ACCESSORIES: AN e-COMMERCE PACKAGING GUIDE

Are you looking for sustainable, recycled or compostable shipping materials to replace your current accessory shipping packaging?

Then this guide is for you! 

At EcoPackables, we offer a variety of options for shipping accessories that are sustainable and eco-friendly. In this guide, we’ll go over the different level of protection in packaging, each material option and packaging option currently available as well as how sustainability messaging can enhance your brand. 

Accessories

When it comes to sustainable e-commerce shipping packaging for accessories, we recognize that different kinds of accessories have varying levels of need for protection. Accessories come in a wide range of types, including delicate jewelry, fragile sunglasses, shaped hats, sturdy belts, and durable shoes to name a few. Each category requires specific packaging solutions to ensure safe delivery while minimizing environmental impact.

High protection accessories, such as delicate or valuable items, demand extra care during shipping. Sustainable packaging solutions for these accessories may include custom foam inserts made from recyclable or compostable materials. These inserts offer optimal protection while ensuring sustainability throughout the packaging process.

Medium protection accessories, such as delicate jewelry or small glassware items, require more thoughtful packaging. Biodegradable cushioning materials made from recycled or plant-based materials can provide the necessary protection while being eco-friendly. Additionally, using reusable or recyclable boxes and padding can help minimize environmental impact.

Low protection accessories, such as belts, beanies, scarves or certain types of jewelry, eco-friendly packaging options like compostable or recycled polymailers can be a great option. These solutions not only provide adequate protection, but also align with sustainable practices by reducing material waste.

At EcoPackables, we understand the diverse nature of accessories and the need for tailored packaging solutions. We are committed to providing the best eco-friendly options for each type of accessory, taking into account both their protection requirements and environmental considerations. By offering a range of sustainable packaging choices, we aim to support the growth of responsible e-commerce while ensuring that every accessory arrives safely and sustainably to its destination.

Our Materials

For each level of protection, we offer a diverse range of material options carefully tailored to meet your unique needs and preferences. Our exceptional selection of polymailers or flexible mailers, as well as our padded mailers, extends across a variety of sustainable and eco-friendly choices, including compostable, recycled plastic, and recycled paper materials. By presenting these alternatives, we empower you to make conscious decisions that align with your values and contribute to a greener future.

When making the crucial choice of material, it is essential to consider the entire life cycle of the product, from the sourcing of the materials to its end-of-life scenario. We understand the significance of customer perception and the positive impact sustainable packaging can have. By opting for environmentally friendly materials, you can showcase your commitment to sustainability and resonate with your customers' eco-conscious values. Furthermore, these materials enable your customers to engage in ideal end-of-life scenarios, contributing to a circular economy where waste is minimized, and resources are maximized.

Your sustainability goals are at the forefront of our offering. Whether your focus is on plastic-free solutions, carbon neutrality, or any other aspect of sustainability, we have materials that align with your vision. You can have confidence in the credibility and reliability of our materials, as they have been thoroughly evaluated to meet the highest industry standards.

To provide you with a comprehensive overview and aid in your decision-making process, we have prepared a material comparison chart below. This resource allows you to evaluate the key characteristics and benefits of each material option, empowering you to make an informed choice that supports your sustainability journey. 

Shipping packaging

Below, we’ll explore our sustainable shipping packaging options offered for each level of protection and the types of accessories each is best suited for.

Mailer Boxes

Recycled corrugated boxes, made of 100% recycled content and FSC certified, are the ideal solution for shipping accessories that require a high level of protection, such as sunglasses, high end jewelry, and fedoras. By right-sizing your boxes with custom dimensions to fit the specific accessory, you can minimize the amount of packaging material required and optimize shipping efficiency. Create a custom unboxing experience with flexo (MOQ 2,000) or full CMYK digital printing (MOQ 1) to really stand out. Consider using eco-friendly void fill alternatives like recycled Kraft paper to fill empty spaces within the box, preventing the items from shifting during transit and reducing the risk of damage. By opting for recycled corrugated boxes, you contribute to the circular economy, reduce carbon emissions, and promote environmental responsibility in the shipping and packaging industry, all while providing the highest level of protection for your more fragile accessories.

Tab Locking (TL)

Literature Mailer (LM)

Tab Locking boxes are by far our most popular offering, these boxes tend to fit most companies shipping an e-commerce parcel that's <15lbs.

Literature Mailers are very similar to our TL boxes, offering a similar functionality, just with a slight aesthetic difference and no dust flaps.

