One viable solution to this issue is to replace the medium with something more durable and practical, like a reusable tote bag.

Spread the Word, Not On Paper!

colorful digital paper with ads


Estimates show that US landfills get more than 100 million tons of trash each year. Promotional products (especially ones printed on paper) are a large part of that. Nowadays, there are plenty of alternatives to paper. We have access to a wide range of practical products made from natural fabrics; not to mention online platforms. Growing your business should not come at the cost of destroying our planet.

Not so long ago, we presented you with a comprehensive guide on the effective use of promotional items. This can help you market your business while caring for the environment and making sure your message reaches the hearts of the receivers. We were talking about promotional T-shirts, water bottles, travel mugs, and more. 

When you consider investing in promotional items, you have to consider the following things to practice a more sustainable approach:

Offer a Token of Appreciation

hand offering flowers


Offer the client or collaborator a small token of appreciation. This should be an item they can actually keep and use. To bring the marketing strategy to life, connect this product to your business by printing your company logo or image. Depending on the strategy you opt for (and the available space), you could also add contact information (like the office phone number, website, or address).

Make sure to add your logo under their eyes to win the loyalty of the client. This way every time they use the item, they will be reminded of your brand. A printed logo can serve as an anchor to shared positive past experiences and as a catapult toward future interactions.

Use the Word-of-Mouth

 colorful speech bubbles


Word-of-mouth (WOM) is a strategy that relies on transforming clients into marketing resources. This relies on the simple principle that consumer experience (especially the polarizing ones, either highly positive or very bad) seeps into daily dialogue. People talking about your brand is basically free advertising (many even claim that even bad publicity is still publicity as it draws attention to the services you offer).

There are steps that you can take to further encourage this phenomenon. To take things to the next level, a business owner must step out of the shadows and become an active participant in the marketing scene. To encourage WOM marketing, set up publicity activities or find innovative ways to promote communication between your consumers.

Use this technique in an efficient and innovative manner – people wearing or carrying your promotional items spread the word better about your company than an army of pretentious and very expensive influencers. Make your own influencers out of the people who already know you and trust that your business is good.

Personal brand knowledge can be very valuable in attracting new customers. What is more, the emotional connection that your fans already share with your brand can be even more powerful. Passion is magnetic and can easily draw in people.

If you are a beginner entrepreneur, you should check out our article on the benefits of using innovative promotional products – and by innovative we mean a sleuth of items that play on the eco-friendly side and appeal to people in general. Like reusable canvas tote bags.

What Can a Reusable Tote Bag Do for Your Business?

man facing an idea board


One of the most affordable and most comfortable ways to spread the word about your company is through canvas tote bags. They are all the rage right now, as more and more people use them in their efforts of contributing to sustainability. If you think only women wear printed tote bags, you would be wrong.

You will also see many men keeping a few reusable canvas shopping tote bags in the trunks of their cars when they go to the supermarket for grocery shopping. Since everybody has at least one such item, why shouldn’t they wear yours?

Reusable Tote Bags are Easily Accessible

woman holding a reusable promotional bag

You might be wondering, why are canvas tote bags slowly but surely replacing paper-based promotional items? Let’s see some facts that everybody should know:

  • You can easily purchase reusable totes online in bulk. The process is quick and simple. 
  • You can browse through a wide selection of products and choose the right fabric for your needs (cotton, canvas, jute, etc.). You can also pick the shape and size of these bags.
  • No matter how intricate your company logo is, you will find professional screen-printing services able to personalize your reusable promotional bags with anything from logos to large texts conveying your company’s purpose, representative images, or messages to clients.
  • Canvas tote bags are reusable. This means that the people who receive them will most likely use these in their everyday life, becoming thus the most honest brand ambassadors you will have.
  • These bags are absolutely eco-friendly, making the user a proud owner of an environmentally friendly product.

It is very easy to get these reusable bags either in the form of a small stock or a large wholesale, as a number of online stores are ready to supply the reusable tote bags to you at a cost that fits your budget. For example, you can choose from a variety of tote bags on our website at affordable prices.

Promote Your Sustainable Mindset

reusable tote bag on display in a shop


There is no better way to publicly promote your eco-friendly mindset than by dropping plastic bags and replacing these with more sustainable alternatives (like reusable tote bags). In fact, if you want to further up your game, go for strictly organic or recycled items. 

Recently, there has been a shift in the fashion industry, as many brands and producers are starting to turn their back to fast fashion and turn towards a greener future. There are many small acts that can help us move in the right direction, including a more considerate production phase, creating long-lasting products, practicing recycling, or switching to eco-friendly promotional products.

Circular fashion is now the main contender of fast fashion. This concept was born and developed in Sweden, and it is founded on the principles of circular economy. The concept promotes a cyclical approach to systems and industries, in which there is no real end to a product, as it is continually included in a different or new cycle. 

