PPAI Magazine May 2024

Circular Economy | Must Read Rounding Out Supply Chain A circular economy means no product or material is wasted. Can the promotional products industry make it a reality? By Jonny Auping Do you remember in elementary school when your art teacher first asked you to draw a circle? It probably wasn’t perfect. Maybe it was a bit squiggly. Or perhaps it wasn’t a fully closed loop. But you probably managed to get the idea of a circle on paper. Anyone looking at your drawing could likely tell what you were getting at, even if there was room for improvement. That’s a little bit like where the promotional apparel industry is when it comes to the circular economy, which strives for a system where materials never turn into waste but are constantly reused, sometimes in completely different forms. To say that there is a long way to go might be an understatement, but some companies are paving the way. Others are doing what they can and getting a feel for a future where circular economies are the industry norm. Start Somewhere In the circular economy model, raw materials enter the supply chain and are designed into durable products that can ultimately be resold, repurposed or recycled. What does that look like in promo? How does a company inch closer in that direction? According to Jason Lucash, CEO of Rupt, a new Austin, Texas-based supplier making an industry splash with its sustainabilityforward approach, look to the promo companies that have already wrestled with those questions. “There is great product within this industry from great suppliers that are doing things right,” Lucash says. “There’s just a handful of them. I encourage other suppliers to do the same thing to elevate the industry as a whole.” The 3 Strategies To Increase Circularity p. 65 A True Closed Loop p. 67 USE CASE: From Event Décor To Attendee Swag p. 69 PPAI • MAY 2024 • 63