Our online business is more than four years old and we have always been attentive towards waste and plastic.
We do not use plastic buttons, labels are always hand block printed, price tags are screen printed on recycled paper then tagged using cotton thread, and most of our bills are e-generated. It's a journey, where we are still learning and hope to get better.
One of the challenges which we had initially encountered was with the packaging material. Brown carton box was not suitable for us, as not only it required a plastic cover packing inside (or outside) but also the kind of products which we offer. We sell anything in between a pair of handkerchiefs to a 3 layered king size quilt, and it's almost impossible to buy and hoard carton boxes of all sizes, shapes, and varieties beforehand.
Also, just because it's brown - it's not green unless they are recycled. How are these boxes manufactured, how relevant is it to the product/brand, and whose responsibility is post-consumer waste? often, post-consumer waste is much higher than the wastage at the production itself.
We use jute fabric with permissible thickness polythene glued inside. We buy them locally as a fabric-roll after which our tailors cut and stitch individual pouches according to the volume of the purchase hence no wastage. It may not be the best material but the best which has addressed many of our concerns so far.
We insert the product directly into the stitched pouches without using extra plastic covers and secure seal it with multiple stitches. Our packaging is waterproof and we are told that it's rodent-proof too! It's a simple-looking packaging as we were not aiming for a wow factor.
The image shows one of the ways to reuse our packing material. We try our best to be responsible at our work and look into the safety of us and our surroundings.