We must mention that for circular fashion to work, all actors on the scene need to get involved. This means that both producers and consumers must work together towards the shared goal of shaping a greener future. Some of the small but important steps consumers can take include: 

  • Encouraging sustainable brands by shopping their products
  • Buy second-hand items
  • Reuse and recycle
  • Replace plastic bags with reusable shopping bags
  • Repair broken items
  • Offer products proper care and try to use them for as long as possible

More Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

flower in a pot

If you are a regular visitor to our website, you know we put together a list of eco-friendly promotional products that help you implement a sustainable marketing campaign. We listed plenty of items that show high levels of functionality and practicality while keeping their whimsical side. Some of the products we love most are:

  • Reusable tote bags – as they are so versatile, they fit any business profile, size, or industry;
  • Cork items – from coasters to pen holders and USB drive cases;
  • Environmental friendly new materials, such as jute (which is an eco-friendly miracle in the textile industry) or bamboo;
  • Ceramic/terracotta items - like flower pots that help create a cozy atmosphere at home or at work. 
  • Recycled items - such as briefcases, duffel bags, or travel kits to help you stay fashionable while protecting the environment.

Top Businesses Where Reusable Tote Bags Are the IT Promotional Items

You may think that your line of business works better with paper promotions (let’s say you have a delivery restaurant, and you fill people’s mailboxes with ads and vouchers) than with canvas tote bags or other innovative promotional products. We will list a few ideas our marketing department came up with when thinking about the power of sustainable marketing over the last years.

Store Owners: Replace Plastic Bags With Reusable Canvas Totes

shop open sign


Reducing plastic waste slowly grew into a worldwide phenomenon that is tackled from different angles and at different levels. While there are also state and governmental initiatives to help the good cause, each of us must play our part as well.  

Some of the main strategies to encourage businesses and consumers to drop plastic bags include:

  • Recycling programs
  • Bans 
  • Fees
  • Incentives

If you have a store (of any kind) you should replace all your plastic bags with poly or canvas reusable shopping tote bags as part of the global war against plastic overuse. Your customers will reuse your branded tote bags when they shop in your store and others. In the meantime, they will be spreading the word and making our planet a healthier place to live. 

While women cannot carry a plastic supermarket bag as a purse, they can and DO wear printed/branded tote bags as casual day purses. These are highly versatile items that can accompany the owner anywhere from work to a picnic.

Bookshop Owners: Offer Free Branded Reusable Tote Bags

bookshop view from outside


For those who work in the book industry, it should be obvious that bookworms need solid bags to carry their favorite books they shop from you. A reusable jute book bag with full gusset (and your logo front and center) promotes your shop or publishing business like no other. Offer them free when people buy books from the store. You can also organize giveaways or send them as gifts to your most loyal clients on special occasions.

Gym Owners: Use Drawstring Backpacks as Promotional Items

woman working out her back


If you run a gym, we have already presented our readers with the benefits of drawstring backpacks as promotional items for gym owners, but do not underestimate the power of reusable tote bags, either. Here is a quick recap of the main benefits:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Encourage word-of-mouth marketing
  • Increase website traffic
  • Encourage loyalty among clients
  • Expand your online presence
  • Create a fresh community
  • Enlarge your niche

It is important to mention that these benefits are not necessarily limited to this business segment. Any business owner who uses promotional products wisely, regardless of their activity sector, can reap the above-mentioned benefits and more.

Spa and Wellness Center Owners: Use Jute Bags for Complementary Products

skincare products


For those who manage a spa, a cosmetic salon, a personal care business, a cosmetic company, and so on, nothing works better than promotional jute gift bags with a window to send your clients complimentary sample products.

Offering small sample products is a great way to get people to try something new. Many are apprehensive about spending money on different items when they already know what works best for them. It is a risk. However, you can help turn the gamble into a fact. By sending them your new products for free, you offer them a unique experience. If they like the items, they will likely not only purchase them but also spread the word.

You have probably noticed that complementary products from different businesses have taken over many influencer pages on Instagram. On-boxings, product presentations, and tutorials are evermore popular on stories and feeds across social media platforms. The truth is, that this can also be a pretty great way to increase the online presence and visibility of your brand.

Corporate Affairs: Adopt Eco-Friendly Promotional Items



People from corporate affairs, even if you handle an IT company or a financial advisory group, you can still ditch paper in favor of eco-friendly and thoughtful promotional items. Send your stakeholders a luxury bottle of wine inside an equally luxurious cotton/muslin wine bag with your logo on it. It will make a longer-lasting impression than yet another paper card, notebook, or calendar.

Innovative Green Marketing is Knocking on Your Door

green door with lion head


If you read marketing studies conducted by reputed analysts, you will see that large cohorts of clients (with millennials taking the top) say that they are more willing to invest their loyalty in a brand if that brand proves it makes consistent efforts of conducting a more eco-friendly business.

Brand loyalty is not something to disregard if you are serious about your company, so you should reconsider your branding and marketing strategies from a “green” point of view as well. In other words, reduce and redirect your promotional strategies from printing on paper and move into the digital and eco-friendly world of marketing. Reusable tote bags offer a sustainable canvas to express your marketing message and help your company grow in an eco-friendly way.

Simply put, show your clients that you care about the environment and their needs – they will be more than happy to associate themselves with your brand and promote it naturally, organically, for years.