Sometimes I get asked why I don’t ‘invest’ in ‘branded’ packaging. Why, when I ship out items I choose to use older packaging from purchases made by family and friends. Apparently, as a successful ‘brand’ I should spend more on the packaging. That the customer experience is led by good packaging like ‘un-wrapping a gift’ and extends way beyond the product itself.
Now while I see the merit in all the statements put forward and intellectually I agree wholeheartedly – my basic endeavor is to re-use, up-cycle, re-work etc. where ever possible. I am one of those people as I have mentioned in a multitude of blog posts over time that refuses to throw away something that might still have ‘life’ left in it. In that sense, my product is my gift.I have made it with individual attention and care, with a unique design and mostly by my hand. It has my sweat, blood, and tears in there. It is a gift!!
The reason I re-use old packaging is that I want to try and do as much as possible for me to reduce my carbon footprint. Yes, my brand might look more stylish and ‘with-it’ if I were to make and use custom packaging and I did try with the jewelry but my experience is that most people just tear into the packaging and then discard it. With no thought to the joy of ‘unwrapping that gift’!
By the way, it is possible to make older packaging more beautiful and appealing but is the act of doing that commensurate with the energy and resources that would actually be required to make the effort worthwhile? I seriously thought of redoing all the old cartons lying in the store in a sort of patchwork of different materials and colors and sticking them together with colorful tape and branded duct tape but the effort required did not add up. Certainly not for a full-time mother like me with a studio currently of ONE! No two. My husband pitches in every once in a while.
I see lovely hand painted and doodled re-cycling packaging and it looks lovely. But I am NOT talking about little newspaper bags that require branding. I am talking about cartons that go through the rigorous demands made on it by our very enthusiastic postal workers.
To me, branding and custom packaging is beautiful and has immense potential to be made with aesthetic appeal and still be functional. It just is not for me right now. I try and balance my branding and packaging needs with a carefully choreographed dance between the new and old. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I get queries about why I use old packaging and then an equal number of times I hear praise for trying to live by my principles. All-in-all I think I am doing ok 🙂
I am going to leave you with some of the old packaging that I have collected from purchases made by family and friends. The last image is of that packaging in use. Notice the duct tape used to cover the package. It is mandatory to have the packet covered in plastic, bubble paper or tape else the courier company won’t carry it. Furthermore, with the way most couriers treat the package, I can’t afford not to!
Note – In this post, I am talking about large packaging used to ship products across the states and countries. Not necessarily the smaller tags etc. Though of late I find myself questioning ‘new’ in that as well!
(please click the images to see larger pictures)