Padded Mailers

Padded mailers are an excellent choice for shipping accessories that require a medium level of protection, such as jewelry, watches, pins, and shoes. All of our padded mailer options provide a protective cushioning layer to safeguard the accessories during transit. And they are made of lightweight materials that do not add much weight to the shipment, making them an ideal choice for companies looking to reduce shipping costs. Custom sizes and printing are available starting at just 5,000 units. The different material options available mean that you can choose the one that best suits your needs and aligns with your sustainable packaging goals, whether that be compostable, post-consumer recycled, or recycled honeycomb paper padded mailers. 

compostable padded bubble mailer free shipping
 Recycled Honeycomb Paper Padded Mailer free shipping

Compostable Bubble Mailer

Post-Consumer Recycled Bubble Mailer

100% Recycled Honeycomb Paper Padded Mailers

100% home or industrial compostable with TUV and BPI certification, made of a unique blend of cornstarch, PLA, and PBAT. Printed with water based inks.

Certified by the GRS 4.0., made from 65% post-consumer recycled waste and 35% pre-consumer waste. Fully recyclable with thin film and at drop-off recycling bins. Moisture, tear, and tamper-resistant. Printed with Water-Based Inks.

100% Recycled FSC-certified kraft paper that is compostable and recyclable. All-over custom print available at 5k units on Natural kraft or white paper finish. Water resistant thanks to paper thickness

Poly Mailers

Poly mailers are an excellent choice for shipping accessories that require a low level of protection such as beanies, scarves, ties, and flipflops. The customizable size and light weight material options mean lower shipping cost. Custom printing options allow you to create packaging that reflects your brand identity and enhances your customer’s experience. Whether you opt for compostable mailers, post-consumer recycled mailers, or recycled kraft mailers, you can demonstrate your commitment to environmental stewardship.

recycled kraft paper mailer free shipping

Compostable Mailer

Recycled Poly Mailer

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Kraft Mailers

100% compostable, made of a unique blend of cornstarch, PLA, and PBAT. High strength in tear resistance and waterproof

Printed with Water-Based Inks. Certified by the GRS 4.0Made from 65% post-consumer recycled waste and 35% pre-consumer waste. Fully recyclable with thin film and at drop-off recycling bins. Highest strength in tear resistance and waterproof

100% Recycled FSC-certified Paper that is compostable and recyclable. All-over custom print available. Natural Kraft or white paper finish. Can also be made Expandable with gussets at 5,000 MOQ. Water resistant thanks to paper thickness 

Branding and Sustainability Messaging

When it comes to sustainable packaging for accessories, understanding your customers and crafting an effective sustainability strategy is essential. By tailoring your approach to your target audience, you can build brand loyalty and attract new customers who value environmental responsibility.

To begin, it's crucial to gain insights into your customers' demographics, attitudes, and beliefs regarding environmental issues. By knowing their preferences, you can create messaging that resonates with them and aligns with their values. It's important to also consider the recycling and composting infrastructure available to them, providing clear information on how to properly dispose of your packaging.

When telling your sustainability story, focus on highlighting your company's sustainability commitments and take the opportunity to inform your customers about why you made the switch from your previous packaging to eco-friendly alternatives. By sharing the reasons behind your decision, such as reducing waste or minimizing environmental impact, you can strengthen the connection between your brand and your environmentally conscious customers. This not only enhances your brand's reputation as an environmentally responsible company but also educates consumers about sustainability and sets higher expectations for sustainable packaging.

where to start

By reading this guide, you’re now aware of all the different options for sustainable apparel packaging. The tricky part is the implementation. The first step is taking a look at your supply chain and seeing where excess can be cut out. For example, if you currently use an A/B Flute Box to ship a garment, consider replacing that with a mailer. If your mailer is currently too thin/thick, make those adjustments as well. 

The next step, and often the one we see most brands struggle with, is choosing the right materials. For each company, this answer is different depending on what they care about most. This could be footprint, end-of-life, or aesthetics. Either way, there is no one-size-fits-all and a careful assessment of each option is necessary. The most important thing we’ve seen successful brands do is have a singular, cohesive sustainability story behind their products. If you use a compostable polybag, make sure you’re also using a compostable mailer to encourage the end user to take one disposal action. If you use multiple different materials, it confuses the messaging and can easily lead to incorrect disposal.

Lastly, make sure to find a partner that has a sustainability-first approach and is vetted for their products. At EcoPackables, we specialize in eco-friendly apparel packaging and have a number of domestic and international locations to service your brand. We have custom options starting at just 5,000 units to make sustainable packaging accessible for companies of all sizes. To get in touch or receive a free sample pack, reach out to us here.

Seriously, if you want to chat with an expert on any form of packaging, regardless if it’s ours or not, get in touch. It’s a collective effort to combat the packaging waste crisis, and we want to help in any way we can!