Waste Management - whose business is it anyway?
We (Team Botanique + Rye) are predominantly designers, with one mission: to introduce unique, sustainable and high-quality homeware and gifts into the market.
What we did not anticipate at the outset was the fact that, in doing so, we were required to become packaging experts. Not just ‘packaging experts’, but sustainable packaging experts too. And what a steep learning curve it has been.
In our quest, we were alerted to one of the largest packaging fairs in London, which promised to showcase the latest trends in sustainable packaging. Problem solved, we thought. With some excitement, we visited the stalls with the latest biodegradable materials. The problem, however, was not solved. In order for our business to be considered for these bespoke packaging inventions, we had to be able to meet unachievable budget aspirations.
As such, we had to go back to the drawing board. We continued our prolonged search, and all the while, having to explain that options such as plastic mailings bags - although cost-effective - would not match our soon-to-be-launched brand values.
"It is, alas, a happy ending. We managed to find recycled gift boxes for our recycled glass coasters. We also managed to find FSC-certified, recyclable and biodegradable packaging for our chia glasses..."
It is, alas, a happy ending. We managed to find recycled gift boxes for our recycled glass coasters. We also managed to find FSC-certified, recyclable and biodegradable packaging for our chia glasses and, last but not least, we successfully sourced letterbox-style reusable, recyclable and biodegradable cardboard for our textiles.
It is indeed our business to provide customers with quality products and sustainable packaging. On our journey so far, we have now become a lot more knowledgable and are comfortable discussing product, transit, bespoke packaging, you name it. Our search, however, continues. We are aware of 100% recycled moulded pulp paper, corn starch materials and other solutions that may be available and that require further research. The idea, as the experts will say, is looking at the entire life-cycle of an item from the raw materials, all the way through to disposal - and that includes packaging. We will continue our work to improve our sustainable packaging, as well as the environmental impact of our business.