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Packaging

Packaging

Today I’m sharing my philosophy and thoughts about packaging. Maybe I’m a little too blunt, but I’d really appreciate your feedback, thoughts and suggestions. I’m only at the beginning of my packaging journey.

All my regular packaging is cardboard. It is minimal. Where possible, it’s recycled and undyed / bleached. As a micro-business, I can’t afford to commission custom packaging – nor do I have the space to store 10,000 boxes.

Occasionally your order may arrive looking pretty beat up. I use Australia Post (begrudgingly) but whatever the freight company, every now and then you get an order that just gets punished even more than usual. I experience this too. I pay a small fortune to UPS and FedEx to ship my linen from the mills in Europe and it still turns up covered in dirt and looking like it’s been dragged behind a truck…

Thankfully, linen isn’t breakable. I’d prefer to replace a set of linen that has been damaged or stained during freight rather than over-package and/or use plastic in my packaging. I think too often we design for edge cases, often to the detriment of the planet or to others, rather than accepting that sometimes things will happen. Although it is really annoying, we will get through it. Creating a mountain of waste to stop 1 in 100 orders from being returned dirty or damaged is not worth it (as a side note - any order returned damaged in freight is repurposed into something else).

We buy a lot of goods online and often we end up with bins full of packaging that came with our products but really have no relation to them. Why do items need to be hardpacked in plastic? Why are there 3 different swing tags on this thing??

I’m also not a big fan of putting other items and unrelated gifts in packages. I don’t see the point of giving people additional things that they probably don’t want. We don’t need more trinkets. I get that it’s nice to get a gift, but I think it’s often used to distract us from crumby products. We don’t need a soft toy from China with every order! I focus on delivering a great product and then adding a handwritten note to every order. I do really appreciate your support and want to say thank you in a meaningful way, not in a way that creates more waste.

Comments on this post (6)

  • Nov 04, 2017

    Dear Alistair
    Your philosophy, ethics and product are awesome !!..and that’s why we keep buying from you…

    Many thanks for your beautiful Linen

    — Merran

  • Oct 25, 2017

    Completely agree with your philosophy on not needing to over-package items. I found your packaging to be charming and complementary to your linen. The little details of lovely paper stock and gold staples were very happily received!

    — Lea

  • Oct 24, 2017

    I adore your approach to packaging. My husband and I loved your handwritten note, including your reply to a comment we made when placing our order. Even the washing instructions were charming and adorned our kitchen shelf for more than a month – offering a little cheer as we departed or arrived, each day.

    — Rebecca

  • Oct 24, 2017

    Dear Helen and Holly,
    Thank you both for your feedback, it is really appreciated!!
    Al.

    — Alistair

  • Oct 24, 2017

    After reading your blog, I’ve changed my opinion about the inclusion of unrelated gifts. I agree that there’s no need for additional items – presumably, most of which would be unwanted.

    — Helen

  • Oct 24, 2017

    I wholeheartedly agree with your philosophy! I love your handwritten notes and minimal packaging – it’s so much better than parcels full of irrelevant and unnecessary ‘gifts’, marketing materials and mounds of plastic. To my mind, you’re on the right path :)

    — Holly

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