Go Green – ideas to create ecofriendly packaging for your brand

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Last Updated on July 13th, 2021

As the world starts losing its color, brands and customers are going greener.

Since the time that global warming started to threaten life on earth, people have realized how crucial it is to become more responsible and friendlier towards the environment – yes it takes a disaster to realize our mistakes (sometimes several disasters).

People are now seeking ecofriendly solutions to literally everything in their life – this includes product packaging!

Organizing planting campaigns are no longer enough – brands need to memorize the 3 R’s of ecofriendly packaging.

Reuse, Recycle and Reduce.

Let’s just face it, our customers are becoming more aware every day owing to various mediums of advertising and communication. To be honest I believe brands need to comply with consumer demands not just to advertise but to genuinely save what we are losing – a green, healthy world.

Eco Friendly Packaging

Here’s a little trivia from me that certainly doesn’t paint a picture of optimism: annually 2 billion tons of waste reaches landfills as final destinations, eventually corrupting our otherwise fertile soils and spreading the increase of carbon dioxide in the air – if we don’t stop now, life on earth may stop as we know it.

And I’m really not sure if Martians want to take us in (sarcasm intended).

I’m not merely suggesting this to every brand out there – ecofriendly packaging is soon to become the new normal in product packaging and you don’t want to be left behind.

As people have become more environment conscious, they’ll be expecting every reputable brand – big or small – to make their contribution in saving the only land we can all breathe in.

I know what you’re thinking? How much greens will it take to go green?

To clean that air I think it’s better to start with the benefits of going green for BRANDS!

A cleaner image

Now who doesn’t want that? Every single brand I’m assuming, even those who need to simply maintain their reputation instead of building one. What’s more effective for a cleaner image than having a reputation of becoming an ecofriendly brand?

After all, it’s the customers’ opinions that give brands their score, right? You’re a 10/10 if you go green these days. I’ve got research to back up my claims – well not my own research exactly.

In a recent study, the video-conferencing company, Tandberg learned that nearly 53% of consumers across the globe confessed they preferred purchasing products from companies with a reputation to keep the environment clean and green.

According to Unilever’s survey 21% consumers claimed they would be interested in brands that offered ecofriendly and sustainable packaging. Need I say more on the matter?

Consumer’s Choice

I’m not giving out any awards here but consumers will give you negative or positive remarks depending on your concern for the environment. No doubt, a campaign to preserve the environment is a major step towards a better life – but it’s also a major trend!

Introducing ecofriendly packaging will give you major points amongst this big chunk that’s protesting to save the environment.

Too costly? Right or wrong?

Both actually. While it’s a harsh reality that manufacturing sustainable packaging requires more cha ching in your pocket, you need to see the whole picture before reaching a conclusion.

Firstly, turning green by reducing your packaging can save all those extra material costs (duh!) and secondly once everyone joins the green force, even manufacturing companies will be compelled to reduce their extra costs. It’s all about a combined effort really.

Not to mention that once you’ve started cutting off on material, shipment cost will go down as well so it’s a win-win situation for brands and the environment – you just need a little perspective.

Green Governments

Your average shopper isn’t the only one who has realized the need for sustainable packaging. Governments all over the world are beginning to remove their blindfolds and see the consequences of human actions. It won’t be long before ecofriendly packaging becomes obligatory – are you prepared for the big revolution?

The wiser and more cost effective solution, in my humble opinion would be to start investing your greens in product packaging that develops cordial relations with mother earth.

An important read for you: Packaging design for start-ups! Everything you need to know.

Unpacking some inspiration for ecofriendly packaging ideas

And now we come to the fun part. Oh, I’m still pretty serious and encouraging ecofriendly packaging design is my primary goal but we can make this interesting, right? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, there’s a reason why certain brands never fall down the success staircase – they stay steps ahead in the game – no matter what the trends are.

Remember, how I said you need to focus on the 3 R’s? You’ll find a bit of all 3 down there.

Multipurpose sustainable packaging

You thought it was costly? I’ll give you reasons to think again. The Big B’s (brands) always know a way out or perhaps they just hire really good professional design agencies instead of being miserly in the wrong places.

Monday’s Child – dress and play

So here’s inspiration # 1 people! Monday’s Child, an e-commerce children’s clothing brand decided to give the concept of multipurpose packaging a shot and their idea hit the target (pun intended). Guess what their packaging transforms into once clothes are out of the box?

Sustainable Packaging

Please tell me you’ve guessed it. The clothing box packaging actually transforms into a dollhouse! So, there’s really no need to throw out the packaging. The smart-play here is not just how the packaging can be sustained till playtime has a new meaning for the child. The wise tactic here is offering customers 2 products at the cost of one!

H & M – hang your shopper

How could the high-end fashion maestros stay behind? They know their TG wants more responsible branding – the age bracket they serve needs to know they’re being good to the environment.

Thus they introduced a shopping bag that’s an all-rounder when it comes to being sustainable and ecofriendly. The paper used is 80% recyclable, lesser material is used as compared to their previous plastic bags and…..

Eco Packaging

….with simple steps the bag changes shape presenting to you an ecofriendly coat hanger!

Unplug Design – the goals of ecofriendly packaging

Multipurpose ecofriendly packaging isn’t limited to fashion brands. The Korean company, Unplug Design too sought out the need to design a packaging that’s reusable, sustainable and made from ecofriendly material.

They played the field well.

EcoFriendly Packaging

Their aim wasn’t just to preserve the environment but to give a shot at spreading smiles in developing countries. The idea?

