“Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future.”
Now that’s a slogan we fully support.
It was also the slogan of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, held in Los Angeles earlier this year. The City of LA tasked us with curating amazing welcome bags for all attendees - which included delegates, white house staff, world leaders, and the president of the United States. (Hey, when the White House needs remarkable, sustainable gifts, we were ready to step up to help.)
We had the opportunity to partner with some truly great local LA companies for this project and learn more about who they are and what they’re doing. We had some specific requirements to develop the gift bags for the attendees of this important event. The gift bags needed to:
Be 100% Made in America
Contain items from companies based in and around the LA area
Have an emphasis on sustainability
Be mainly from companies that are owned or run by: women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or minorities
Have a cool, vibrant esthetic that embodies LA and LA communities
Tell a story
GIFTING CHALLENGES WE FACED
On top of finding and partnering with businesses that checked all of the points listed above, we had a super fast turnaround requirement (only three short weeks from start to finish). Each detail had to be thought out meticulously, and our team needed to fly out to LA to fulfill the gift order in person.
Although these were significant challenges, the gifts were an overwhelming success. We were impressed by how an entire community came together to build what was needed to complete this project. Every single person hustled to make these gift bags work, and every company stepped up their team efforts to work with us and make the gifts successful.
“The money spent for these gifts went right back into the community, and we’re really proud of that. Not only did these gifts positively impact everyone that received them, but they also helped move the needle for the small companies that made them.”
- Alisha Hieb, Chief Gifting Officer at Clove & Twine
WHY CLOVE & TWINE WAS THE RIGHT FIT FOR THIS EVENT
Clove & Twine met the criteria they required for this event, as we are a sustainable, women-operated business. We also have a huge focus on high-quality gifts, and we are always willing to go the extra mile with every detail for sustainable practices (even down to packaging and shipping).
Our team of gifting experts gained a profound understanding of the client's needs. We dove deep into the culture of LA - not surface-level or touristy LA - but where community and innovation happen every day. We made sure the gifts were colorful, eclectic, diverse, sustainable - and most importantly, that they told the story of this incredible and vibrant city.
We could check every box on their requirement list, and we were proud of having the capability, support, and team cooperation to pull everything off quickly and effectively.
STORIES TOLD WITH THESE EVENT GIFTS
Here are a few stories of the businesses we partnered with on this project.
Women-owned | AAPI-owned | Made in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
Rewilder developed a remarkable backpack made from salvaged airbags and upcycled materials. Rather than beginning with an idea or design, the Rewilder team chooses materials first to allow the rescue of these textiles to guide how they will be reused.
Owners Jenny & Stephanie came from unique backgrounds - Jenny in architecture and Stephanie in science & advertising. They both were driven to create thoughtful, resourceful items by using or repurposing materials creatively to give them new life.
They founded Rewilder with a sustainable mission: to find the wealth in waste, to make upcycling scalable, and to use intelligent design to show the potential in all materials (not just conventional ones). They want consumers and brands to see the value in materials that are often discarded - materials that just need the opportunity to be showcased.
About the backpacks:
The bags Rewilder created to encompass the gifts for this event were made from both scraps and rejected airbag fabric. They made the trim and handles using rejected seatbelts, and the lining is automotive mesh, used to cover the foam of car seats. For this particular project, they repurposed vintage LA metro tokens for the zipper pulls.
About their process:
Jenny and Stephanie both love making useful items out of the unexpected. They are always on the hunt for beauty in trash, and are constantly looking for new ways to upcycle what others discard or ignore.
Rewilder continues to find ways to reduce their waste throughout every step of their manufacturing process so that they don’t contribute to creating additional waste during production.
Rewilder works mainly with small businesses and minority-owned vendors to support community infrastructure. For this project, they worked with the Jose Luis Studio. Jose Luis (pictured left) previously worked as Rewilder’s lead production manager, and now that he’s managing his own family-run shop, Rewilder continues to partner with him to bring projects to fruition.
Woman-owned | Made in Los Angeles, CA
Further included a natural soap that they derived from making biofuel. How it works: artisans pick up used oil from LA restaurants and then process it in their warehouse. The biofuel from the oil is used for cars, and the glycerin goes into making Further’s glycerin soap. The natural soap is then taken back to the restaurants that provided the oil. Further has created a perfect, sustainable circle from waste to reuse with their unique products.
Woman-owned | Latina-owned | Made in Los Angeles, CA
Hedley & Bennett included their aprons as a part of these event gifts. They are on a mission to inspire and empower creativity and confidence in the kitchen. The founders of Hedley & Bennett have worked hard to develop the most durable, high-quality, and stylish aprons and kitchen supplies in the world. They do a beautiful job of designing products that are as stylish as they are functional.
“If you only ate at the Los Angeles restaurants whose chefs sport Hedley & Bennett aprons, you’d be eating at some of the finest places the city has to offer.” - The New York Times Magazine
Made in Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Homeboy Industries provided cookies for the gift bags. They started in 1988 as a social enterprise created to improve the lives of former gang members in Eastern LA. Since then, the entire company has evolved into the world's largest gang intervention, rehab, and re-entry program.
The bakery program is the first of their enterprise programs, which employs many Homeboy Industry trainees. They are working to create a positive impact on families and communities not only in LA but all over the world. Who knew cookies could do so much good?
Woman-owned | Black-owned | Made in Compton, CA
Lot XI added their unique fair-trade bath tea to this gift and identifies as a community-conscious urban apothecary. Their products are curated and crafted by hand, using environmentally safe and organic ingredients. They also purchase fresh ingredients from local farmers and pride themselves in supporting other local entrepreneurs.
Woman-owned | Black-owned | Made in Los Angeles, CA
Torch included a candle as a part of these gifts. Torch candles do more than just brighten up a room - they are a vehicle for people to deliberately and purposefully shift their daily thinking. Each month they donate a percentage of their sales to charities within their communities that are making positive changes.
The other awesome companies we worked with:
LIBERTY: reusable water bottle (100% recyclable, made in America)
CANDLESSENTIALS: candle (woman-owned, black-owned, LGBTQ+ owned, made in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA)
CANYON COFFEE: instant coffee (woman-owned, made in Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, CA)
CASTLEPILLAR: LA postcards (woman-owned, Latina-owned, made in Northeast, Los Angeles, CA)
COMPARTÉS: chocolate bar (LGBTQ+ owned, made in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA)
ELIQS: sparkling water (made in South Bay, CA)
GRAF LANTZ: canvas tote bag (LGBTQ+ owned, made in Silver Lake, LA)
HEREAFTER: wooden journal (women-owned, AAPI-owned, made in Torrance, CA)
All of the businesses that we collaborated with on this project put energy, hard work, and craftsmanship into their creations. We were so impressed with how they stepped up their production to make everything come together!
WHY THESE GIFTS WERE SUCCESSFUL
Even with this project's short turnaround time, we delivered these gifts earlier than expected. The final event gifts really hit the mark, and the overwhelming success came from how this community of artists came together to complete it - and how cool the resulting gifts were!
It was a testament to the small artisans who could band together and deliver in such a short timeline.
We are so proud of the success of this project.
Do you have an upcoming event that you need sustainable company gifts for?