Brands & Consumers Uniting Together for Change
Imagine receiving a package in the mail, and instead of ripping it open to see the new items you ordered, you instead stop to admire the packaging and declare, “Now that’s a good looking sustainable package!”
That’s actually the experience that many people are having, thanks to the shift that’s happening with companies across the globe. Businesses and consumers are finally waking up to the detrimental effects of climate change and deciding to do something about it.
The unspoken truth is, it’s no longer acceptable NOT to take accountability for your carbon footprint. Consumers are playing a big role in the change, demanding transparency and greener options, and because of it, sustainable changes are slowly happening at companies around the world.
Why it matters
It’s no secret that we have a global climate and biodiversity crisis on our hands.
Every year 3 billion trees are cut down to produce paper packaging, much of which comes from endangered forests. In addition to the negative effects on carbon and nature, it threatens the lives of endangered species, biodiversity, and climatic conditions.
As a consumer, you have a big role to play in the change towards a sustainable future. A recent study found that two-thirds of shoppers are now paying more attention to packaging and are more likely to buy from brands that offer sustainable packaging. And companies are listening.
At Nui, we built our brand based on a circular business model. At every stage of production - sourcing, product, packaging, trim and more, we have always been focused on using natural and renewable materials that have the least impact on human and animal lives and the environment.
Choosing lower impact materials for packaging, such as recycled or post-consumer recycled fibers, and reducing package size and weight greatly reduces carbon emissions and doesn’t contribute to deforestation.
Our current packaging is made from compostable cornstarch that biodegrades into carbon dioxide and water within months after disposal. But if it is not properly disposed of, the process may take longer.
As we are constantly evolving, we are always seeking ways to improve and reduce our footprint even further. For this reason, we are currently in the process of switching to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper bags and glassine garment bags - both of which are fully recyclable and do not require composting.
Sustainable design expert William McDonough says that the idea of simply doing less harm needs to be rethought diametrically. “Firstly, eliminate the concept of waste because, in nature, there’s no such thing,” says McDonough. “In Cradle to Cradle, we look at things as food for their next use.”
“We don't want to be just less bad — we want to be more good," adds McDonough. "So, the question becomes, how can we take these materials and use them over and over again in ways that are propitious and benefit many generations? It's a celebration of abundance rather than a bemoaning of limits.”
What is Sustainable Packaging?
According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, any packaging design which “can be transformed into a closed-loop flow of packaging materials in a system that is economically robust and provides benefit throughout its life cycle” can be considered sustainable.
How that definition is interpreted, affects how sustainable a company’s packaging is. Unfortunately, this means that while some companies may seem sustainable with their brown, recycled boxes, things like the ratio of product vs packaging, sourcing of materials, and availability of recycling and composting options to the consumer, can greatly affect actual sustainable outcomes.
That’s why well-intentioned companies need to stay on top of the latest innovations in sustainable packaging and hold each other accountable. After all, climate change is a global problem. There is no “winner” in this race to save the planet.
We all win if we can work together, share innovative and sustainable ideas, and continue to push corporate and industrial change for the better.
The Responsible Packaging Movement
It’s a movement - to save the planet together. We are joining other empowered brand leaders, and along with you, the consumer, with a goal to eliminate single-use plastic and virgin forest fiber (non FSC approved) from packaging.
This movement was started by the sustainable clothing brand PrAna. With a mission to create positive change for the planet and its people, they challenged brands to create goals around responsible packaging.
As accountability is key, and action critical, this collaborative effort is a giant step towards a sustainable future. To date, more than 40 brands including Coyuchi, Outerknown, Spell, and now Nui, have joined the movement, along with non-profit partners 5gyers and Canopy. Access to industry leaders via roundtable discussions, responsible packaging guides, and networking space with like-minded brands, are things that will get us closer to our sustainable future.
We are excited to partner with such notable brands with other empowered leaders who share the same vision for the planet - healthy, whole, and united.
How to get involved #ReshapePackaging
As a consumer, the Responsible Packaging Movement is something you can be a part of too. By joining this mission, you are aiming to make responsible choices to reduce single-use plastic packaging, virgin forest fiber packaging, and excess packaging waste in your everyday life. We encourage you to create your own goal and make it be something that you're truly passionate about.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on our #ReshapePackaging goal.
- Bring your one reusable container when you go out to eat to avoid needing to use single-use food packaging to carry your leftovers and take-out orders.
- When you run out of my current beauty and self-care products, look to replace the items with brands that use sustainable and/or refillable packaging.
- Reduce your use of paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, etc., and replace them with cloth wipes or buying responsibly sourced options.
- Support companies that offer sustainable packaging and share them with your friends.
Just as we say you should demand more from your clothes, so should you demand more from the companies who supply them and how they are delivered to you.
It’s an intentional and conscious effort that will protect this planet that we all call home. Together we can and will create change towards a healthy and sustainable future.