Packaging. It’s probably the last thing on your mind when you click “buy” during an online order. That’s because brands understandably sell you a vision of their product, not what it will be delivered in. And yet, packaging is a serious issue. According to OECD, it causes 40% of global plastic waste. Why should we care? Well, plastic is just about the most environmentally damaging consumer material out there.
Here’s why plastic is a problem:
- Plastic is made from oil or gas
- The burning of oil and gas drives Global Heating
- Plastic is non-biodegradable, so it stays in the ground for centuries
- Plastic sheds microfibres - which pollute air, water, soil - and even human beings
- Plastic involves an array of toxic substances
- Single-use plastics frequently end up in the ocean
Alarmingly, oil and gas companies consider plastic to be their next major growth market. That means that products made from plastic (including packaging) will keep the fossil fuel industry afloat when we need to be scaling back the extraction of said fuels to save our planet.
All this makes the issue of plastic packaging feel suddenly worth paying attention to. It is just one facet of fashion’s so-called “addiction to plastic” - and one that can be easily improved.
What is sustainable packaging?
In contrast to packaging made from plastic, sustainable packaging is constructed from materials like paper, compostable materials, or cardboard. The first packaging issue this solves is disposability as these materials are both biodegradable and recyclable. Additionally, it’s estimated that paper and paperboard packaging creates only “3-5% of the carbon compared to the average product they protect.” Sustainable packaging therefore has a lower global warming potential, and a lower environmental footprint than regular packaging.
Innovations in packaging production mean that we should see more sustainable options in the future. This could involve source materials as diverse as mushrooms and seaweed!
What packaging does TWOTHIRDS use?
Safe to say, we’re proud of our packaging. Our orders come in humble cardboard boxes, with smaller paper bags for individual garments. There’s absolutely no plastic involved. Each piece of packaging is lovingly decorated with ocean symbols that embody the goal of our environmental efforts: to protect the ocean and all the life it contains!
We’ve been told that customers love reusing our sustainable packaging to wrap their own christmas presents or to use in crafts - which is the highest compliment we could receive! That our packaging is strong, or pretty enough to be reused shows just how sustainable it can be. In addition, every order includes its very own postcard from our catalogue of surfy designs. Our hope is that this sustainable packaging offers something fresh in a fashion market that is drowning in cheap plastic packaging.
Sustainable fashion needs sustainable packaging
While packaging may seem like a non-issue to some, we think it’s just as important as the garments themselves. Wrapping our sustainable clothing in plastic would be like baking the finest homemade cake using natural ingredients, only to slather it in cheap, processed chocolate! All that effort - for nothing.
Our sustainable clothing is made within a revolutionary pre-order system that reduces waste and maximises quality. We partner with family owned factories in Portugal who we know and trust, and who produce garments with a handmade quality. But before any of this: we ensure that the fabrics we use are low impact and environmentally-friendly. We try to limit, or avoid entirely, the use of synthetic fibres like virgin elastane, and focus more on natural fibres like organic cotton, recycled cotton, linen, and wool.
Finally, every item of clothing we make is Climate Neutral, which means that the emissions caused by their production have been reduced by us and compensated through a carbon sequestration project in Indonesia. Read more about that here.
Now imagine that we were to wrap our clothing in plastic packaging. This would result in enormous quantities of plastic waste, material that would never biodegrade and is rarely recycled. Because of plastic’s connection with fossil fuels, our carbon footprint would skyrocket - taking our credibility with it.
Finally, we believe that sustainable packaging also improves the experience of receiving sustainable fashion. It contributes to the slowing down of fashion consumption - because packaging that is worth treasuring compliments products that are worth hanging onto forever.When it comes to sustainable fashion, we firmly believe that every detail counts. Sustainable packaging should become the norm across all industries as we look to reduce the burden put on the planet by disposable plastics.