Triple Bottom Line

Ethical Swag Improves Your ESG Performance

February 25, 2022 Taylor Martin / Tara Milburn
Triple Bottom Line
Ethical Swag Improves Your ESG Performance
Show Notes Transcript

Tara Milburn is the Founder & CEO of Ethical Swag, a sustainable branding company that helps enterprises improve their ESG performance. From sports teams to tech companies to start ups, she’s seen it all—including a domestic bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She created Ethical Swag as a vehicle to reconsider and redefine success in business, always focusing on what’s best for the team, the environment, and the bottom line, while solving the problem for their clients—where to source branded products that best reflect their values. 

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Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. And here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin 

Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line. I'm here with Tara Millburn. She is the President and CEO of Ethical Swag. I consider her a unicorn because there's not a lot of people that do what she does in her space. It’s just next to impossible. I was looking for years to try to find someone like her, and I finally found her! So, I'm bringing you all a unicorn today. Tara, can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, your history, and how you got to be where you are right now?

Tara Milburn

Sure, and thanks very much for having me here, Taylor. I love talking about our story and what we're up to because it's really exciting. How it ended up here. Wow. Ethical Swag, I founded in 2010 but really, it's been being created in my mind for the last 30 years. I've been in business for over 30 years, and I've had the benefit of working with and experiencing some of the most amazing things over those years. I remember 1995, seeing the founder of Aveda talk at a conference. He, at the time, was talking about some of the things he was doing around sustainability, and everybody had a really blank stare. I was so excited hearing how he was creating a different kind of business. This was back in 1995 in Chicago. I was like, “Oh, my God!” I hadn't heard anything like this before, how he was using sustainability as a key platform to how he was building his organization. So, I've been picking up nuggets for 30 years, quite frankly, of “Love that. I'm going to file that away. Don't like that. I don't want to do that.” Those kinds of things, while living my life and working for others and doing all kinds of really fascinating things and then decided… I think there's a lot of us, maybe when we turn 50, it's now time to take all of those ideas and put them into practice in our own way. That's really what Ethical Swag was, me taking what I loved and what I didn't like internationally and in the corporate world and creating a different kind of business.

Taylor Martin 

[ 0:02:27.0] When I said unicorn, I said it with purpose to try to find someone who does what you do and provides sustainable swag promotional products for corporations because they're going to put their logo on something- that's always going to happen- is rare. 

I remember looking, and I could not find anybody that was reputable. This was years ago, and I just gave up. I just gave up. I just gave up, and then I came across somebody who actually did it because, otherwise, I was doing it. I was doing the leg work. I was becoming the Ethical Swag person. Then I came across somebody who was able to take care of some of the work that we would do on our promotional items for our clients in an ethical way and sustainable way. That's been like a patch because everything that they select, I had to double check it because I just don't think they see the world through the lens like you do. I mean, I know you guys are so incredibly thorough with promotional products that you offer. I just want to say you have a new client. That's me!  

Tara Milburn 

Woohoo! <Both parties laugh> That's awesome. I really appreciate that.

Taylor Martin

Whenever I tell clients about this, the first thing I always hear is, “Oh, it costs more. It's not going to be within our budget.” I know you've got to hear that stuff, right? 

Tara Milburn 

One hundred percent. Yep. It’s interesting because I did come to this industry not knowing anything about the industry. I came across the idea of Ethical Swag through experience and wanting to solve a problem, not because I had a burning desire to put logos on products and sell them <laughs>. I just found that there was a disconnect between what organizations were saying and what they were putting their logo on. I thought, “Why is that? Why is that happening?” That's sort of why I started Ethical Swag. It was really interesting because I incorporated back in 2010, and I didn't know what vector artwork was. I didn't know anything about the industry. It was like I was completely coming at this from a completely different perspective. What I thought was not actually reality. My gut told me something. My gut wasn't wrong but, intellectually, who I thought my client was turned out to be wrong, which I thought was really interesting.

