Improving sustainability with green packaging...
Our company is based on more than just sweet-looking sunglasses (although we've got those!). When I started this company and began really diving into sustainable materials, sourcing bamboo, and trying to reduce the impact of the materials and products we make, I found all kinds of ways to eliminate stuff - and by stuff I mean extra processes, shipping steps, and packaging materials.
This week we spent some time with our main supplier, Oken, who is based in China. The goal of our series of meetings was to brainstorm ways to eliminate materials and processes wherever possible.
Here's how things are normally done... First you place an order with your supplier. They then make the stuff, package each product or unit individually (for safe handling during shipping), then put them all in one big box and ship it off. Sounds logical, right?
Well, after looking through some of our product and how it's packaged, we realized that we didn't need that individual packaging at all. We could just pack it tightly in the shipping box and it was just as safe as if we individually boxed every product. So for every hundred pairs of sunglasses we made, we were using up a hundred small boxes that had no value!
Also, we used to wrap every pair of sunglasses in a celo-wrap (basically a clear plastic bag) which was then put into the bamboo carrying case, along with the silk sunglass bags. Another piece of unnecessary packaging.
2 Big Wins
So starting this week, we're eliminating all individual packaging from our supplier. The sunglasses ship in their bamboo hard case (which we source from sustainable bamboo plantations) but no celo-wrap or individual paper box.
I call that progress! But, we've still got a ways to go. So far we haven't found a way to avoid putting the product in an envelope or small box for shipping from our warehouse. However, we're currently looking into finding a greener packaging solution so even the envelope or box we use won't be wasting our planet's valuable trees. I will post updates on that effort in future blog posts.
We still have inventory with the previous individual packaging, which will be shipped out over the next month or two. But, all future orders and product will be sans extra packaging.
Have any ideas to share with us?
My team and I would love to hear your ideas for greener, more sustainable packaging and shipping for our products. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
Head Wood Chopper, Timber Bamboo