Sustainable fashion packaging: Billi London's solutions
As a brand driven by sustainability, our hosiery is delivered using elegant shipping solutions developed with care for our planet in mind. The function of our sustainable packaging is to protect your legwear travelling when travelling to your door. While we can minimise the use of materials to pack hosiery, we cannot eliminate it.
We've taken away the unnecessary bits and pieces too often found when buying legwear today. We want to focus on what really matters: quality premium pantyhose which is comfortable and designed with sustainability in mind.
We first receive our eco-friendly tights in large cardboard boxes from our manufacturer, delicately folded and stacked, without any cardboard or plastic. We then wrap them in our tissue paper for protection before packing them in our Billi London shipping box. You can learn more about our eco-friendly packaging suppliers' commitments and certifications below.
Breaking it down
Plastic packaging waste generated by shipping garments is a huge problem that retailers cannot afford to ignore. As a sustainable brand, we want to minimise our contribution by offering more sustainable packaging solutions for our customers. That is why we have chosen to work with suppliers who use innovative packaging materials.
Our shipping boxes are made by Smartbox in Lyon, France from recycled materials. The box is made of resistant, high quality and low energy consuming cardboard. We are also proud to say that Smartbox offers recyclable packaging to Billi London consumers.
The box is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which is considered the "gold standard" for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, and environmentally conscious.
In other words, this nifty box protects your soft, 30 denier tights from any harm that might come their way all the while protecting the planet.
The tissue paper
Our tissue paper supplier, noissue has obtained the FSC® certification, for its entire production chain which means that all of their raw material suppliers also have this certification.
Noissue is based in China. We would have preferred not to import from China. However, this is a compromise we had to make to get affordable customisable products that meet our environmental commitments.
Noissue is developing a factory in Europe to produce stickers and tissue paper, which we will be able to benefit from in the near future, thus reducing our carbon footprint.
The tissue is printed with soy-based inks and is acid, sulphur, and lignin-free. Furthermore, this tissue is 100% compostable, recyclable, and made from recycled materials.
The product labels
Our product label stickers used to identify the composition of each model are also produced by Noissue. When a textile product such as hosiery is composed of several fibres e.g. nylon yarn and elastane yarn, it is mandatory to specify this information on a product label.
Noissue is also FSC certified and the ink used to print the stickers is also soy-based or water-based and non-toxic. The stickers can be recycled or composted.
The external sticker
Our external stickers used to seal our Billi London shipping boxes are produced by Midland Regional Printers (MRP) in Nottingham, the UK.
MRP is proud is be an ISO 14001 certified printer. The ISO 14001 certification acknowledges the supplier's strong commitment to using printing processes that minimise their impact on the environment.
MRP are FSC certified meaning that they are committed to implementing and further developing a broad range of sustainability issues. These include maintaining high conservation values to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring the environmental and social impacts of the forest management.
Our tissue paper and label suppliers have set up the Eco-Alliance. For each product ordered, they plant trees in locations that need them.
Our partner works with One Tree Planted a non-profit environmental tree-planting charity. Targeted territories for planting trees include Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Haiti, and Guatemala amongst others.
As needs change, different locations are prioritised for reforestation solutions. For an updated list of countries involved, you can visit One Tree Planted’s website.
That way, the carbon footprint generated when our products are imported from our partner’s factories to our place of dispatch in the UK is offset.
What about compostable packaging?
We made the choice to not send you your sustainable tights in compostable mailers or polybags because unfortunately, too few people have composts at home. This is especially the case when living in big cities.
This option is also not the most suitable as it would fail to properly protect your sustainable hosiery during transport (tests were carried out, and they were unsuccessful)!
#1: Biodegradable solutions
Our ultimate goal is to use 100% biodegradable boxes and mailers to be fully aligned with our brand mission: reducing waste.
We have decided to work with Smartbox for its innovative approach to developing more sustainable packaging. This partner is currently working on developing biodegradable packaging. Fingers crossed a solution will be ready soon!
#2: Reusable packaging
We would also like to offer you the option of receiving your order in a reusable packaging that can be adapted to the size of your order. The objective would be to replace single-use shipping options.
How would that work? You would receive your sustainable tights in a RePack mailer, which you could then fold up, leaving the pre-glued return label clearly visible, before returning it back empty, free of charge, by dropping it off at your nearest post office. See how it works here.
As a small company, we still have to wait a little bit to offer you this option as this solution is still too expensive for us at this stage of our development (unit cost per pack is 3 € + the current delivery fees).
We are also considering a young French startup, Opopop, which offers a reusable and returnable parcel service.
Please do not hesitate to leave us a message at email@example.com to let us know if you would be interested in these options.
#3 : Adapted box formats
We would like to develop different sizes of shipping boxes adapted to each hosiery order to optimise space during transport. We plan to develop a small size to deliver a single purchase, a medium size for a box containing two tights and a large size for orders of more than 3 sustainable tights or leggings.
If the box is not “made-to-fit” then one is shipping air. And what is the use of shipping “air”? Eliminating void space enables us to effectively fit more products inside fewer shipping containers. Which in turn will allow more items to be shipped in a certain vehicle and reduce emissions. So, let's ship less air and reduce our carbon footprint.
Overall, we have and will continue to strive to reduce the environmental impact of the materials we use to pack your legwear. Let’s minimise waste, keep materials in use and prevent single-use plastic generated by fashion from ending up in landfill.