Travel Goods Association
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Sustainability Sells

SUSTAINABILITY HAS BECOME THE HOT BUZZWORD FOR GREEN MAR-keting amongst environmentally-conscious consumers, and indeed, it's even gaining clout out there in Middle America. It's no longer enough to feature recycled content and eco-friendly materials, or to engage in fair trade practices, if you want to gain a competitive edge. You have to do it sustainably, which means not just looking at the present, but with an eye toward the future.

Environmentally-conscious marketing has gone mainstream. It's part of the consumer's landscape, and it's becoming an increasingly important aspect of our business as well, which is why we've launched a new regular feature in this issue of Travel Goods Showcase, "The Greening of the Travel Goods Industry." This feature will examine how three different companies in our industry are taking steps toward environmentally-responsible business practices from design and manufacturing to packaging and back-end operations.

It's especially telling how quickly the eco-friendly trend has grown. Just four years ago, we would have been scraping to come up with companies to profile, mostly because few companies thought to highlight their environmental practices back then. Today, it's become a regular feature, and an aspect of everyday business, as highlighted by Olivet, ExOfficio and Topcor in this issue.

It's also fitting we're launching this new feature in The Business Travel issue of Travel Goods Showcase, because in business, sustainability is non-negotiable. If the business cannot carry on, if it isn't self-sustaining, it's a failure. So at the core of every company lies a need to build a sustainable, healthy business that will grow and thrive.

This issue also features our "State of the Travel Goods Market 2000-2010" Report, and as you'll see, last year we started to bounce back from the Great Recession of 2008. We're not up in all categories, or in all ways, but the trend is definitely headed in the right direction. We're making gains, slowly, but we're picking up momentum. And while we cannot influence the economic climate, the shakeout from the Great Recession has forced all of us to look within, at the things we can influence. As a whole, I think our industry's stronger now than it's ever been when it comes to aggressively lean and efficient business practices. It's what we needed to get through the past couple of years, and it's going to really pay off down the road.

Sustainability. It makes environmental sense. It makes business sense. And it's good for the travel goods industry.

Here's looking toward a brighter, sustainable future.


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