If you’ve ever ordered from my online shop, this scene probably looks familiar. And while looks are a part of it (I love me a simple, earthy, neutral aesthetic), there’s so much more intentionality that goes into this packaging with sustainability in mind.
Almost all of my items are shipped in padded mailers, rather than boxes. While I know boxes, with their pretty tissues and fillers, create a beautiful unboxing moment, they also create a lot of waste. And not just in the obvious ways.
A mailer is far more sustainable in every measurable dimension.
Material Usage: Mailers use less paper than boxes and much less glue. It is a more sustainable option from a carbon footprint & waste perspective.
Postage Rates + Speed: USPS, FedEx, UPS, often offer flat rate postage rates that can only be attained through a flexible mailer. I’ve also found mailers are delivered more quickly than boxes, especially during the busier holiday season.
“Dead Space” Potential: The most common #packagingfails posted online are small items showing up in big boxes. Major shippers use big boxes to increase the amount of product the box could be used for, therefore increasing fulfillment speed. But the speed comes at a high cost of material usage + “dead space” in the truck or plane, as well as extra waste for your consumer to throw out. Right-sized packaging is the way to go.
Fulfillment Speed: Mailers are fast! No folding involved. Open the mailer, enter the product, peel the paper strip and seal the mailer.
Storage Space: Mailers take up the least amount of space in your workshop or studio.
Cost: Mailers have the most competitive unit costs. Cheaper for me means cheaper for you!
This is not an ad for Ecoenclose but I am in love with their 100% Recycled Padded Mailers. Upcycled newspaper is matted into a layer of cushioning, then sandwiched between two layers of recycled Kraft paper. Once used, it is readily curbside recycled.
Beyond the mailers, every part of the packaging I choose is either reusable (unbranded canvas bags, twine, small jewelry boxes) or recyclable (paper bags, thank you notes, mailer).
I really do believe these small choices can add up to big change.