A&W Upcycles its Old Promo Merchandise for 'Thrift Store' Collection
In the fast food world, A&W has largely flown under the radar, or at least in the shadow of the McDonald's and Burger Kings of the world. But A&W has been making a name for itself lately with some interesting promotional merchandise moves.
First, the brand caught our eye by attaching some hefty price tags to upscale and original products like boots and jackets. Then, it recently unveiled its "anti-celebrity" meals, featuring employees rather than pop stars and backed with in-store merchandising.
Now, it's going the sustainable route by creating a new fashion line made from recycled A&W promotional items.
😍 ♻ Now this is what we call fashion. A 100% upcycled clothing line made from overstock A&W gear and salvaged garments. Available now, until its gone! https://t.co/2RCiXJEb1p pic.twitter.com/B36KT0yWOs
— A&W Canada (@AWCanada) December 3, 2021
"A&W fans often encourage us to release merch, but we wanted to do it in a way that didn't feel wasteful," Julia Cutt, director of brand communications and digital marketing for A&W Canada, told blogTO.
Sustainability—or lack thereof—has been at the center of a number of anti-promo arguments in recent years. Recently, more and more promotional products suppliers, distributors and end-buyer companies have made it their mission to source more ethically and change the perception that promo items are inherently wasteful.
A&W, by taking products from previous campaigns, including overstock items from old promotional clothing lines, has diverted products from landfills and given them new life as trendy apparel pieces ranging in price from $40 to $75.
The garments themselves have a cool Frankenstein-esque, "sewn-together" quality, with different pieces of fabric in different colors within the A&W brand identity. Products come with different color combinations, like different plaid patterns or hood colors.
After launching on Dec. 3, many of the products in the Thrift Store Collection are already sold out, save for a few pairs of shorts, a sweatshirt, a fleece bucket hat, some T-shirts and more.
— A&W Canada (@AWCanada) December 9, 2021
With each piece being so unique, A&W is attracting streetwear collectors and fans of the brand who know they won't run into anyone else with their exact piece on the street. (We saw something similar from Oatly, the oatmilk brand, not long ago.)
Who knows, they might even see the person with the other half of their 50/50 T-shirts, strike up a conversation and become best friends.
Don't let anyone tell you that all promotional products are wasteful, or that they don't have real-life impact. Lasting friendships are out here being formed in Canada over T-shirts.