Published 3 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Sustainable packaging is on track to becoming the norm in both industries, leaving the thing that sets brands apart as the way they communicate the message.
There were some positive signs of progress on climate change amid the early
COVID chaos, with
fashion and beauty industry leaders pledging to cut down on collections and
develop a more streamlined process from production to store delivery in order to
meet current demands.
Brands are clearly conscious of the impact of their products and supply chains;
but what they often forget is their packaging, usually one of the most important
things to get right when it comes to sustainability. Ultimately, your products
are only as sustainable as your packaging.
By now, of course, brands are fully aware of the pitfalls of plastic, with those
still using the material in their packaging and products often condemned in the
court of public opinion. There have also been some serious success stories, for
instance, with Germany recently announcing that it will ban all single-use
plastics by 2021.
have, therefore, become something of a trend in their own right. But, as we
increasingly see brands opt for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic, it’s
communicating those sustainable credentials that really sets them apart in
consumers’ minds. But, unfortunately, brands largely tend to hide their light
under a bushel.
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So, there is a need for more effective communication from brands and packaging
providers to rectify this issue, particularly as customers’ eyes open wider to
it — which recent events have indicated is happening as greater attention is
paid to brands’ initiatives for social good.
Attaining credentials, accreditations and stamps of approval such as
FSC and the Positive
Luxury butterfly are essential in
communicating to customers that your packaging is in fact, environmentally
friendly. This should be the first step in any brand’s strategy to reducing the
carbon footprint of their packaging; and it also instills trust and confidence
in consumers, which reflects positively on the business and its revenue.
Of course, earning such badges requires innovation, investment and a commitment
to ongoing effort. And focus should not only be given to exterior shells; but
inserts, labels and order information notes and documents, as well, particularly
as the shift towards online shopping becomes more prominent.
Alongside this, cutting down on the amount of packaging used is another simple
step a brand can take. Along with reducing costs, waste and ultimately the
business’ and industry’s carbon footprints; if communicated correctly, it can be
used to target consumers who have become accustomed to their new, minimalist
lifestyle under lockdown restrictions.
But with necessary packaging, it’s all about maximising its use and encouraging
a second life. Again, this comes from effective communication of how packaging
can be reused or recycled. For example, we worked
with MATCHESFASHION to
develop their iconic marble effect boxes, which are some of the most
eco-friendly in the luxury fashion industry, communicated simply by their design
Made from high-quality materials, the boxes are designed to be durable and
sturdy so that they can be used over and over again in multiple ways.
Ultimately, their boxes aren’t just holding baskets for their pieces but have
become part of the product and service customers pay for.
Beauty brands such as MAC
(which has also pioneered the idea of selling “naked”
free from packaging altogether) have found success in incentivising recycling
with “bring back” schemes, whereby customers are encouraged to take empty
containers back to the store in return for free products, refills or monetary
discounts. As well as reducing their environmental impact, they are encouraging
repeat purchases and brand loyalty, which is a great example of how commercially
valuable sustainability initiatives can be.
And, moving away from fashion and beauty, Coca-Cola has this year become the
first major brand in their sector to make bottles from 100 percent recycled
in the Swedish market. Swapping their iconic label for one that spreads the
important message of recycling, the campaign aims to encourage and educate
customers on a circular economy.
As an increasing number of brands up their efforts in communicating their
eco-credentials, it will no doubt call for greater creativity and innovation.
Ultimately, sustainable packaging is on track to becoming the norm, leaving the
thing that sets brands apart as the way they communicate the message.
Published Aug 20, 2020 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST