Last week we exhibited at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego. There were at least 50 exhibitors displaying their products and services varying from paddle boards made from sustainable materials that are used for yoga to a company that produces books discussing sustainability for business and personal use. We met non-profits discussing global issues regarding deforestation, a newly launched group that utilized the Internet to draw in companies to share their campaigns on sustainable efforts in order to help others do so with their causes and a number of people who attended simply to learn more about the issues of sustainability and what it could do for them.
During our stay there, we were asked time and time again, “What do you do and why are you here?” Whether we were exhibiting at our booth, meeting others during a networking function or simply walking to grab a beverage or a snack the same question came up. It never occurred to us that packaging wasn’t on the top of all the attendees minds last week. It seemed so obvious to us that what we do and why we were there would be the biggest no-brainer at the conference. Even though we had a sign stating what we do, people still asked. What was really interesting was the reactions we got after explaining our work. Most people attending, who stopped to “look us over” stated that they didn’t have anything for us in regards to packaging. When we finished presenting our story and showing examples of our sustainable packaging, many of these same people exchanged business cards with us and realized that they did have some possible opportunities to work with us. We quickly realized that most people do not understand the many facets of sustainability and what role it plays in packaging.
And the best experience we had was hearing what so many other companies do and why they were there. It was truly an education for us as we saw and learned quite a bit from a vast and global group. The experience was a success and it helped us immensely get a better understanding of our role in the sustainability world.