If you have wanted to be more sustainable with your reselling business your packaging and shipping practices are a good place to start! Reselling means that you will inevitably be adding to your carbon footprint via greenhouse gas emissions from shipping your packages across the country. You can personally off-set some of this by making more sustainable choices with the packaging you use.
So let’s look at some options for some sustainable packaging!
Reusing and Repurposing Materials:
The most sustainable option is to re-use something that is already in existence. This reduces the finite resources needed and extends the life of something that already used up resources to be made. Here are my top tips for having a good supply of repurposed materials on hand.
Save all shipping materials sent to you personally.
Ask friends/family/neighbors to save shipping and packing materials.
Search/post an ISO post on your local Buy Nothing group on facebook
Check your building/neighborhood recycle bin for boxes
Choose Recyclable/Compostable Mailers:
If you choose to purchase mailers, consider mailers that are compostable or made from recycled plastic. Check to see if they can be recycled in a plastic bag recycle drop or composted in a residential compost.
If you are looking for an affordable place to start--try these! They are made from recycled material and are 100% recyclable.
Eliminate Extra Plastic and Non-Recyclable Materials from Packages:
Most clothing resellers choose to ship in poly mailers of some sort because they don’t add extra weight to the shipping cost. Sometimes these bags can be thin and flimsy, so there can be a temptation to place items sold in an additional plastic bag! Skip the extra plastic and try wrapping your sold items in compostable or recyclable tissue paper! I seal mine with compostable stickers from EcoEnclose so that I don’t add anything that can’t be put in the compost.
Include information about your packaging
I think this is such an important step that gets overlooked. You may have done the research on how each part of your packaging should be disposed of, but your customer might not have the knowledge. Messaging your buyer before the package arrives, or including a little memo in your packaging can save a lot of recyclable or compostable material from ending up in the trash.
Encourage Bundle Sales
If buyers are encouraged to shop multiple items at one time from your shop, it can potentially save them from making a second purchase from another shop. This saves on emissions from shipping as well as additional packaging waste. Try offering free/discounted shipping on bundles or a discounted rate on the item's price!
Sell on a Platform the has a commitment to Sustainability
One of the things I love about selling on Depop is that they are committed to off-setting 100% of the emissions created by the shipping generated from their app by purchasing verified carbon credits. Click here to read more about the steps they are taking to become climate neutral by the end of 2021.
These are all small steps you can take today that will ensure that you don’t add to an industry wide problem. Make sure that you educate yourself and others to have the largest impact possible!