Here at BUON HQ, we understand how important it is to consider the environment and the future of this planet. It's no secret how much of an impact the fashion industry has on the world we live in, so one way we try to do our bit to combat this is via our packaging.
There are a lot of pro's to the use of plastic when it comes to e-commerce packaging, let me tell ya. It's cheaper, more available, more customisable, can be bought in huge bulk quantities, has a much (much!) longer shelf life, and can protect clothes in storage for many months before they hit the stores.
In fact, plastic makes so much business sense, I have been tempted to abandon the eco ship and throw myself into destroying the planet - but that's really not our M.O. here at BUON.
Compostable packaging is our choice for sending out your orders. We first have our clothes packaged individually for warehouse storage and protection purposes in compostable poly bags.
Then, once an order is received, we use a compostable mailer in either pink, yellow, black, or white/grey to wrap your items.
We never used to send out 'Thank You' cards as we figured it was one more thing that's just popped in the recycling bin, but it felt weird not having some sort of message in with our orders, thanking our customers for their support and telling them a little bit about what we do here, and what value they can expect from us.
Now, we figure that as long as whatever extra we're putting in the parcels contributes directly to your unboxing experience and puts a smile on your face is okay to include. (Please recycle our cards 😉)
Once bagged, we wrap our custom branded compostable tape around the parcel to give it a bit of flair. We're unable to customise the mailers, so this is how we add branding. We can't customise the mailers because the minimum order quantity is 10,000 per size. Seeing as we're still a small company, the mailers would decompose and become worm food before we were able to get through them all. We're so thankful for our soy based ink custom tape for this reason.
Our little 'Thank You' sticker on the outside of the package is also printed with soy based ink, and wishes you a BUON day ☀️
I've mentioned that the compostable packaging decomposes. This is why it's not the best thing for us strictly speaking in business terms. But it does let me sleep at night knowing that we're not contributing thousands of plastic bags to landfill under my watch.
Here are some other problems I have with compostable packaging:
• They're constantly sold out. Sometimes it's a literal online cat fight against other sellers who are also trying to buy the compostable mailers. The demand is so high and the availability often so low. This is why we use so many colours instead of just one colour packaging - sometimes I literally just have to get whatever is available. It's getting better though.
• Poly bags can't be reused because they tear so easily, so that means every exchanged or returned item has to be re-bagged, which can cost us lots of time.
If something takes too long to sell, or the bags were older to begin with, we have to re-package the garment because the bags get flimsy and start to decompose after a few months.
• They could contain allergens for those with wheat or corn related allergies.
• Bags that aren't composted go to landfill, where they will omit methane gas for the next 2 years (but this is still better than the 100+ years a plastic bag would take to decompose)
There's probably more. I've always been honest about how I feel about it all.
To put it into perspective:
500 plastic mailer bags (35cm x 48cm) costs $74.25
500 compostable mailer bags (36cm x 48cm) costs $310.00
For some readers, that may not seem like a big jump, but for us, small tweaks like this is the difference between being able to employ a casual staff member or not.
I completely empathise with big e-commerce here. I understand why they still use plastic. I don't like it, but I know why they do it. If you'd like to make a difference, supporting brands like BUON helps us purchase more and more compostable bags, which will in turn increase the demand for production to the point where the cost per unit might just meet that of plastic. Making eco products monetarily cheaper than plastic for businesses is the quickest way to help the industry find its feet on the green ladder.
Thank you for your kind comments and messages about how much you love our packaging. We love it too, really ❤️