[0:04:42.3] The way that I found that out was, finally after several years, because I kind of did it on the side. I had a really nice big corporate job that paid the bills and had medical. I had kids that needed braces. All those kinds of things. It was safe, and it was just what my family needed at the time. I knew what entrepreneurship meant. I knew that it would take a lot of energy and time, and so I incorporated. My gut told me there was a business opportunity, but I didn't kind of dig in until I decided to go and give up my corporate job and dig in. 

When I did the actual research and, hindsight being 20/20, I'm so glad I did it the way I did it because I made certain assumptions that proved wrong. When I did my research, I realized- this is a long way of coming back to your question around cost- the primary research that I did when I spoke to people, they were like, “Oh, I tried that sustainable thing. It's too expensive.”  When we get to the core of why we exist at Ethical Swag, it's to move the needle. It’s not to be perfect or to judge. When I looked at that and I understood what the barriers to success were from the client side, because that was a hundred percent where I was coming from, cost was what they put up as an objection. And I said, “Okay, well, how do we solve for that and still be the kind of company we are?” It’s very much through transparency, but we decided, “Okay, well, you know what? Just because you can't afford best in class doesn't mean that it doesn't matter.” It always matters. We have a rating system that we've made super easy, like there are smiley emojis: good, better, best. If you can't afford best, just know that good means that we have third party audits around social compliance and environmental stewardship and supply chain security and product quality and product safety. We've done the deep dive and the hard work, even when it's good. We're meeting you where you are on a price point, but it still meets a minimum base requirement. I think it's really important to also highlight that we're not saying we're better than somebody else. We're saying we're doing it differently. We're looking at different things than other people. It might be exactly the same pen you'd get from another supplier, for example, but they don't actually know if there's child labor when that was made. They don't actually know the background of where that product's coming from. That's where we put a lot of energy and focus is: where is it coming from? Just because it's coming from China doesn't mean it's bad but- and I’ve got stories, it can be, right? It's kind of like life. There's good. There's bad.

Taylor Martin

Yep.

 Tara Milburn

[0:07:30.9] That’s kind of how we approach it. On the cost thing, we have a dollar pen. It’s made in China, but we have third party audits around social compliance and environmental stewardship, and then we have more expensive pens. We have pens that are made in the U.S. and in Canada, that sort of thing. We give you sort of a good, better, best so that we can meet you where you are.

Taylor Martin

I think that's great. When you were doing your research and you were checking out the market to see if this was viable, how often did you run into greenwashing or things like that on people that did provide this service or things like that?

Tara Milburn

I hate to say quite often <laughs>, and I think it’s true of any industry, honestly. We have to be very careful. I remember calling up one supplier. They had a product that looked really great. The person that I was speaking to, I said, “I need to talk to your compliance department. We have certain minimum standards, and I’d like to go through that.” She's like, “Yeah. We get that all the time. Just tell us what you want, and we'll put it on the packaging.”

Taylor Martin

Wow!

Tara Milburn

<Laughs> I just went, “Ouch.” This was when I was first starting a few years ago, and I'm like, “Oh, man. This goes deep.” We are a custom printing industry. They'll print what you want. 

Taylor Martin

Right.

Tara Martin

So, there is greenwashing that goes on. I think everything in life is a spectrum. There's some that are really, really bad. The majority is somewhere in the middle. It’s just being able to decipher and understand when that greenwashing is going on, and it's complicated <laughs>. 

We try and stick to what we're good at. If you're good at making cars or you are good at making technology, say where you're good and then source things from suppliers that are doing something different that they're good at. That's kind of where we sort of focus our energy. Does that answer your question?

Taylor Martin

Yeah, it does. It makes me think about how some people might think, “I'm just going to order a thousand pens. What's the big deal? How much of an impact is that going be?” I think that's something that people also say, “It’s just no big deal.”

