If you've been a Pretty Without Pink customer for a while now, you'll be used to receiving your parcels in our beautifully branded, 100% recycled and recyclable mail satchels.
When we launched Pretty Without Pink, we knew we didn't want to be adding to the world's waste problem, so we spent a lot of time researching the packaging options which made the least impact.
These satchels were the best mailers we could find at the time - not only could we brand them but they were made from 100% recycled materials. Which meant waste products that were going to go to landfill were given a new lease on life and turned into e-commerce packaging. Packaging that was reusable and recyclable, extending its life even further.
But in the last year there has been a rise in compostable mail satchels so we did some investigation into it. Although they sound amazing, they're not quite the miracle cure to plastic some people think they are. The biggest reason being that they're not made from recycled products - a lot of it is made from raw product, such as corn, which means a lot of energy and water is consumed just to make the material. It's not ideal. But of course, energy is also used to create the recycled mailers we were currently using - there's no real way of avoiding that.
But the reason we wanted to trial the compostable mailers is what happens afterwards. If someone throws one of our branded, recyclable bags into landfill... well, there it will stay for many (potentially thousands) of years. If the compostable bags get thrown into landfill - or even if they're left blowing in the wind and end up on the street - they'll eventually break down into dirt.
Unfortunately, neither solution is the perfect solution. There are pros and cons of each. But there is just SO MUCH waste involved in e-commerce, particularly in fashion when so many brands still plastic wrap each and every item individually. So when you're environmentally conscious it can be a little disheartening to know that you may be contributing to the problem simply by doing business.
So for now, we're trialling the compostable bags. We know they're not perfect. We know more needs to be done. But for the moment, we really do feel that they have (even very slightly) less negative impact on the planet than our previous satchels. And for that reason, we're making the switch... all the while continuing to learn as much as we can about the best ways we can lower our footprint.
If you have thoughts on which bags you prefer we'd absolutely love to hear your thoughts!