Summary: Green fashion is not limited to manufacturing clothes and accessories that help in saving the environment. Product packaging is an integral part of sustainable fashion. Brands are now investing in eco-friendly packaging to reduce tons of carbon footprint and fashion waste that heads to landfills every year.
The fashion industry, with its cyclical change in styles, precipitates a massive waste of resources every year. According to studies, the fashion industry contributes almost 10 percent of the annual carbon footprint. Yes! And, if you find that scary, then the waste projections for the industry are nothing short of horrifying. According to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit held this year, the waste from fashion products is projected to touch 150 million tons. Its carbon footprint is expected to cross 2,700 million tons.
One of the notorious contributors to this gargantuan fashion waste is the packaging material used by brands in this industry. The stakeholders in this trillion-dollar industry are now focussing their attention on reducing the carbon footprint and water waste by adopting eco-friendly packaging. After all, sustainable fashion is incomplete without green packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging, also known as green packaging, uses raw materials for making packaging materials that reduce the adverse impacts on the environment by bringing down waste and carbon footprint. Conventional materials such as polyethene and byproducts of fossil fuels are non-biodegradable and are slowly choking the environment and the biodiversity of the oceans and killing the earth.
There are several ways in which eco-friendly packaging can be pulled off. One of the most common ways of doing this is by employing 100% recycled materials. Other means include promoting reusable packaging materials such as corrugated cardboard and waste-free wood packaging, which come with an extended life cycle. Brands can also add sustainable packaging to their repertoire by minimizing the packaging size and optimizing the supply chain process to reduce wastage in the inventory.
Fashion has always been about style. Now, it is also about substance. Clothing and apparel brands looking for eco-friendly packaging can look at these amazing alternatives.
Nothing beats a good old cardboard box as an eco-friendly packaging material. Cardboard packaging reduces the carbon footprint of a shipment by 60 percent compared to those made from plastics. Cardboard is biodegradable and a friend to the earth. A single sheet of corrugated cardboard can be recycled almost half-a-dozen times.
There are several items in the fashion industry that require plastic packaging. Brands should invest in recyclable plastics that can be used over and over again, reducing the dependence on virgin plastic. A new range of bioplastics using biodegradable polyester compounds has given a breakthrough in eco-friendly packaging.
Packaging material made specifically from plant-based raw materials falls under the compostable category if it can break down in 180 days in home conditions. Materials sourced from corn and sugarcane can be devised in a way that they turn to compost within the prescribed period. This is a great way to return to nature what is taken from it.
The fashion industry is dependent on transparent packaging. While plastic packets are the most widely used materials, glassine packets are now slowly gaining momentum. These translucent packets are made from recycled wood pulp. This eco-friendly packaging material is biodegradable.
Bags made from cotton, silk, and wool fall under this category. These are completely organic materials that are 100% biodegradable. The bags are versatile and reusable, making them one of the better options for eco-friendly packaging. Compared to polyethene which practically is indestructible (It takes 10,000 years to degrade naturally), cotton is biodegradable between 2-4 weeks!
Cornstarch packaging has revolutionized the takeaway food and beverage industry. It is now being used as a replacement for wood-based packaging materials to reduce the felling of trees. Cornstarch is easily available and comes with affordability in large-scale operations. Green cell foam is also a viable packaging derivative of corn.
It does not matter if you are a budding startup or an established fashion brand; eco-friendly packaging is the need of the hour. Fashinza helps make your fashion brand sustainable by getting you connected with suppliers and manufacturers who invest in their future by adopting green packaging. With Fashinza, you get a single-window solution to all your sustainable fashion requirements. If you are looking for eco-friendly sourcing partners, Fashinza is the right place to be. Help us help the earth. Connect with Fashinza for sourcing all green packaging materials.