How many times have you finally received that package you’ve been holding out for, open it up, try it on, give yourself a twirl in the mirror, pack it away and then look at the discarded packaging and think ‘is this recyclable?’
Or in my case, ‘blue or purple bin?’ So, what do you have in your hand; A mixture of plastic, cardboard, paper, labelling, paper wrapping, string, foam, all that for what? a mixed bag of a dress, bag & earrings. Not good is it and about 95.5% of the time it’s the purple bin; for those not in Liverpool, this is the bog-standard landfill bin (sad face).
The UK alone produces more than 170m tonnes of waste every year which most goes straight into our already overfilled landfills and 40% of this is from the packaging industry. This is only going to increase with the ever booming e-commerce industry.
In my opinion, I don’t think it helps that we aren’t educated enough in what can be recycled & we are not given packaging in the first place that can be recycled. It’s frustrating that we still have to question if something can or cannot be recycled. I don’t have the time to stand there and google every piece of packaging and waste which comes into my household, and I’m sure you don’t either.
I don’t know how, when or if we will ever get out of this throw-away culture but what I do know is that we have to find better solutions to reduce this waste by finding greener resources and circular alternatives. Why? because quite frankly it’s killing our people, our planet.
When I embarked on mi apparel I was well aware of how my packaging will and should embrace my brand. I gave myself the challenge to find what I thought would be useful, zero waste and recyclable packaging. This was not an easy task, because as a business you have to look at cost, sizes and what is available in the UK. Then you have to know what has it been made from, how has it been made, where has it been made, who made it, can it be recycled, can it be repurposed, can it be reusable, the list is endless when it comes to making a more conscious approach. Yes, I could have easily just jumped on to Amazon to buy 2000 cheap poly bags and receive them the next day. Job Done.
Nah, not for me or mi apparel. I wanted my customer to see the packaging, know instantly what to do with it, or want to do with it and move on to the next part of their day knowing that the choice they just made was an easy, quick, sustainable one.
Personally, there is nothing more irritating or off-putting than a brand claiming to be ‘ethical’ but then wrapping up the goods in something which is not.
So what did I go for? Well, after much research (actually a lot, months in fact, with plenty of ‘I can’t decide, can you decide for me‘ conversations with my 3-year-old).
- Postal packaging; old school 2ply kraft brown paper bags made from sustainable material stitched at the bottom. They are 100% recyclable and sealed with brown paper tape. Why? well when you view a paper bag, you know you can instantly recycle or reuse it. I know the supply chain and it fits perfectly within mi apparel values.
- On the inside; apart from having an amazing beautiful eco purchase. I focused on creating a branded, simple OTEX Cotton, drawstring bag made ethical and sustainable for your products to arrive safe, snug & in style. This bag can then lead its own life to whatever you wish to purpose it for, be it, loose fruit & veg, a travel aid to wrap pieces of your wardrobe when travelling, toys for your kids, iPad carrier for in your bag. The list is endless.
- No order or return slip, I find it an unloved, wasteful resource of paper & ink. if anyone wishes to return an item (free in the UK) you can drop me an email.
Voila!!! mi apparel packaging. I know who made it, where it comes from and where it can go. I don't’ know if this is the right way of packaging, but what I wanted to do for mi apparel was to keep it clean and simple so zero waste is produced when you receive your gorgeous purchase. Thankfully from what I can see so far with mi tribe on Instagram is that you’re happy with your ethical swag bags. [Phew] Of course, if you’re not impressed, tell me! if I don’t know what you want I don’t know how I can change it for the better.
When I’m on the hunt for amazing brands to showcase on mi apparel I will always ask about their packaging; what’s your packaging made from? what do you ship your garments & products in? can I bulk them all together for the least amount of packages? Thankfully being an ethical platform my brands are all about reducing their packaging footprint which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
To give you a flavour of some of the brands I stock;
- Elvis & Kresse reuse parachute fabric to make dust bags for their luxury sustainable products.
- True Organic of Sweden uses sugarcane & glass packaging with 100% recyclable plastic for their divine beauty range.
- I Love Eco Essentials use 100% post consumer & recyclable packaging for their heavenly spa scented collection
- Living Naturally Soapnut, Vegan, Organic, Botanic Skin, Hair & Laundry Care comes in ECO-friendly, biodegradable or reusable packaging
When it comes to our ethical & sustainable brands, the packaging is part of their DNA. We just need everyone else to catch up.
So what are you worst wasteful packaging stories?
Oh and the polybags I mentioned before? well, apparently you can take them to your local food superstore where you can dispose of them correctly.
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