Packaging is a pretty dismal topic for me. As an interior designer, I am constantly receiving packages of samples and a constant barrage of product catalogs arriving in boxes and plastic coverings. When jobs are being installed every item has been carefully, and not so carefully, wrapped and padded, boxed and styrofoamed. And for the most part, all of that becomes trash. The obvious material I try to recycle and that in itself is a thankless and time consuming job. SO, in making the decision of what type of packaging to use for Her Riding Habit, I was very concerned.
I realize the experience of opening a beautiful box with tissue paper lightly wrapping your ordered item, topped off with some branded ribbon goes a long way in making an impression on the consumer. It's nice. It's expensive. And sometimes that item doesn't fit and you still have to return it. There is also the experience of tearing into the Zappos polybag, then ripping through the clear plastic bag, just hoping what you bought fits. And when it does, it's nice. In both scenarios, I have some trash to take care of. Sure I might save the nice box and tissue for re-use, but in the end, it's trash.
I really wanted the packaging for Her Riding Habit to be low impact. I also didn't want the packaging to add a lot into the cost of the items (yes, consumers, packaging is added into the cost of each item you buy!) Cut to the chase, I found EcoEnclose. Their polymailers are made from recycled content, can be re-used again (for returns if necessary) and the material can be recycled. They also make those clear plastic bags, again recycled and recyclable. I had toyed with not using the clear plastic bags, but learned that would be a mistake. They add extra waterproofing for individual mailers and retailers like them for keeping inventory clean and orderly. So okay, protect the product, I get it. With the mailers in hand, I packaged up the samples to make sure they work as planned (and also to weigh in each package size for shipping purposes.) What else can I do while we all wait for inventory to come in? I'm taking care of as much behind the scenes issues as possible so when I receive the inventory, I can ship it out to fulfill orders asap!