For developing mailing bags, online retailer Thrift+ has engaged with packaging specialist Duo. They will be developing bags for their business as well as for their collaboration with women’s fashion and lifestyle brand Hush.
The second-hand clothing platform Thrift+ allows customers to sell second-hand fashion items through their website and donates a portion of proceeds to one of 160,000 registered charities in the UK. It is estimated that around £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfills each year. To reduce clothing waste and generate much-needed funds for charitable organizations, Thrift+ offers an alternative solution for new clothing purchases.
Duo has created GreenPE mailing bags for Thrift+ which features a unique QR code that allows the recipient of the bag to scan to arrange a return as part of a reverse logistics process. The need for a paper label will be removing the QR code, hence creating a contamination-free mailing bag that can be recycled as part of Duo’s closed-loop recycling system.
For producing a GreenPE mailing bag for the Thrift+ collaboration with women’s fashion and lifestyle brand hush, the retailer has also commissioned the Duo. To send the unwanted fashion items to Thrift+, Hush customers can also request mailing bags, which photograph the items and lists them for sale on the Thrift+ website. A third of the proceeds are donated to the nominated charity after the item sells which covers Thrift+’s cost while another third goes to the customer as Thrift+ credit. Along with this, the customer also receives a 10% discount code to spend on Hush.
By combining this printing technology to offer a unique paperless label mailing bag that can be manufactured using its sustainable GreenPE material, Duo becomes the first packaging manufacturer. GreenPE is a thermoplastic resin produced using sustainably-derived sugar cane that is both renewable and recyclable. When compared to the production of conventional fossil-based polyethylene, 2.78kg of CO2 is saved through each kilogram of Green PE production.
To return the mailing bags, Thrift+ and hush customers will use the QR code which will be filled with clothes to sell, to a specific destination It is possible for a QR code to be used for this process because the parcels are destined to go to the same location. To be processed accordingly when the bag arrives with Thrift+, each bag’s unique code carries the details of who has sent the parcel.
The clothes are removed, once the mailing bags reach the destination and then the bags are collected and returned to Duo where the bags are recycled using its closed-loop recycling facility. The high-quality polythene material is then used for manufacturing new packaging products.
Co-founder & chief executive of Thrift+, Joe Metcalfe said that the need of attaching a paper label on each bag has been removed by the ability of Duo to print a unique QR code on each bag. This has resulted in streamlining the operations hence saving them money, time as well as materials. He also said that by using the Thrift+ service, their customers, as well as Hush customers, are engaging actively in the circular economy and hence are becoming highly environmentally conscious. It is a huge win for them that they can get the performance of plastic with the renewable and recyclable credentials of GreenPE.
The brand director at Duo, Zoe Brimelow said that currently there is a huge demand for good quality polythene that can be recycled and reused at the same time and can be used at a high percentage to create new products without affecting the material’s performance. This solution has been developed at Thrift+ using QR codes in place of paper labels so as to ensure that contamination is reduced and better quality is being delivered to recycled material that can be reused as part of a closed-loop recycling system.
By helping consumers become more sustainable in their approach to fashion, Thrift+ is a retailer that’s taking responsibility for its own footprint. The most environmentally-friendly material – lightweight, durable GreenPE polythene has been selected by them which keeps the value of this great material by eradicating contamination using a QR code. It is an exciting step forward for the industry, as they got an opportunity to work with forward-thinking retailers such as Thrift+ and hush as some of the first to embrace the solution and one that we hope will be adopted by more retailers.
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