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Repurposing print: An alternative to recycling your graphics

Producing signage is a staple part of putting on events and whilst we can do our utmost to reduce the number of print items, there will always be occasions where digital isn’t an option and not putting signage out would result in delegate chaos. Where print is a necessary output and the graphic has been used as many times as possible (year after year - we hope!) event professionals should be buying materials that can be recycled and making sure that they are, rather than making assumptions.

Check out isla’s Buying Better for Print if you need some pointers or work with Print Hub Global to connect you with sustainable print solutions

But before you consider the recycling route there may be some alternatives that can keep the materials in use as they are, avoiding unnecessary emissions from the recycling process. Here at Event Cycle HQ, we have teamed up with Quadrant Events to find out what’s possible.

Quadrant Events are well versed in event production, exhibitions and AV hire and with that comes the production of a large amount of graphics. Whilst considering their material choice at every stage to make sure it was sustainable, they were always curious to see what else could be done with the graphics they were left with post-event. So they sent us a variety of banners for our project. Half were branded with some sensitivity attached to the words and logos, the remainder were unbranded and full of colour.

Unbranded banners are obviously easier to handle and can be used in many different ways, one of the ways is through arts and crafts projects for schools. A lot of schools are independent and have charitable status meaning they are not operating for profit and must prove they provide public benefit. As such, funds are monitored strictly and every little helps especially when it comes to art. Five of the banners from Quadrant found their way to Rushcliffe Play Forum at Keyworth Primary School in Nottingham which not only provides a resource for the school but for the surrounding community too. Another five banners were sent to a very similar organisation, Gedling Play Forum, spreading the love to the other side of the city.

Eleven branded banners were left, but what could we do with them you ask?

Well, after an adventure into the world of sewing when we received some branded jackets last year, Event Cycle created a little black book of sewers to whom we set a challenge. We wanted them to create and make some beautiful items from event graphics without waste and without branding being shown in an identifiable way. What we got back was wonderful. Tote bags more exciting than that cotton shopper from your last event, a duffle bag you can’t buy anywhere else and on the way is a bum bag for your weekend adventures too. What makes this exciting is the possibilities for event giveaways made from old graphics, keeping your brand from buying new and demonstrating your sustainable story in a tangible way.

‘We love it Event Cycle! It’s truly fantastic that you have creatively repurposed our set graphics which has had a positive impact on the local community and supported local charities. We work tremendously hard at Quadrant to ensure minimal waste at our events so it’s wonderful to see our eco-friendly graphics being put to good use afterwards’
Hazel Burns, Quadrant Events

Want to know what more we can make - send us your suggestions and we’ll get to work.

*The items made from this donation were given away as gifts, donated to charity shops for use by customers in-store and there are two very happy Event Cycle Directors using them on their weekly shop.


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