Package Schmackage (but there's hope!)
One of the reasons why I stopped looking at YouTube video's of "influencers" is that seeing them #unbox just hurt my hyper-aware-of-pollution-brain. Honestly, where does all that STUFF go? If you've watched Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff, you just cannot unseen what you've seen. Being aware is a curse and a blessing at the same time, I guess.Here's the clip:
OK let's talk about the elephant in the room; the phenomenon that is often neglected when brands promote their "sustainable" products. It's not the CO2-emissions by the modes of transportation bringing your package from A to B. It's not the micro-fibers released when you launder your synthetic clothes. It's not the offering of discounts on "sustainable products" so you still buy more than you need. Well, those are important too of course, but let's focus on one element that has been upsetting me rather than convincing me to finally buy something online again. FYI, I've been doing a massive detox of my pre-True Cost consumer behaviour. There's a reason I call myself a "Fashion Culprit". ANYWAY, what's been bothering me is the amount of greenwashing that stays part of the fashion game. JUST STOP, PLEASE.
Strike 1: when the box has print on it stating "recyclable".
The problem here is that it's misleading the consumer. This word I've seen not just on packages but moreover on fresh plastic bags people carry with them when leaving a store. As a rule of thumb, keep this in mind: RECYCLABLE ≠ RECYCLED
If it was recycled, there's both applause and booing. Great, no new materials were used; which is often not true due to the quality loss needing additives of virgin plastic made from petrochemicals (The thick black blubber currently bullying people in Mauritius due to a massive oil spill). Marketers, please, if you are not 100% sure that the product is not ruining the environment, then tap into your integrity by not using such misleading terms. Don't shoot the messenger. That was the booing part.
Strike 2: when the box is made from FSC-approved cardboard but the tape is made from synthetics
All I can say here is: Think "out of the box". Pun intended.
I think that's enough critique. Let's focus on the positive for a second.
Lauren Singer - The Package Free Shop
The woman known for the zero waste lifestyle. She has a degree in environmental studies from NYU and after graduating figured she needed to practice what she preaches. A few years ago, she founded her company the Package Free Shop. Trust me, I've been asking her questions on Instagram about the materials, and the story checks out!
I LOVE THIS COMPANY. What's great, is that the concept was based out of real problem solving. Not copying another successful business' blueprint, but really introducing something new built from scratch. As a matter of fact, I've been seeing a few names pop up on Instagram that are copying them with a twist. Collaboration matters more than competition as we should all build businesses that benefit the environment, rather than destroy it. That's not something new either, but I stand by it. You can read their origin story here on their website: https://www.originalrepack.com/
Another company that really puts thought into their packaging is this Danish brand. Despite still having a few synthetic materials in their products (elastane), I was positively surprised when I ordered something from their store. Not only does the design look and feel thoughtful, they also take the time to educate the consumer, understanding that sharing knowledge is key. An even funnier element I found in the box is the card that has seeds in it that can be planted. I had seen this before, but felt excited a brands is finally picking that up. Love it! Check out their website here: https://organicbasics.com/
A Good Company
Let me take a moment of expressing absolute fandom: this company developed its own Cradle2Cradle certified packaging materials ! I mean, that I call entrepreneurship. You find more details here: https://agood.com/pages/a-climate-positive-bag What's important about the Cradle2Cradle certification is... EVERYTHING. There are various levels ranging from bronze to platinum, and being educated in them I think is valuable knowledge. So here's a link: https://www.c2ccertified.org/
On that note...You've probably heard enough from me, so I'll leave it here. Just if you could please write a comment below with your feedback so I learn about whether I'm adding value or polluting the Internet, that would be appreciated! ;-)
This article is completely free of ads, as I just want to help fellow conscious consumers to navigate through the clutter and purchase with purpose. Companies that are putting People and Planet before Profit do not get enough attention yet. It's my mission to change that. Let's celebrate positive impact by voting with our wallets for the world we want to live in. Don't we have enough pollution and trash yet?