Our new Materials Guide for brand builders

Materials guide by Framme

Nothing stands still. Sustainability is a driver for change is everywhere. We at Framme figured a while back that we’d have to change too. Not just little bits here and there. Recycle this. Avoid that. We wanted to change how we think about what we do and how we deliver it. And wanted to educate you to do things more sustainably.

So, as we recently announced, we went through a long and stringent independent process to become B Corp certified. Awesome. Job done!
Not quite. The B Corp thing really is just a licence to play. It gives us some kudos and credibility, but that’s not taken for granted nor guaranteed. We need to keep learning, changing and improving.

So as part of a bunch of things we’ve been doing, we’ve been looking more closely at some of the details. How good are our suppliers? Are they all delivering and evolving? And what have we been supplying to our customers? Is it the best it can be? Do we even know what it’s all made of?

The answers are yes, and honestly, also no.  It’s a mixed bag, so this forms part of the tough goals we’ve set ourselves – both to better measure our performance, and to significantly improve it.

So we want to tackle the industry we’re part of, head-on. We know our clients want to make physical connections with their customers. But that branded pen, gift, t-shirt, or notebook can convey a powerful message directly to the end consumer – in both good and bad ways. Reputation and trust is everything. So our goal is to turn giveaways and promotions into well-thought-out marketing collateral that elevates a brand and creates trust.  It’s not just a freebie or an after-thought.

The carbon emissions alone from a single digital advertising campaign can be up to half of an average person’s annual emissions. So…digital is not your ‘get out of jail free’ card either! 

But hang on! I hear you say. Isn’t marketing itself part of the problem? Well yeah, it is part of it. But is the solution then ‘no marketing’? Of course not. We believe instead of just dismissing a whole industry, we can work to change it to make it sustainable. 

So why not just go digital then? Yep, sure, digital marketing adds value and replaces some of the cheap throwaways synonymous with branding campaigns and physical marketing. But that doesn’t solve things either. The carbon emissions alone from a single digital advertising campaign can be up to half of an average person’s annual emissions (see fellow B Corp-er Good-Loop’s Green Ad Tag technology, which tracks your advertising impacts). So… nope. Digital is not your ‘get out of jail free’ card either. 

A guide to help you learn more about materials used in physical marketing 

So back to our supply chain – the nitty-gritty… is that backpack we’re supplying made from nylon or PVC or polyester? Does it matter? Is it the best material for the job? Is there a better alternative? Is a bioplastic any good if it doesn’t degrade any differently than fossil-based plastics? Does it matter when natural fibres get mixed with synthetics?… all these questions and thoughts have led to the creation of our first edition Framme Materials Guide.  

There’s a bunch of information in it about textiles, plastics, wood-based materials, innovations coming to market, and some help identifying common and useful certifications and labels.  It also gives a heads up about what some of the negative impacts might be. 

We’re planning to add more materials in the future, but we’re pretty proud of this first edition.  It’s not a comprehensive dictionary, and won’t answer all our questions, but it helps our team and our customers to start to understand more about what goes into the productions we deliver, and what choices we make or new ideas we can come up with, as our knowledge grows. 

And it’s a conversation starter, where we can then work closely with you to answer some of the trickier questions, help you provide answers to your customers, and come up with the best solutions we possibly can. It’s been a huge learning experience, and we’re really excited and inspired to learn about the sheer number of companies and innovators that are really pushing for change. 

Mind-boggling sustainability innovations 

Whether it’s companies like Ocean Bottle fishing plastic out of the ocean to turn into new amazing products, small two-person operations repairing and reusing clothing, mind-boggling innovators like Finland’s Spinnova, Sulapac, and Infinited Fiber, or the big beasts of our Swedish/Finnish corporate giants like Stora Enso, UPM, Metsä, and Huhtamäki regularly launching new products, there’s a whole heap of change going on!  And it’s ‘super exciting!’ as my boss Jani often exclaims. Because it really is.

The world has recently faced unprecedented upheaval and pressure, whether from Covid-19, political upheavals, shocks in global supply chains, or climate change-related catastrophic weather events.  It can be utterly energy-sapping and depressing. 

But when I flick on my laptop in the morning, have a quick scroll down my LinkedIn feed and read a few of the awesome things going on right here in Finland, the Nordics and across Europe and beyond, it really does light the fire in my belly and helps me always remember that there are many 1000s of people and businesses out there fighting to make a decent change.

We’re hoping our Materials Guide, along with other initiatives we’re embarking on, helps in our own little way, to be part of that global change.



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