Tara Milburn

Absolutely. When I founded Ethical Swag, it was because I wanted to move the needle. It wasn't because I wanted to sell pens, for example. Sometimes some of the challenges we have just seem so big <laughs>, we just turn a blind eye to them. We're really focused on trying to inspire people, not depress them, into action. We're not trying to say how everything is wrong with something. We're very much like, “Small steps taken with consistency actually really do move the needle.” Imagine if something as small as buying your pens for your organization has a positive impact in 6 different, 10 different places, and we're re-channeling that money into a supply chain and into a supplier that is actually thinking about these things, then we are actually taking money away from suppliers that have child labor, for example.

[0:10:50.5] The more we weaken their position, and we strengthen the positions of the organizations and the manufacturers that are doing these things, and just imagine now if there's 10 of us doing it. There's a thousand of us doing it. A hundred thousand of us are doing it. The weight of that spend… We really now are able to start to have some impact. It’s the combination of all of us doing it in the little ways that we possibly can. One of the things I really noticed that I want to highlight: When I was thinking about starting my business, I feel individually a lot of us feel really strongly about where our products are coming from and, when we can afford it, we do make certain choices with our dollars. I was like, “How do we help governments and organizations vote with their dollars in a way that's easy?” This seemed like the perfect opportunity in this particular industry because we are kind of a unicorn. There's not very many people within our industry that are primarily and a hundred percent focused on the things that we're talking about here today. I thought, “Wow. We can really harness the power of government and corporations in a way that can really impact this industry.” Now, imagine what we could do if all of the different industries thought about these things. Small steps made consistently, I think, really do have a big impact, and I think we all have a role to play.

Taylor Martin

You guys are a Certified B Corporation, right? So, you're definitely walking the talk.

Tara Milburn

Yeah. That was really important for us because it was… We have a motto in the office: It's not what you say, it's what you do that matters. And, so, how do you actually know what somebody's doing? Because there's a lot of talk <laughs>. Let's say you do look at manufacturing, for example. I think people know what ISO means. It’s an international standard. If you are looking at two different manufacturers and one is ISO compliant and one's not, naturally you go, “Okay. Well, they've been audited to a pretty strict standard, so I have a sense that they are doing what they're saying.” For us, Certified B Corp is really our ISO for sustainability because it means that we've been audited to a global standard, and we meet the most rigorous standards around sustainability. It takes the pressure off of our customers having to do a lot of research as to whether or not we're doing what we're saying. 

Taylor Martin

<Laughs> Right.

Tara Milburn 

It takes that pressure off our clients and they kind of go, “Okay. There's somebody else that's checking under the hood and making sure that they're doing what they're saying.” <Laughs> It was a no-brainer for us. It's not an easy thing to get, but it's an important, important certification to us.

Taylor Martin

Uh huh. 

Tara Milburn

Because it allows folks to know that it's really important, and we're willing to let you look under the hood. 

Taylor Martin 

[0:13:42.5] Thinking of looking under the hood, how do your suppliers react when you want to look under their hood and find out their ethical standards that they have for their employees and things like that? How does that process work? 

Tara Martin 

It depends, honestly. That sort of created another sort of thing that I had to solve for when I was sort of founding Ethical Swag and I was thinking about it. Because when we look at sustainability, we look at sustainability holistically. We're looking at it from a governance standpoint. We're looking at it from a supply chain standard, et cetera, et cetera. One of our goals is to open up supply chains for smaller manufacturers, and they may not have the rigor required for these compliance documentations. To answer your question, some of the big guys… Because Disney is really, really adamant about compliance… Because Coca-Cola… Some of these big, big, big corporations were really focused on this a long time ago. They're buying in such huge quantities, they have certain supply chains that are really, really important to them. They have enough of a buy that those suppliers will go through the process of the compliance documentation and the audits and everything else. 

