As a seller of vintage or antique items for the home, you make the circular economy go round. By reselling your pre-loved items, you are not only helping someone design a chic and unique home, you are also: extending the life of a work of art, minimizing waste that ends up in a landfill, and mitigating environmental impacts by diverting a customer from shopping new. According to Chairish’s Resale Report, primary material consumption could be cut by 32% if more consumers purchase resale goods by 2030. Without vintage or antique resellers, none of that would even be possible. A round of applause for you!
At Chairish, we aim to make it easy for you to take your sustainable impact one step further – that’s why Chairish already offsets 100% of estimated carbon emissions from US shipping. On that note, we’ve heard that you want to know more about how to keep sustainability in mind as you package your pieces. Here are some great tips to help with exactly that.
5 Sustainable Packaging Tips for Resellers
1. Safety (of your item) first.
First things first: The most important step you can take when sustainably packaging your item is to make sure it’s well protected. Damage incurred during shipment could effectively make the item non-resellable, potentially placing it in a landfill instead of being cherished in someone’s beautiful home. As such, always keep in mind UPS’s expert recommendations on what they consider sufficient packaging for a parcel shipment, including but not limited to:
- A sturdy box, rated for the weight of the item
- Double boxes for larger, more fragile items
- 2 inches of cushioning material around item
- Enough filler to prevent item from shifting in box or touching box walls
2. Size matters (in the shipping world).
When it comes to preparing your parcel shipment: the more compact, the better. A number of sustainability issues arise when using a box that’s too big for the item you’re shipping – empty space makes the piece more susceptible to damage, requires more filler material which contributes to waste, and takes up more space (AKA uses more CO2) when being transported. If you can avoid all that by opting for a box that better fits the item, keeping in mind at least 2 inches of cushioning material, the more sustainable your shipment will be.
3. Opt for sustainable packaging materials.
While it’s a bit of a bummer that packaging is required to ship an item (why can’t we teleport already?), there are incredible sustainable materials available for parcel shipments today. Here are some facts that stood out to us:
- On Sustainably Sourced Packaging
- When buying new paper or cardboard packaging, ensure the materials have a FSC or PEFC quality mark. This is the best way to ensure that the product originated from a forest that is managed sustainably.
- On Recyclable Packaging
- Corrugated cardboard is one of the most effectively recyclable materials out there, as old corrugated cardboard is the majority of what’s used to make new cardboard. There’s a reason this classic packaging material holds its strength in shipping and in popularity!
- On Biodegradable / Biobased Packaging
- Advancements in packaging materials made from biodegradable materials are beyond exciting! There are packaging and filler materials made from mushrooms, seaweed, bamboo, elephant grass, and starch available today.
4. Make it easy for your customer with Mono Packaging.
Since there’s no way to know how your packaging gets handled by a customer once delivered, this genius packaging technique helps your customer to recycle with ease. Mono Packaging means that you are using the same material type throughout your packaging – AKA a cardboard box, paper wrapping, and shredded cardboard filler. With this technique, there is less onus on the customer to separate the packaging to be correctly recycled, which in turn makes it easier for their local recycling facility to repurpose into new materials.
5. Think outside the box with used cardboard, by using it inside the box!
As an online seller of vintage and antique items, you’ve probably reused cardboard boxes from your other online orders in the past. However, let’s not forget the importance of a sturdy box when keeping your shipment safe! That doesn’t mean you have to ditch a cardboard box just because it’s not equipped for another journey. Consider using a cardboard shredder, which allows you to repurpose your cardboard waste into cushioning material or box filler for your future orders. While a cardboard shredder is an upfront cost, it will ultimately save you money on purchasing new packaging materials. Plus, having a cardboard shredder makes Mono Packaging a breeze!