The GSB Interview: Kari Brizius, President of Relan, Upcycler of Stadium Signs and Banners

Originally posted on GreenSportsBlog:

Kari Brizius has an amazing story. Entrepreneur. In business with her mom. West Point grad. Athlete. Environmentalist. And, most relevant to GreenSportsBlog, President of Relan, a Minneapolis-based company that pioneered the “up-cycling” of stadium and arena signs and banners. GSB was pleased to speak with Kari about Relan, and more.

GreenSportsBlog: How and when did Relan begin?

Kari Brizius: It all started in 1995 in Minneapolis as a way to keep vinyl banners and signs out of landfill. Most stadiums, arenas, museums and other large entertainment venues would just throw them out. The founders of Relan had a better idea: Repurpose the banners into totes, messenger bags and other products. Their first customers were Aveda and few museums around the country. It was a side business for the founders and thus, between ’95 and 2011, it grew slowly.

GSB: How did you get involved?

KB: Well, in 2010-2011 my mom…

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Relan Helps MINI USA Turn Largest Billboard Campaign Into Green Giveaways

MINI USA billboard to bagsPress Release: With MINI USA running its largest-ever marketing campaign in support of the 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop, they are doing something unique and sustainable with the billboard marketing as it comes off display. With the help of Relan, a U.S. manufacturer of repurposed billboard and banner products, MINI is repurposing the ad campaign into fashionable, re-usable totes for each new MINI owner.

tote made from billboards

MINI USA Billboard Tote


Read Full Press Release HERE

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Filed under Advertising, Billboards, Corporate Sustainability, Environmental Footprint, Landfills, Life-Cycle, Made in the USA, Recycle Vinyl, Recycling, Repurposing, Sustainability, Sustainable Messaging Tools, Unique Gifts

SGIA Journal “Media Lifecycle: Guide to Possibilities and Opportunities of After-Use”

Businesses are looking for a more sustainable solution, seeking ways to give the substrates a second life, or better yet, an upcycled life of continuous reprocessing and re-use in an effort to reduce landfill waste.

“We deliver more than just a green solution to reduce waste and recycle fabric,” (Della Simpson, CEO of Relan) continued. “We give companies the opportunity to define their brand as conscious of their environmental impact and in tune with their customers’ values. These days, the consumer is very focused on sustainability, how and where products are manufactured, and what effect the production and disposal have on the planet. It’s a double bang for your sustainability buck. You get a fresh look to your branding, and extend the life of the media in a purposeful way.”

Read the Full Article: Media LifeCycle SGIA Oct 2014

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Filed under Billboards, Corporate Sustainability, Driving Social Change, Landfills, Life-Cycle, Recycle Vinyl, Recycling, Repurposing, Sustainability, Upcycling

4 Ideas: Environmentally Friendly Name Badges for Your Conference

With over 13,000 conference, conventions, and trade shows held in the United States each year — what happens to all of the material used for name badges?  Since many conferences are going green and attempting to become zero waste or low waste conferences — is there a better option?

Do we all really need a NEW name badge for each conference?

4 Ideas for More Environmentally Friendly Name Badges at Conferences, Conventions, and Trade shows:

1.  People who attend conferences had one name badge that they could keep and use at every conference?

2.  Use an environmentally friendly name badge made from upcycled material versus products made of virgin material, coming from overseas that are thrown away at the end of the conference?

Upcycled Verizon Billboard Name Badges

3.  Have one badge with a clip, lanyard, or however you want to attach the tag that gets a new insert for each conference rather than a whole new badge?

4.  Meet people, talk to them, and REMEMBER their name even without a Name Badge — requiring the least amount of material or cost, but the most effort on the attendees part!

Just a small step in the race to zero waste, but each step counts!  If we all do our part we can make a difference!  If each conference, trade show, and convention reduced their environmental footprint we could really drive change.

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Filed under Corporate Sustainability, Driving Social Change, Environmental Footprint, Green Conferences, Recycle Vinyl, Recycling, Repurposing, Sustainability, Sustainable Conferences, Upcycling

B Corp Certification

Great article by Triple Pundit
Want to attract the brightest and best millennials?  Want to have your MBA student loans forgiven?  Then look into the B Corp certification and working for B Corp certified companies.
Millennials are looking for more than work-life balance.  They want to integrate their social and personal values into their work.  They are looking for corporations whose corporate values align with their personal values.
And, if you elect to go to  work for a B Corp certified company and you received your MBA degree from Columbia, New York University or Yale . . .  well, your student MBA loans may just be forgiven.

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Majority of Shoppers Prefer to Buy Products that are Socially and Environmentally Responsible

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer a new or vague concept in the minds of global consumers. And the increasing number of people who are willing to pay extra for a “do-good” product is a clear sign that attitudes are changing.  According to the Nielsen report, 55 percent of people worldwide will pay more money for products from companies “committed to positive social and environmental impact.”

Read the Full Article:  Shopping for Change: A New Generation of Shoppers Helps to Bring Social Responsibility Home

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12 Inspirational Quote for Women Entrepreneurs

Amazing quotes by amazing women!

My favorite: I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy, to be told instead she has LEADERSHIP skills! ~Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook


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