When we looked at it… We were like, “Okay, we have to solve for that, too,” because we want to make sure that we're just not dealing with the big manufacturers. We do. We absolutely do, but we also have created systems within our organization so that we can vet the smaller guys as well. We have very specific criteria. We're very transparent, and that sort of thing, with our supply chain. Sometimes you go somewhere and they're like, “Yeah. We don't have that.” And we just say, “Okay. That's no problem. We'll go find it somewhere else.” Because at the end of the day, there's probably 10,000 different- let's use pens because we've been using that on this podcast- there's 10,000 different pens. If we have a supplier that doesn't want to or can't supply the documentation, and we have very specific documentation that we require, that's okay. We're going to find a comparable product. And we don't offer 10,000 pens on our website. We do that vetting for you. If your price point is a buck a pen, we've got a pens that are a buck. If your price point is 60 cent a pen, we've got price points that are 60 cents a pen. If you want an executive pen that's $5.00, we've got those, too. We don't have 10,000 50 cent pens. <laugh>, right?

Taylor Martin

That’s exactly my world because I had to go out and try to find a pen, and I'm like, “Where's it made?” I have to do all this leg work, and I would be like, “Just for a pen!” Then I go to like the eco side, and there's like two options, and I don't know if I like either of them. I don't think the client will like either of them because it's all about what the client likes and what they want because they know their audience. That's interesting.

Tara Milburn

We try and strike a balance there. Some suppliers, no problem. It’s interesting. My compliance manager, she’ll come to me and say, “I'm having a hard time with this supplier. They say they don't have it.” It’s also a learning process for her. I'm like, “So, who are you talking to?” Sometimes it's easier in these big manufacturers and suppliers to just say, “No, we don't have that,” because it comes off their to-do list. There's a lot of work on our part, too, finding the right people and getting the contact information within those organizations and getting those emails and having those conversations. I do site visits. I go and I visit our suppliers, and we have these conversations about what's important to us and how they're implementing certain things.

[0:17:26.4] One of our suppliers that I met with- this was a few years ago- I said, “Yes, we want apparel that's made in the U.S., but sometimes that price point doesn't work for us. Do you have solutions knowing what is important to us that are at a different price point?” I was meeting with the President/CEO at a very, very large organization, and he's like, “Ah! We have a manufacturer in Honduras that built their manufacturing facility with solar energy, and they are building sustainable communities because one of their biggest challenges is around their workforce and having safe housing and power and all those kinds of things” He said, “We have a supplier in Honduras, and they are investing in some sustainable communities for the textile workers. Their plant is powered by solar power, and the price point on those shirts are less than made in the U.S.A. I said, “Perfect. I need more information on those, and they're going to go into our supply chain and onto our website.” So, that's the kind of stuff that we're doing that. I'm meeting with the President/CEO of this larger organization, and he's able to then tell me these stories that you can't find on anybody's website. You're not traveling to Honduras, but that's what our site visits really help for us as well is that accountability because, once they provide that, then we check and make sure that it it's true <laughs>, and at that point, we put it on our website.

Taylor Martin

That's great. I've looked at your website, and I've seen a lot of different options. Like I mentioned earlier, when I was doing my research years ago, I was trying to find someone that did exactly what you do. It would be lackluster or be like a division of their overall website. They only had like the small part to filter out. “These are all the eco ones,” whereas, “Here's all the non-eco ones.” I'm like, “I'm not interested in those. I don't want to see those. I just want to see…” I'm happy to hear that, but I'm also just so happy to see so much variety.

Tara Milburn

That's interesting because somebody said to me- again, I've got many, many years in business- and I love, love the saying ‘the world's best restaurants is never a buffet.’

Taylor Martin

<Laughs> So true, man! I have a thing when I go on vacations, I never eat a buffet. I don't even eat buffets really, but it's just like, “No. Never. Not going to do it.”

Tara Milburn

If the ecosystem is one small section of everything they do, my brain immediately goes, “They're a buffet.” Do you see what I'm saying?

Taylor Martin

Yeah, I do. I totally do.

