Making Sustainability a Priority at the World's Largest Fishing Trade Show

Making Sustainability a Priority at the World's Largest Fishing Trade Show

AFTCO displayed it's sustainability initiatives at the world's largest fishing trade show, which took place July 19 to 22 of 2022, with New Product Showcase category winners like Cocoboardie Boardshorts and Ankle Deck Boots. However, the 50' x 30' booth made of recycled cardboard was a definitive show stopper that reinforced our sustainability efforts.

For media, buyers, and industry insiders fortunate to walk the aisles of ICAST 2022 it was hard to miss the recycled cardboard booth structure that displayed visuals of key ICAST new product releases on the interior and 5 ways to take action for sustainability and environmental stewardship on the exterior. With this booth AFTCO asserted itself as an industry leader at the forefront of sustainability.

AFTCO ICAST 2022 Booth

To accomplish the production of this unique booth structure at ICAST, AFTCO enlisted help from Spain based partner Cartonlab. The Cartonlab team is pioneering the process of bringing creative, sustainable environments to life across multiple continents and business segments. To ensure that the booth was properly recycled after the show, AFTCO worked with both the Orange County Convention Center's sustainability team and Freeman exhibitor services to utilize the OCCC's in-house cardboard recycling program. Upon show teardown, Freeman dismantled the cardboard booth structure then worked with the OCCC exhibitor services team to properly collect the corrugated cardboard materials for proper recycling with their on-site cardboard compactor.

AFTCO ICAST 2022 Booth Sustainability

“We were thrilled to be contacted by AFTCO about recycling their booth, made entirely of cardboard,” said Katerina Chagoya, Orange County Convention Center Sustainability Coordinator. “We worked with AFTCO's Matt Florentino and the Freeman team to ensure that the AFTCO's ICAST booth went through our cardboard recycling stream. Thanks to that decision, sustainability for this exhibit was easy to accomplish. Whenever event clients and exhibitors go above and beyond like this, working alongside the OCCC Sustainability team to divert waste, it brings a real positive energy."

"Truly, AFTCO made the biggest impact by simply deciding to have a fully recyclable booth. That decision removed hundreds of pounds of items from the landfill. It symbolizes a huge win for our environment, and the opportunity to reduce emissions associated with the landfill and the events industry. We hope exhibitors can look to AFTCO’s booth as a prime example of what a more sustainable future in the industry can look like.”
- Katerina Chagoya
Orange County Convention Center Sustainability Coordinator



“We applaud AFTCO’s commitment to reuse and recycle across their business platforms. What people may not know is that a wide variety of items used at ICAST, such as the aisle carpeting, are also reused. We expect to see more of this in the years to come.”
- Blake Swango
Vice President, ASA Trade Show

AFTCO Unveils It's New Packaging Initiative

Tradeshow booth materials are often made of single-use plastics. Many types of these single-use plastics end up in the environment and around eight million metric tons end up in our oceans every year. When looking at AFTCO as a company, we saw potential improvement in our use of plastic poly bags for clothing and committed to reducing the plastic production we are responsible for in our packaging.

Starting in 2022, all new purchase orders for AFTCO sportswear are being shipped in poly bags made of recycled materials as well as 40 percent less plastic. The reduction in plastic is a great first step and a change to recycled plastic means no more virgin plastic production which is another large win for AFTCO in 2022. With this movement in a positive direction, we are exceeding goals set in 2021 based on our sustainable packaging page.

Another way we have improve is in our packaging for the new AFTCO lures. The main goal for the lure packaging was to eliminate the plastic entirely and we succeeded by creating packaging made of recycled cardstock. On top of eliminating the plastic clamshell so many lures come in, our new packaging makes it easier to access the lure when you are ready to fish.

Recycled Product Update

With the goal to also lower the number of virgin materials we use to manufacture our clothing, we looked for the best ways to find recycled alternatives for performance fabrics. By 2023, approximately 40 percent of our total clothing will be made with recycled fabrics. This number is anchored by best-selling options like the Samurai Hooded Fishing Shirt, Adapt Phase Change Fishing Shirt, the Rescue Collection and new for ’23 styles Cocoboardie Boardshorts and Ankle Deck Boots; both winners of the 2022 ICAST New Product Showcase awards.

Sustainable Product and Packaging