ECO-FRIENDLY SWIMWEAR PACKAGING: WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
As our society becomes more eco conscious and sustainability is more on our minds. When creating a clothing brand it is important to think about what packaging will be used. At the moment plastic is the popular choice that is used by hundreds of brands around the world. However plastic takes a very long time to decompose, and while it is decomposing it releases so many toxic chemicals into our atmosphere which is harmful to us and our eco-systems.
What about fashion?
In the fashion industry, plastic is constantly used in packaging, especially with online shopping becoming more and more popular. There is so much plastic that is used to package the garments. There is an increase in the amounts of clothing that is bought from online stores. Plastic is used to package the individual garment as well as being used to contain all of the garments in the package.
In 2016, there was nearly 90 million tonnes of plastic that was wasted due to packaging of clothing and a lot of it is non-recyclable. However this is changing, there is now sustainable packaging available for clothing brands to use instead. This is a great alternative for brands to use as it shows they are trying to be more ethical and helps their brand awareness.
Compostable packaging is made from fossil fuel materials or it can be made from plants. They break down once used therefore producing soil at the end of their shelf life. But it doesn’t mean you can just dispose of the compostable packaging anywhere you like, it needs to disposed of correctly – in the composting bin. Biodegradable and compostable packaging are completely different, so look out for both as they need to be disposed of in a different way. New Zealand based Maggie Marilyn packages her garments used cassava based compostable bags called ComPlast. They even use compostable bags to ship the garments wholesale, these bags are made from cornstrarch. One of our favourite sustainable brands is Reformation, they have also been using compostable bags to package the garments.Sourcing compostable bags can take some time and is more costly and it isn’t very accessible in the fashion industry.
Recycled packaging is becoming constantly used throughout the world. Cardboard and plastic is being recycled and many online brands are using recycled packaging as its more accessible and easier to source. Reformation uses 0% plastic packaging, they also use 100% recycled paper packaging and recycled paper hangers.
Reusing packaging is another great option! As a brand it’s important to encourage your customers to reuse the packaging. Some brands are even asking customers to return the packaging to them so they can reuse it on another customer order.
Some brands are supplying their garments in sustainable packaging where possible. While some brands are completely removing the use of plastic in their packaging, some are not using polybags at all such as Patagonia. However they soon realised that the garments were getting damaged during transit so they needed the garments to be individually be packaged.