The menswear start-up ASKET, which is fast building a reputation for driving best practice in the apparel industry, have redesigned their packaging to dramatically reduce its environmental impact – and have published the formula in the form of a White Paper (Packs a Punch: ASKET Packaging Overhaul) for any brand that wants it. 

Following a 12 months packaging overhaul, ASKET introduces their revamped packaging, which sees them eliminate plastic poly bags in their entirety as well as switch to 100% recycled paper mailers and cardboard boxes, which combined reduces the total material input per order by 22% and cuts packaging related CO2 emissions by 47%. The result is minimalist packaging – beautiful both inside and out – that’s pragmatic, has less impact on the environment and helps the bottom line. 

Whether it’s delivery boxes or detergent bottles, discarded packaging creates an overwhelming amount of waste. A recent report found that global parcel volumes surpassed 100 billion for the first time in 2019 (see here) and shows little sign of abating. This flood of packaging is a major source of waste, with landfill sites swelling around the world. In fact, in the US discarded packaging and containers are attributed to 30% of municipal solid waste (see here). And just making sure that packaging is recyclable isn’t enough. A shocking 91% of plastics aren’t recycled, and nearly 25 million tonnes end up in the ocean each year. 

In developing the new packaging, the ASKET team unpicked every aspect of the existing set-up. Central to their approach was reducing the input materials as much as possible, the less stuff, the better and saw the total material input per order reduce by 22%. Material selection was key too with a strong focus on packaging made of recycled and entirely biodegradable content, that in turn could be recycled curbside, and plastic was ruled out altogether – the result 100% recycled paper mailers and boxes as well as glassine paper bags from FSC certified suppliers. Last but not least design was key, the team had to strike a careful balance between reducing material input yet still protecting the garment, all the while still appealing to customers with easy to read labels and a functional form. “When it comes to reducing your environmental impact nothing is straightforward,” explains Estelle Nordin, Operations Manager at ASKET and project lead on the packaging overhaul, “our 12 month project was mutli-faceted and packed with learning, so in penning the white paper we hope to provide a neat framework for others to follow suit, regardless of their current packaging set-up.”

ASKET began with a mission to end overconsumption and drive better practises in the apparel industry by introducing an entirely new business model based on a permanent collection and creating garments under full transparency and accountability. “This mindset extends across our entire value chain, notwithstanding the packaging,” shares co-founder August Bard Bringéus, “given the world’s mounting trash problem, we set outto improve our footprint but perhaps more importantly, share our learning with the rest of the industry, so that other brands can act too.” In a time where e-commerce is on the rise, ASKET hopes that in publishing the White Paper, they can inspire other companies to act quickly and collectively make a meaningful dent in the growing packaging issue.

For more information go to www.asket.com

Written by Kevin Gambrill

Leave a Comment