Tara Milburn

[0:20:01.7] From our perspective, we're not a buffet. We are a company focused on sustainability. We define sustainability in a myriad of ways, and we’re very transparent about that because it is for me being a woman in business, having a 30-year career in business, I've seen some disparities on how we treat people within the workforce. For me, sustainability isn't just environmental. It's also how do we show up at work and how do we treat our employees? And are we paying fair wages? Are we paying a livable wage? And what kind of benefits do we have for them to make sure that they can show up at work and at home? Because I just found throughout my career having children, I've always been very fortunate from a career standpoint, but I saw a lot of really amazing people that were locked out of the business community for several years because they made different choices that balanced their family maybe over their careers for a certain percentage of time, for a few years or whatever. I was like, “How do we redefine that? How do we show up differently?” For me, sustainability at Ethical Swag is environmental, but it's also social. It's also our communities in which we work and all those kinds of things. I could go on forever about all of this stuff.

Taylor Martin

It's a holistic view of from the beginning of a product’s raw materials all the way until it gets into the clients or the end consumer's hand. The whole chain.

We talked about a lot of different things, but I'm just curious because I always like to see… What are some of the new trends that are happening with promotional products in terms of new products that you are finding on the market that are eco-sensitive, that are environmentally sensitive, and ethically sensible.

Tara Milburn

It’s really exciting that when we first started at this, it was hard to find products that met our criteria, back in 2010, especially. My gosh, it was hard. Now, because demand has come up, supply has come up because supply and demand is definitely at play always in business, right? I love there's more of a pull instead of a push in this marketplace now. The customers are demanding it. You were sort of probably a little early when you were looking for this several years ago, and we were doing it. There's a handful of folks that were focused in this area, but now a lot of the manufacturers and the suppliers are recognizing that the customer is asking for this stuff and they're pretty savvy. It’s exciting. 

The other thing that I find from a trend standpoint is usability of products, like products just for the sake of products. This industry used to have a term, and maybe it still does, the way I used to also think about it in a lot of cases is ‘trinkets and trash’ is sort of a coined term. 

Taylor Martin

Wow. 

Tara Milburn

[0:23:01.8] Right? We really look at the usability of product and ways that we can incorporate them into your home and business life. That’s a word that we use often in the office. One example, one of the things that I've challenged, our website product finder within the office is like, “We need stress balls! <laughs> Because people ask us for stress balls all the time. There seems to be a demand for stress balls. Another term I use all the time, when we're having our staff meetings is, “If Ford had asked his client what they wanted, they would've set a faster horse.”

Taylor Martin

Yeah.

Tara Milburn

 I remind our staff that just because people are asking for stress balls, what we try and have conversations around when it's product sourcing is, “What job is that product hired to do?”

Taylor Martin

I can't agree with you more. I have clients that ask for things sometimes and I'll be like, “Well, what are we trying to accomplish with this? What's our ultimate goal? What are we trying to get out of it?” Because a little keychain flashlight, I just don't see people putting it on their key chain and carrying it with them,” or something like that. Just naming a product off the top of my head, but I agree. You have to know what is the function that we want this product to do.

Tara Milburn

Exactly. What's the job this is hired to do? Now that we have the answer to that… And sometimes that answer is hard to find. <Laughs> Sometimes it takes us weeks to figure out really what was it. But once we sort of land on that, then we go looking for products that fit our mission and our values.

Taylor Martin

And addresses what the client's ultimate goal was. What were ultimately trying to do? I can't tell you how many times I get things from promotional companies where they say, “Check out these new products that we have.” And they are all- I hate to say trinket-to-trash- but I'm just looking at them going, “I'm going to break these things apart and recycle everything I can,” because it is trash. I don't want to just put it into a landfill. These are things I would not use for any of our clients' communications or promotional items. I think that's completely valid. I mean, I can't tell you how many times I get those little promotional items that are just useless. I would never put a logo or one my client's logos on item X or Y. That’s why I find Ethical Swag so awesome. When I go there, I just feel relief, for me, because I've been doing all the research. I just feel relief because I'm like, “Ah, okay. I just pick this out and then I'm done.” For me, that that's a huge savings off of my head. It gives me more time back, I guess, is what I'm saying.

