Sustainable Packaging - The Fashion Industry's New BFF!
Author: Saloni Dahanukar
The last 5 years in the sustainable fashion industry have been revolutionary. From pioneering efforts to turn bamboo shoots into weavable fabric, to the mainstream adoption of organic cotton clothes - recent trends and practices continue to call for disruption in the industry. However, these trends don’t just stop here. Fashion sustainability is becoming a huge business, an enterprise that is giving rise to new business opportunities, employing hundreds of people and even making its way to coursebooks and modules of top educational institutions.
One of the by-products of this business (& probably the biggest piece of the puzzle) is sustainable packaging. It is eco-friendly, biodegradable and in most cases - organic, meaning it has the ability to decompose (in contrast to plastic or other synthetic fibres that have high impact). Research proves that sustainable packaging has a long list of benefits and that is why everyone from huge e-commerce websites to small homegrown brands have slowly jumped on the bandwagon.
Let’s dive further into what sustainable packaging really is why more brands need to offer sustainable packaging solutions.
picture credits: ecobahn.com
With the exponential rise in D2C websites offering everything from 20 minute deliveries to avocados shipped from halfway across the world, packaging is a ubiquitous facet of our lives. Traditional packaging is found to be made primarily out of plastic (think bubble wrap, films, laminates and pouches). However, with the growing awareness that plastic harms air, oceans, land, and generally puts our environment in a state of crisis, the packaging industry has taken significant steps to undo this problem. With constant advocacy from activists and consumers alike, this landscape has slowly started to change.
Say hi to sustainable packaging. A new age alternative to single use plastic, sustainable packaging refers to the sourcing, development and usage of eco-friendly packaging solutions that have minimal impact on the environment.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) offers 8 criteria for packaging to be considered sustainable. They are:
- Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle.
- Meets market criteria for performance and cost.
- Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy.
- Optimises the use of renewable or recycled source materials
- Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices
- Is made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle
- Is physically designed to optimise materials and energy
- Is effectively recovered and utilised in biological and/or industrial closed loop cycles
When applied to the fashion industry, sustainable packaging offers a realm of solutions that can make the overall consumption process more eco friendly, organic and ethical. It’s not only better for the environment but a great investment for brands trying to champion sustainability and lessen their impact. Here’s a little lowdown on why sustainable packaging is worth the price.
- Reduces your brand’s carbon footprint: If packaging is made out of bamboo, or policy approved cardboard, it actually drawns Co2 out of the atmosphere.
- Improved brand loyalty: Offering more environmentally responsible solutions builds an authentic rapport between you and your customers, and naturally creates trust, nudging repeated purchases and new acquisitions.
- Biodegradable, Compostable and easily disposable: Depending on the grade of the packaging and materials used, most sustainable packaging is biodegradable and easily degenerates into the environment.
As of 2022, there are many innovative start-ups and companies that provide highly functional and logical sustainable packaging solutions. Some options available in India are Ecovia & EnvoPap (our wonderful packaging partners), Bambrew, and Texool.
Not buying or shopping less is the ultimate way to go, but if you’re in need of a stellar fit to accompany your Sunday plans, then I recommend looking for something that comes wrapped in sustainable packaging - like this One Less sweats/ shorts set (if I may say so myself 😉).
Happy shopping 🤍