Are Sustainable Products Right In Front of You?

Part of the fun is that we have the privilege of working with very creative companies and we are continually inspired by our clients and their ideas. We love collaborating to find creative solutions that that will fit each brand’s personality and style.

When Amy Bandman, Sustainability Coordinator at Harper College, reached out to us to create products for the school, we were excited to hear more about the material source we hadn’t yet considered.

Creative Ideas

Harper College is now one of the nation’s premier community colleges and one of the largest, serving more than 40,000 students annually in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

This was the second time we've worked with Harper College. The first project we created for them was pretty straight forward - upcycled banners - but this time, they brought us something totally new: a mesh window blind.

The blind had been recently taken down and instead of throwing it away, it occurred to Amy, "Why throw it away when these would make GREAT beach totes!

 Mesh roll before it was upcycled into beach totes

Mesh roll before it was upcycled into beach totes


We worked with Amy to create one of our favorite products for the college, the Beach Tote. The window banner that once hung indoors would now have a second life outdoors on the other side of the glass!

Related Read: Top 5 Upcycled Marketing Products
 Close up view of the mesh blind

Close up view of the mesh blind

 Close up view of the mesh

Colorful banners were found to pair with the white mesh blind which made the finished beach totes unique and fun.


“Everyone loves the color/white combination. They turned out so great!”

- Amy Bandman, Sustainability Coordinator


We heard "We LOVE the beach totes! Where can I buy one?! You should sell those!"

- Amy Bandman, Sustainability Coordinator

Sustainability at Harper College

Both Harper College and Relan are passionate about investing in sustainability for future for generations.

”Harper College is committed to reducing environmental impact across campus. Through campus up-grades, student coursework, community outreach and individual action, Harper is striving towards carbon neutrality to ensure a healthy, sustainable future at Harper and beyond."

The college made the strategic decision to give the beach totes strictly to students and employees on campus through various sustainability programming and also saved some to pass out during the fall.

Relan Wrap-Up

We are so happy that everyone at Harper College loves the new upcycled beach bags and that they are able to make their commitment to the environment publically known around campus. Relan can help your organization build brand awareness and show that you care about the planet.

If it can be cut and sewn, we can repurpose it! If you have a product or material idea, we’d love to hear it! Send us an email to let us know how we can help your company grow with sustainable products.

Get more ideas for your organization about the benefits of using upcycled marketing products by subscribing to the Relan Blog!

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Kari Brizius is President of Relan and is a West Point Graduate, certified personal trainer, a US Army Veteran, and a wholehearted entrepreneur. Kari’s passion for the environment, the planet, and healthy living fuels her entrepreneurial spirit. Her mission is to provide thought leadership on sustainability initiatives surrounding healthy living, the environment, and sustainability messaging.