Teaching the Old Bag New Tricks
So get this: the US alone goes through more than 100 billion plastic bags a year. China does 1 billion plastic bags A DAY. Oh, and a single plastic bag takes about 1000 years to decompose.
In case that didn’t stir up some emotion, here’s a few more: plastic bags are the second most common form of ocean garbage, after cigarette butts, and in every square mile of ocean it’s estimated that 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating in it. Safe to say are ocean life likely doesn’t share our insatiable need for nicotine and convenience.
My point is it is time that we lessen our reliance on the plastic bag as a vehicle for our daily goods. That, of course, includes those goods that we receive in the mail.
When we launched KOOSHOO we made a commitment to ourselves that we would minimize our footprint on the earth at every opportunity. We understood that as a company that creates physical goods to really be true to minimizing our footprint would mean not starting up our business.
We did in fact spend a lot of time looking at just that.
In the end though we decided that we could do more good by showing that business can be done with respect to our earth and the people and animals that dwell upon it by making products in a good way than by simply advocating for the like.
That said, we are incredibly conscious that as a company (and people) communicating a message of responsibility and transparency we should be held to a high degree of accountability.
So when it came to finding a way to transport our headwraps (headbands), hairties and shawls in a water/dust/bug protected container, we knew that we couldn’t simply go with the plastic bag that all our suppliers were offering.
Our world is in the midst of a massive shift in consumerism as the internet slowly transitions from a marketplace for niche product to one-stop-shops (see Amazon, Apple...). There are a ton of implications that come with this shift towards internet commerce though the one we want to highlight here is the incredible dependence of the industry on the plastic bag. Every single product shipped care of online commerce travels in some form of protective bag.
One of the biggest culprits in this is the fashion industry. By nature, textiles need to be protected from the elements when travelling, hence the mound of plastic bags that accumulate when unpacking a typical order of clothing.
When we got to the point in our development of sourcing our shipping bags we committed to doing it differently. Weeks were spent Googling and calling box and bag suppliers the world over looking for some form of alternative – something that would be even marginally better than plastic.
Eventually we found exactly what we were looking for: shipping bags that would biodegrade within 5 to 60 months, as opposed to the average of 1000 years for a plastic bag. We couldn’t believe that this existed at the same time as the plastic bag industry. Yes, it costs us a good premium over plastic but the cost, in our opinion, is marginal compared to the 1000 year alternative.
Here’s a few of the more awesome attributes of the bio-bags that we now use to ship your favorite KOOSHOO products:
- Composting will quicken the degration so toss it in with your veggie scraps.
- The bags return to the earth as humus and biomass.
- Even while sitting in a landfill they will breakdown well within 60 months.
- Our bags feature 2 adhesive strips so that after being opened the first time they can be resealed a second time. For all you headband wearing dog owners, this feature was designed with you and your puppy in mind!
- The bags are made proudly right in the USA.
When you add these bags to our 100% recycled packaging that are printed with soy-based ink and our recycled, made-in-the-USA tissue paper you get one of the smallest footprint packaging options you’ll find online.
And while conventional wisdom suggests holding your suppliers close to vest, especially when they're as great as this one, we’re all about getting other businesses on the biodegradable bandwagon. So if you have any type of product that requires packaging, please give Erin a call at EcoEnclose and together let's show the online product world that there really is a better way.
Jess & Rach