Made from what again? Branded Merch made from unusual materials

Memorable merchandise attracts attention because it’s useful, innovative and has a story to tell. In an ocean full of the same old custom products and shrinking marketing budgets, your choice of branded merchandise can make or break your gifting strategy. Our recent research has uncovered four innovative custom branded products that are shaking up the industry and getting attention for all the right reasons. Take a look…


Notebooks Made from Fruit Leather and Stone

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Notebook covers made from pineapple, apple, cacti, and other plant-based fibers? You bet. These leather-like materials contain, on average, 30% plant-based content, but the quality and feel are as luxurious as synthetic leather, a popular choice for high-end promotional journals and notebooks.

Talk about a conversation starter.

Now, picture your brand on a notebook with a pineapple leather cover and sheets made from limestone. Yep, you heard right—stone paper! It’s waterproof, tearproof, and bleach-free, making it perfect for journeymen, trade workers, engineers, biologists, landscapers, and anyone else who needs tough paper that won’t bleed through to the next page.


Bags Made from Washable Kraft Paper

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“Washable” and “paper” might sound like an odd combo, but it’s a real thing. Your denim pants probably have a label made from this material, and how many times has it survived a stint in the washing machine? Washable paper is a super durable material made from layers of natural cellulose fiber and plant-based latex. It can be dyed or printed to match any Pantone colour, too.

This eco-friendly alternative to plastic, leather, and even cotton, is tough enough to carry your groceries. It can be washed by hand or in the washing machine (just pop it in a laundry bag for extra care) with neutral detergent, then crinkled up or ironed and left to dry. If the bag rips, fix it with duct tape or upcycle it into a plant pot. How cool is that?

Washable kraft paper doesn’t contribute to microfiber pollution during washing like synthetic materials do. Plus, it’s not just for bags—think menus, labels, tags, wallets, and coolers. It’s functional and sustainable product option for various industries.

Like vegan leather, but better—and more natural—we think washable paper is here to stay. There are so many fresh and funky product choices… get in touch if you want to brainstorm some ideas.


Drink Bottles Made from Plants

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Bioplastics aren’t new; they’ve been around for years. PLA (Polylactic Acid), the popular “corn-based plastic,” is a go-to material in the promotional products industry, especially for reusable drinkware.

Reusable drink bottles are hot merch, but with so many options, it can be tricky to identify the exact product that’s best for your brand. Plant-based drink bottles are a fantastic lightweight option with custom branding capabilities that serves well for marketing activation, and promotional giveaways. They give recipients a story to tell because it’s not ‘just a bottle’.

Remember, PLA plastic is industrially compostable, so it won’t break down in backyard compost. Add some recycling tips when you give your bottles away.


Car Fragrance Diffuser Made from Mushroom Mycelium

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We just discovered this product, and it blew our minds.

Made in the Czech Republic, this fragrance diffuser is 100% biodegradable, made from sawdust waste grown under fungus, which absorbs and gradually releases selected essential oils in various fragrances.

Real estate professionals can custom-brand this gift set for a perfect housewarming gift. Car dealerships can engrave their logo and gift returning clients a sustainable car fragrance diffuser that’s kind to the environment.


Wow the Crowds with Alternative Materials

Popular merch products such as notebooks, tote bags, and air fresheners can have a unique appeal when made from unusual materials. Who expects to receive a stone paper notebook or a paper bag that never rips? What’s more, innovative and sustainable merchandise are now key to a successful marketing campaign. If you can highlight how your merch has been responsibly sourced and created, you’ll give your brand the edge.

The ideas above are just a handful of examples. When you work with Inck, we’ll talk about the ideal product for your next campaign, and tell you how to pitch a story, not just a product.

Let’s talk about products that will make a wow-impact on your brand. Contact the team at Inck today. 



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