Many events have sustainability goals and measures in place, such as locally sourced food, recycling and compost bins, and compostable plates, cups and utensils. However, event planners may overlook event swag. Eagan-based Storm Creek, a supplier of outdoor-inspired apparel, frequently works with corporations and events to create logoed apparel and recently completed a five-year process of transitioning its entire product line to be eco-friendly.
Every item produced for Storm Creek is made with recycled fabrics and insulation from post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles, sustainable components, and/or is Bluesign or Oeko-Tex certified. In fact, each item in the Storm Creek catalog contains a bottle count showing a range of how many recycled bottles are used to make the garments. Specific bottle counts per garment are available on the company’s website.
“We continually strive to make our product better and better. To say we’re an all eco apparel company is an extremely significant milestone for us—and it’s a dream come true for me,” says Storm Creek President Doug Jackson. “As proud members of 1% for the Planet, we donate a portion of sales annually to support organizations that create positive environmental change.”
The Back Story
In 2014, Jackson and his wife, Teresa Fudenberg, established TK Trading, Co., doing business as Storm Creek. He had made product for large wholesalers since the mid-1990s and had relationships with suppliers and factories overseas. She had been running her own brand and business strategy company, working with entrepreneurs to help their visions become reality. Upon meeting, they envisioned starting a company that would one day have a profound impact. Fudenberg is the majority owner and serves as the business, marketing and people visionary for Storm Creek while Jackson is the product, factory and supplier visionary.
“Doug founded a great brand, but its story was primarily in the hands of the wholesaler customers. We knew the potential and wanted to be the ones to drive it to the next level. This required a whole new business model,” says Fudenberg. “Doug’s original product vision needed a day-to-day driver. The first three years were all about building infrastructure, the brand position and a team. Looking back, it was passion-filled but a bit messy, and took a ton of blood, sweat, and tears.”
The result is a company that meeting and event planners can tap into to help make sustainability initiatives a reality.