In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
It is a definition that sits well with the Middle East gifting sector, which regularly implements sustainable practices. And that is precisely why the organisers of this year’s Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East and Papwerworld Middle East are attracting exhibitors with high regard for such causes.
The annual co-located shows, which take place from November 15-17 at Dubai World Trade Centre, serve as an unmatched platform for buyers and retailers to source innovative products and re-stock during the peak of buying season. It is an opportunity to establish and strengthen business connections and join thousands of other industry professionals.
And buyers know sustainable options will be prevalent.
“Given that companies all around the world are implementing sustainable practises, the gifting industry is significantly supporting the cause of protecting the environment,” said Syed Ali Akbar, show director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “This year at Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East and Paperworld Middle East, we have given special attention to sustainability objectives and have lined up companies that are following that environmentally focused course.”
Choosing recyclable clothing over inexpensive cotton and polyester-blend T-shirts is another trend in the gifting sector. Similarly, commodity bags can be replaced with those made from plastics reclaimed out of landfills while single-use plastic bottles can be replaced with a reusable happy-hour drink infusion kit.
Magic Trading Company, one of the largest and most respected advertising and printing supply companies in the Middle East, is among the brands showcasing their products, while also working towards achieving sustainability goals. The company, known for its latest design technology and printing techniques, produces quality prints to meet their clients’ individual needs.
“We are displaying a large collection of eco-friendly and sustainable promotional products to show that marketing goals can be achieved, while preserving natural resources. We will be displaying the latest promotional products and the latest techniques for branding that can leave a lasting impression to our client’s brand,” said Sam Haghi.
Sikasok, a Lebanese homegrown gifting brand will be participating for the first time in Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East. “We see a lot of potential and growth for all things lifestyle and gifiting that caters to the younger generation,” said Ralph Haiby, Co founder and CEO at Sikasok. “Sikasok is the first Arab brand to create high quality socks with relatable statement and cultural design.”
The Poland-based My Memi is another prominent brand participating in the show and has emphasised its sustainability goals.
“Our support for a sustainable industry starts with the selection of yarns and, further down the line, with a knitting/weaving mill that can meet our high standards,” said Krzysztof Górniak. “All our fabrics are woven, dyed, printed, and finished in Poland; only organic cotton muslin is produced in Western Europe.
“One of the most important principles of the brand is to produce from natural, quality yarns. The high standards imposed mean that the lifespan of our products is increased, and products with the My Memi label – if cared for properly – will last for many years and be enjoyed by other children.”
Górniak said most of the products his company offer are made of bamboo yarn, which is biodegradable, and its cultivation has no negative impact on the environment. The weaving mill it has chosen to produce with bamboo yarns carries out numerous studies on the fabrics to confirm they are anti-allergenic, anti-fungal, and therefore beneficial to the skin.
STOR, Quokka, and W10 Collection will have a lot of their innovative and nature-friendly products on display at the show.
“STOR is a sustainable company and we have implemented a comprehensive plan in this regard. We have always been committed to the protection of the environment and all our products are reusable and designed to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics,” said Patrick Bou Ghosn.
“Furthermore, for some of our products, we can recycle the raw material to reuse it in the future. Moreover, we have taken a step forward against the impact of global warming, initiating this path by calculating and managing our Carbon Footprint,” he added.
This year, Paperworld Middle East will also reintroduce the popular show segment ‘Project Sustainability’. Both businesses and consumers in the Gulf are increasingly choosing "green" solutions and products to be more environmentally friendly. Coupled with regional governments ongoing drive to enact new environmentally friendly policies to lessen their carbon footprints, the emphasis on sustainable options for both company and consumer is only going to grow.
Paperworld Middle East and Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East, the Middle East and Africa’s dedicated dual trade fair for paper, stationery, office supplies, gifts, accents, and lifestyle products, will feature strong industry players this year with the attendance of a host of associations and exhibitors from the country already confirmed.