Tara Milburn

For sure, and honestly, that's the problem we're trying to solve. We're not in this business to just sell more swag. We're in this business to solve the problems of our customers and that's why we exist.

Taylor Martin

[0:26:09.7] Are you seeing more businesses take up this mantle as you have in the promotions industry?

Tara Milburn

Client side or supply side?

Taylor Martin

Supply side. Your side, not the clients or the manufacturers. Your side.

Tara Milburn

Oh, I see. Like competition with us?

Taylor Martin 

Yeah.

Tara Milburn

Absolutely, and I love it! I had a conversation yesterday with a new B Corp that is a promotional products supplier. They reached out to me and said, “Would you like to meet?” I'm like, “Absolutely!” We met yesterday, and he is like, “I was kind of surprised when you said yes.” I'm like, “Oh, my gosh. The more of us, the better.” The market is $25 billion. If we have a scarcity mindset… I just think it's the wrong approach to business. The more organizations that are approaching things with… We don't think we've got it all completely right, but we certainly have a different approach. We love what we're doing, and our customers love what we're doing. The more people, I think, that are thinking about business as a vehicle for change, and it kind of doesn't matter if it's promotional products or if it's automobiles or tech, if we can harness that power, oh my gosh. What kind of what kind of impact can we have? 

Another company within the promotional products industry that is doing similar things to us, I had a call… There's another one, and I'll call him and say, “How do you handle this or how do you,” and we have a great relationship because we don't have a scarcity mindset. I think that’s also… It's just not us. I talked earlier about the things that I saw that I loved and the things that I saw that I didn't love over my 30-year career, one of the things I didn't love was when organizations kind of kept to themselves and weren't transparent and didn't share and really- I'm going to use that term again- have that scarcity mindset because I just feel like let the customer decide what's best for them. Let's do our best as organizations and let your customer decide. 

[0:28:18.2] Locally here, we have a craft brewery that's doing really well, and they want to open up a location downtown. Two of the downtown restaurants stopped pouring their craft beer because this craft brewery is moving a location to be in competition with them. And I'm like, “Oh, man!” That just disappoints me. Let the customer decide what they want. Give them options, and let the customer decide. And do they not realize… It goes right down to that scarcity mindset. Do they not realize that this craft brewer will likely bring even more people downtown because they're there? That's how I feel about our industry. The more people that take the approach that we are, oh my gosh, that's just creating even more awareness, and we might just bring more people downtown <laughs>. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah!

Tara Milburn

And that's kind of how I approach it

Taylor Martin

They might be introducing new craft beers or something to be sought after, and therefore, if I can't get it at this bar, I can get it this bar. I always like the term co-op-petition.

Tara Milburn

Absolutely.

Taylor Martin

First time I heard that I was like, “What?” Co-op-petition? <Laugh> What is that?

Tara Milburn

The fact that you hadn't heard it is the thing that really bothers me. It's the fact that we, generally, have treated business as something that needs to be protected rather than shared <laughs>. And that's not my approach at all. I see it as a vehicle for change to meet.

[0:29:51.1] One of the things I haven't talked about, but I just want to sort of bring up because I was thinking about it the other day when I was walking. One of my very first things that I did in the nineties was when I was working around on the Vancouver Olympics. And you can say what you like about the Olympics. People say, “It’s a waste of money and it's corrupt,” and it's this and that, but I’m just going to unpack that for a second. It’s a nugget that has given me fuel for thought. Back in the nineties, I'm in my twenties, and I get approached. I had done a lot of sports and entertainment stuff and had a certain expertise. The city of Vancouver was like, “We are growing, and we don't have the public infrastructure that’s keeping pace and we don't have the money” or subway stations or sky train… Whistler is growing as a destination, and the highway is really bad. Our airport needs to be enhanced. We have all of these fairly large challenges as a city as our population is growing, and we think that hosting the winter Olympics is a way to address some of the problems that we have. We want the international, global tourism media to shine a spotlight to help us on tourism. We have an expanding population, but we don't have the infrastructure to support it in terms of rapid transit. We have an outdated airport. These are some of the problems that they had, and they saw the solution as the 2010 Olympic winter games because it ticked a lot of boxes. That was very early in my career back when I was in my twenties. But I realized- one of the nuggets that I took from that, that I filed away was, “Wow! When we have big problems that we want to solve, we can solve them in unique and different ways.”

