Here at the Embassy, our mission is to create quality garments – but never loose sight of their impact, too. That includes the way they reach you.
Our new packaging material is another step in making the fashion world a bit more ethical. Not only are we very happy (and a little proud) about the design and fun details, but we’ve also invested quite some time in researching what the best solution is for us as a company.
There are more and more sustainable packaging offerings out there, so it’s gotten easier, that’s for sure. But then some are not sturdy enough, others are not really that sustainable if you actually take a second look and then there are ones that are great, but only available in quantities a bit steep for us at this point in time. Still on the smaller side, this fashion house right here.
So what to do? Well, it’s easy, really. Work with what’s available but choose wisely.
So first off, our boxes are made from natural kraft cardboard, which is not only rigid and secure thanks to the three layers of paperboard used, but also has a smooth hand-feel, which we really like.
90% Recycled Material
The cardboard used for our packaging is made from 90% recycled content. ‘Why not 100%?’ you might think — we can relate, as we asked the same question. Turns out that cardboard made completely from recycled material isn’t durable enough to ship our goods in them and feel secure.
So what’s better than using 100% recycled material just because it sounds great, but end up with a feeble box that feels wobbly? Find something else actually is great! How about planting trees instead? When we learned about that option, we were all for it and donate to non-profit One Tree Planted. For every box made for us, they plant trees in North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia so that more trees are planted than used.
The ink is water-based, which creates a good contrast in printing, but is also key in making the boxes fully compostable (meaning: without releasing any toxins into the soil).
”Made from 90% recycled material and fully compostable.“
Fully Compostable & Recycleable
Since it’s made from cardboard and plastic-free (see below), our shipping boxes are compostable in the original sense of the word (“disintegrating into natural elements while in a specific environment without leaving toxicity in the soil”). But feel free to recycle them, that works, too.
Our boxes are made from paper pulp that is sourced from responsibly managed forests and mills. However, we’re still in discussions about sourcing FSC-certified wood. While FSC is a well-known certificate for sustainable forestry, paper certification councils had their fair share of problems in the past. We do think that using certificates helps raise awareness for a bigger problem, so we’re in the process of making that decision for future orders.
”Keeping away from plastic is tricky in cross-border production chains.“
Plastic-free (well, kind of)
It’s amazing how humankind manages to put plastic into basically everything, no? The same is true in shipping, but it is admittedly tricky, especially when you work inside international production chains. Plastic is still pretty unavoidable in various scenarios, i.e. when shipping outerwear from our production facility to Europe. And while we managed to keep the boxes for our web shop shipments plastic free, the sticky tape we use is not (yet). All the more sustainable options we tried were simply not sticky enough. We’re constantly looking for good alternatives.
The carbon footprint and fossil fuels used to ship products often are astronomical, but in daily life, we tend to overlook them completely. And while Embassy ships worldwide and gladly so, we still wanted to make sure that transportation ways of our packaging material to our warehouse would be minimized. With our packaging manufactured in Poland, we ensure short distances, ethical employment and keep in line with EU emission laws.
Last but not least, we’ve put some effort into designing the new boxes, so that hopefully, they make for a fun unboxing experience. After all, that’s what we’re here for, too: Making more sustainable options fun, fashionable and aspirational.
Meanwhile, this is just the first step in our journey to get better and better with our packaging. There’s a lot of tiny tweaks that can be made and a lot of potential for these tiny tweaks to create actual impact when looked at at scale. We’re excited to get back to developing.