Mother-daughter duo Della Simpson and Kari Brizius have always led very conscious lives. Passionate about health and wellness, serving others, and protecting the planet, they searched for something that aligned with their values and allowed them to share this passion with others.
When they found Relan, they knew it was a perfect match.
Relan - a WBENC certified women-owned business - was founded in 1995 as a lifestyle company, repurposing banners and billboards into products for boutique shops. When Della and Kari took the reigns, they knew that with over 600,000 tons of vinyl created each year, the opportunity extended far beyond boutiques. If they wanted to change the world and help companies impact their triple bottom line, they needed to rewrite the business plan to reach the organizations using the most materials.
Together, they could expand the reach of their client’s marketing dollars, engage customers in a new way, and help drive profits to the triple bottom line: people, profits, and planet.
Next, Relan reached out to the Minnesota community for support. Every product Relan creates is cleaned, designed, cut and sewn in the USA with the help of the local community and organizations like ProAct and Momentum. All of our materials are also purchased in the U.S. and are eco-friendly.
Today, Relan partners with organizations from major league sports teams and car manufacturers to museums and festivals to give a second life to their marketing campaigns, maintain control of their branding, engage customers and fans in new ways, and promote their sustainability efforts. Working with material like vinyl, mesh, old jerseys, and t-shirts, they have created products unique to their customers' needs and target market.
Their work has paid off in big ways: Together with their partners, Relan has kept over 300,000 square feet of material from landfills.
Relan has joined others in working toward a more sustainable future. They are an inaugural member of ReUse MN, a non-profit trade association focused on bringing visibility to the reuse, rental, and repair sector. Relan also partners with the Makers Coalition, an organization of businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and service providers working to build a trained cut-and-sew industry in the U.S.
Learn more about the organizations we support on our Community page.
When an organization makes the decision to repurpose their billboards, banners, and other marketing materials into engaging products, they are making a significant impact that extends far beyond unique products.
This simple decision helps:
- Reduce the amount of material in landfills
- Reduce a current waste stream of hard-to-recycle material
- Eliminate the negative manufacturing impact of new materials
- Reduce the transportation costs of importing new materials
- Support the U.S. economy by purchasing locally-made products
- Avoid disposal fees for these materials
Kari and Della are fulfilling their dream by helping organizations make a difference in their communities, leave a positive, lasting impact on the planet, and lead more meaningful lives. Their goal is to engage every corporation across the country to upcycle their marketing waste stream into durable, engaging products that will spark conversations with their customers and fans.
By replacing existing imported tradeshow items, client gifts, and giveaways with repurposed products, organizations have the opportunity to provide valued products to their target market, reduce their impact on the environment, and become a leader in building a sustainable future.