Fast fashion has been the cornerstone of the apparel industry for some time. Women’s apparel brands cycle through producing and discarding greater quantities of clothing each year.
But consumers are no longer demanding companies make more and more clothing at all costs. Instead, they want conscientious and sustainable women’s apparel and packaging. Sustainable packaging can help your brand connect with consumers and transform the fashion industry.
The shift to sustainable packaging may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Edge2Edge Packaging has the know-how to help you on your journey to sustainability. Our experts offer three suggestions to up the eco-friendliness of your brand’s packaging.
Fashion. It affects not just our daily lives but the entire planet.
The women’s apparel industry has left its mark on the environment. Fast fashion has yielded significant amounts of plastic pollution, water contamination, and wastage.
Vital resources like water, energy, and fibers go into making products that are never worn. About 85% of all textiles in the United States end up in landfills or incinerators each year.
For clothes that are worn, there are still lasting effects. Thirty-five percent of oceanic microplastics—pieces of plastic 5 mm in diameter or less—are from washing apparel derived from synthetic textiles such as polyester.
Clothing isn’t the only source of sustainability issues in the women’s apparel industry.
Single-use plastic packaging items like polybags permeate fashion brands’ supply chains. These petroleum-based products release carbon dioxide emissions during production, contributing to climate change. Apparel packaging waste also pervades landfills and significantly contaminates the environment.
The way we have been making and packaging clothes is clearly not going to work in the long term.
But selling clothing doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game.
Developing sustainable packaging is a win-win strategy that can help move the women’s apparel industry in the right direction.
The world of fast fashion experienced a sharp downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of typically expected clothing purchases, consumers were more focused on buying items like masks and loungewear. Some women stopped shopping for apparel altogether.
In the end, clothing sales fell by 20% in 2020. Adaptable apparel brands with a robust online presence were the most successful during the lockdown.
This pause in the typical clothing cycle allowed consumers to take stock of their purchasing habits.
Individuals are now more concerned about their effect on the environment. According to a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, over 60% of consumers now go out of their way to purchase products with eco-friendly packaging.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how consumers view the world. Women’s apparel brands vying for buyers’ attention will have to accommodate this trend or risk losing out on potential sales.
People are rethinking how their actions affect the planet. The verdict—eco-friendly packaging is in.
So what makes packaging sustainable?
Packaging, like all physical goods, requires resources to make. Eco-friendly packaging design takes into account the different aspects of product design. It actively works to lessen the environmental harms related to the product and maximize the benefits.
Sustainable packaging should also be economically viable and socially beneficial. A profitable product and good working conditions are a must. In the end, you should end up with packaging that supports economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Unsustainable packaging is going out of style. Now is the time to make the change to eco-friendly packaging.
Edge2Edge is a service provider that can guide you through your transition to sustainable packaging. We can help your brand make sure your packaging stays up-to-date. Here are three tips to get you started.
Conventional nonrecyclable plastic bags and other packaging are derived from fossil fuels and take up space in landfills, or worse, pollute the environment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative substrates consumers will love. Substrate options for reusable bags
include cotton, cork, washable paper (also known as paper leather), and jute.
The goal is to minimize environmental impact, so make sure the materials are sustainably sourced with material certifications or another form of verification. Also, educate customers on the bags and how they can be reused.
Some top brands are flipping the idea of throwaway packaging on its head and going reusable.
Athleta is an excellent example of reusable packaging done right, with a unique and stylish reusable retail bag. The bag is becoming a brand icon as buyers use them in their daily lives.
After selecting from the array of sustainable substrates, it’s time to design. Not only does the material matter, but how much of it you use also counts.
Go in-house or source a designer to create a memorable packaging product that uses as little material as possible. Edge2Edge offers sustainable design services and can provide a team familiar with minimalist design principles.
Less material means fewer resources are used per product. This can quickly add up to financial savings and help meet your company’s sustainability targets.
One often overlooked aspect of packaging is the ink. Conventional inks need petroleum-based binders and an adhesive high in volatile organic compounds to properly adhere to the substrate. This means that standard inks contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and can harm human health.
But there’s an easy fix.
Plant-based inks made from soy or vegetable oils are a viable alternative to regular ink. These inks contain fewer solvents, lower volatile organic compounds, and a smaller carbon footprint. They can also be safely composted or recycled.
Another eco-friendly option is water-based ink. The binders and solvents of this type of ink are water-soluble and do not emit volatile organic compounds. This makes them safe for the environment.
You can also use water-based inks to create visually unique packaging. Instead of covering the material with a colored film, these inks color the material itself. This process gives the item a softer hand feel and a distinct aesthetic.
In the fashion industry, eye-catching packaging is a must to pique consumers’ interests. Using sustainable packaging is an easy way to meet consumer demands and improve your brand image. Switching to a sustainable material, incorporating a minimal packaging design, and using alternative inks can take your packaging from outdated to outstanding.
Women’s apparel brands have the potential to make a massive difference in the transition to sustainable development. By rethinking how your brand packages its products, you can be part of the solution. Join us in transforming our world for the better, one packaging product at a time.