Calling it the Dreamball, their innovative packaging for cylindrical aids could transform into a cardboard ball (soccer ball, hand ball and baseball) with simple printed patterns making it easy to transform the package.

Are they just packaging goals or what?

Return the Package

Seems harsh but it’s actually quite the bonus for brands, customers and the environment of course. This is where reduction and recycling work together.

It’s ironic how we’ve suddenly started valuing everything we dumped (pun). We’re going back to returning instead of wasting just like in the old days when we would leave water cans and milk/beverage bottles for delivery boys to pick up.

Learning from history, brands have started to reduce wastage by giving incentives to customers. These brands are asking customers to give their beverage or milk bottles for instance a good wash and return them to get a refund. Now if this won’t build your image, what will?

Minimalism – The lesser the better

For the environment and for brands too I believe. The minimalist approach has expanded to product packaging as well. In case y’all haven’t noticed, the uprising began years ago but the effects took some time to spread

A particle of this dropped in the cosmetic industry where people started to increasingly favor minimalistic designs, organic products and said no to plastics.

Have you noticed how every brand is suddenly offering “cruelty-free products?” The Body shop approach is pursued by almost every cosmetic brand nowadays. But, of course today’s aware and confident woman wants her favorite brand to guarantee more than just a healthy skin, she also wants to keep the environment healthy.

Do you know what L’Oreal says? It doesn’t just say “you’re worth it”.

L’Oreal Paris wants their customers to know that the environment is worth every bit of their effort, hence they claim:

We protect the beauty of our planet by reducing plastic packaging”.

“L’Oréal has been committed for nearly 15 years to improve the environmental footprint of its packaging. With the L’Oréal for the Future program, we have reinforced this global approach for our products.

So after that brief trivia, it’s time to inject more inspirational sustainable packaging ideas into your lives.

Ethique – newly minimal

Ethique is a relatively new organic brand that’s competing with the more popular Body shop or Drunk Elephant (a brand that actually says “Biocompatible skincare”).

It’s a growing child with its origins in a small city of New Zealand, but one that hasn’t failed to make an impact. The brand started off with minimalistic, reduced wastage packaging.

Not only are their products cruelty-free, they also come with a packaging that speaks for the brand’s approach, such as “zero waste shampoo and conditioners”.

For one thing, almost all their products come in bars – and we all understand how that throws the plastic bottles out of any list of cosmetic brand packaging.

The reason they’re so popular on the ecofriendly packaging front is that their packaging is either completely bare or in compostable packaging! Clearly they can be authenticated as a plastic-free beauty brand. Stamp!

P.S: the packaging is also quite a sight for sore eyes – it’s minimalistic yet so bright and fun at the same time.

Eco Friendly Packaging

Intrigued by the amazing aesthetics that can be incorporated into ecofriendly packaging, I’m sure you’re thinking of rebranding your own packaging. Contact me and your packaging too can grow taller than your competitors in terms of brand image and attractive packaging!  

Sheyn – sparkling with minimalism

I just wanted to give you a hint with that line – for those who don’t know SHEYN is an Australian jewelry brand and that’s exactly what sets it apart.

I mean come on, organic products are expected at times to show their love for nature but when a luxury brand that deals in expensive jewels does the same – it’s shines more!

Looks can be deceiving. Here a simple looking mailer box is actually made up of 90% recyclable material and has a detailed printed design. But the best part is, the box unfolds to unveil a single image of their custom pendant! How cool is that?

Minimalist, contemporary and refined. That’s the inspo we’re hunting for, right?

A word of caution though. When you’re opting for minimalism combined with compostable packaging you’ll need to talk it all through with your supply chain group. Y

You shouldn’t forget that the primary purpose of packaging is to protect your product so you need to think of every scenario such as shipment destinations and fragility before making a pact to protect the environment along with your product with sustainable packaging.

Planting your Packaging – roots of a greener future

What’s more ecofriendly then the very plants that we’re trying to rescue? Plantable packaging is perhaps the most trending ecofriendly packaging idea of them all. And why would it be?

Customers love to feel like they’ve achieved a great milestone and made a worthy contribution to the environment by spending on themselves. See what I mean here?

It makes them feel less selfish, takes your brand reputation to the skies and of course promises a greener earth.

Oh, did I forget to explain what plantable packaging is? My bad!

You’re literally planting packaging here. With the growing need to regrow trees, brands have started to manufacture packaging that can literally be planted so you could just throw your soap bar wrapping into the mud, cover and voila! You’re a planter.

Pangea, an organic skincare brand for instance have created such a packaging for their soap bars. While other similar brands focused more on compostable packaging, Pangea decided to stay a step ahead.

Yes you guessed that right. Their packaging can be planted to grow a green field – trees!

Here’s the recipe:

They take recycled newspaper and water to create fibre boxes, blending it with tree seeds. So you can place the soap in a dish and give your dustbins a break.

Sustainable Packaging

Another interesting read for you: 18 Packaging Ideas That Are Unique & Creative

Sustainable packaging – All you can eat!

It’s not a buffet offer but yes you do get to eat a lot! So this is the most delicious ecofriendly packaging form that brands have adopted as part of the go green campaign.

Do you know that the very first type of edible packaging was? A waffle cone! Yup, you made no mistake. Waffle cones were the very first kind of edible packaging. However the world has changed much since then and now technology has slipped its feet into packaging.

Evoware, a group of passionated Indonesian brands are now manufacturing packaging for edible items such as sandwiches, from seaweed!

Additionally, this helps increase the income for seaweed farmers in Indonesia so they’re improving the environment and the economy. That’s major bonus points.

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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