Thoughts on Packaging

A while ago, I entered into a heated (on my side, they were perfectly calm and collected) discussion with an independent sustainable clothes company. I had bought some fabric from them which had arrived enclosed in a huge, fancy box with embossed font on the top and tied with ribbon, which was then enclosed in a plastic bag. When I queried this packaging choice, considering they branded themselves as a sustainable company, they assured me both packaging items were made from recycled and recyclable materials. 

Unfortunately, UK councils all have different recycling criteria. And surely the core of sustainability is to bring as little new materials into the world? I assured them I would much prefer a compostable paper bag in future.

Which led me to thinking I should probably write about my own packaging choices and criteria for the shop.

I source my packaging from independent UK packaging companies.

All packaging is recyclable or compostable. Materials included in the parcels are:

  • Paper sellotape.
  • Cardboard.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Brown paper.
  • Wood wool.
  • Recycled calico fabric.

In some cases, particularly with vintage, I will use repurposed boxes. I always strip them of any plastic remnants such as sellotape to make them easier to recycle at your end. In the case that I use repurposed bubble wrap or packing peanuts, I would hope they can be repurposed again once they arrive at their destination. I try my hardest not to send out plastic in the packaging, as I know how stressful it can be to store and reuse, but in some cases it is the only option.

One of the downsides is that recycled and recyclable packaging is more expensive than buying a job lot of plastic bags and bubble wrap. Plus, I have to buy in quite small quantities because of my storage constraints. These two factors mean that I cannot afford as a small business to offer free postage and packaging, or if I did, I would simply need to increase the price of the product, but I prefer to be transparent in this way. And although it may not be price competitive, it is a core part of my values as a person and as a business.

There may not be any pizazz or plastic sparkle, but I do try and make each parcel feel like a gift by including a posy of dry grass and leaves or a free card from my collection. Finding the beauty in the simplicity and that I’m not sending out any more single use plastic into the world.

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