Taylor Martin

True that!

Tara Martin

Vancouver now has a sky train right downtown. The airport has been enhanced. People really know where Vancouver is from a global tourism standpoint, right? They checked a lot of boxes by hosting the 2010 Olympic winter games. So, yeah, everything’s not always perfect. You're always going to find naysayers say, “But the Olympics are bad because,” or “That’s bad because…” We’re going to find that everywhere. We're trying to use business as a vehicle for change, and we've picked this industry because there was an opportunity there and there was a problem that we're solving for our customers. That's ultimately why we exist.

Taylor Martin

[0:32:18.7] Yeah. Solving problems for clients. I mean, that's why we exist, right? When things go wrong. 

Tara Milburn 

Yes. 

Taylor Martin 

I think that's the golden rule of our business. This has been a great talk and a great conversation. Again, I feel kind of elated. I feel like I'm a little bit excited that I found you. Finding a unicorn is not something you do every day. I'm glad the listeners have had the opportunity to hear your side of the story and they kind of understand more about promotional products and how much of a difference they can make when you buy sensible, ethical swag for your company. I know people can follow you on ethicalswag.com, but are there ways you want them to reach out?

Tara Milburn

[0:33:01.9] We're really lucky. I love the name Ethical Swag. When I came up with the name, I can't believe that we got the URL and all that sort of thing. We own it on Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn and Facebook everywhere. If you type in Ethical Swag and you say, “I'm looking for Tara,” my team will get it to me. It's a pretty easy find because we pretty well own that sort of URL. We are trademarked throughout North America for Ethical Swag. So, if anybody wants to reach out to us, we love hearing from people. We love getting feedback. We love ideas. We're very open, and I welcome anybody reaching out. If they want to talk to me directly, then just send an email through our website and say, “Looking for Tara,” and I guarantee it'll get to me.

Taylor Martin

Awesome. Last question: What's your most popular promotional item right now?

Tara Milburn

Wow! You know what? I'd have to talk to our production department or my operations manager who could spit out a report. Nobody can see us; this is audio. But we have a Certified B Corp that does water tumblers and cups and that sort of thing. On the bottom of every single one of them, there's a gift code and a website. You can trace the water projects that this company is giving through that give code. It’s got GPS. It’s got pictures, and you can see the positive impact that you're making by buying that water bottle. It’s sitting on my desk every day, so in terms of brand identity for our customers buying, it's something that's usable. It’s on your desk, and you're amplifying the impact of your spend and you can see it through GPS and pictures. That would be my favorite. I don't know if it's what everybody else is buying. I'd have to ask our team what our number one seller is right now, but it's my favorite.

Taylor Martin

That's awesome. I love the fact that you can just scan into something and see the history but also the current status of a development of a company of how they're helping the environment or communities or whatnot. That's freaking awesome. 

[0:35:14.4] Well, Tara, let's bring this episode to a close. I want to thank you again for being on the show, and I wish you and your business and all the lives that your business touches, all the success that is deemed its way. I know that the more your company grows, the better the world is going to be. Thank you.

Tara Milburn

Thank you so much, Taylor. It’s been awesome being here. I really appreciate the support and the interest in what we're doing.

Taylor Martin

Awesome.  Over and out.

Female Voice Over 

Thanks for tuning into the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewing on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple podcasts or whatever provider you are logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line.  [0:36:22.8]