The holiday season is fast approaching, and with non-essential shops reopening and the rush to get presents under the tree looming, many of us will be ready to splash the cash and splurge on presents this Christmas.
Every Christmas is filled with traditions and comes with an added element of nostalgia for all families. I vividly remember certain Christmases as a child and the toys that magically appeared, perfectly wrapped and ready to rip open!
However, packaging is something, especially as a child, that I thought very little about, for obvious reasons - the Barbie doll that was lurking under the layers upon layers of plastic was far more exciting and was later cut out and freed. Its container was quickly added to a pile of rubbish and excess plastics, as I blissfully unaware, continued to play with the all-important gifts.
Single-use plastic and non-recyclable plastic has almost become synonymous with Christmas for me in the last few years, as once you see the waste and the overflowing bins outside every house of the street, it cannot be unseen!
Thankfully, this festive season you can shop guilt-free and responsibly with many brands developing their products with recyclable packaging and bio-based alternatives in mind.
Here are just a couple that The Positive Company has on their Christmas List...
- Green Toys (greentoys.co.uk)
Toys - A must-have gift for children all over the world! I think any parent would be able to relate to the feeling of having vividly coloured, plastic toys take over every room of their home, but wouldn’t you feel better if you knew that the plastic was made of 100% recycled materials? The Green Toys company uses recycled plastics found in milk jugs that are used as the primary ingredient for a selection of toys such as trains, watering cans, and even baby rattles! The plastic is collected, cleaned and shredded, before being reprocessed and mixed with safe, mineral-based colouring. Not only are the toys super eco-friendly they have also received the Greener Packaging Award for their use of 100% recyclable cardboard. What’s more they even use soy inks when printing, which biodegrade four times faster than the usual petroleum-based ink often used.
- Alter eco (alterecofoods.com)
Cardboard has become the go-to for brands to use to up their sustainability status, however, food company Alter Eco struggled to find a polythene plastic alternative for the inner wrappers of their super smooth chocolate truffles. Ranging from flavours of salted caramel, mint, and sea salt, Alter Eco have launched the first compostable, non-GMO, non-toxic wrappers to house these festive treats!
- Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics (uk.lush.com)
Lush has been home to packaging alternatives for years, with its first ever naked shampoo bars becoming fast best-sellers after being released in 2006. As a company they are constantly on the lookout for plastic alternatives that eliminate plastic bottles from even having to be made or disposed of. The solid alternatives to more traditional liquid products are carefully wrapped in biodegradable and compostable cellulose wrap to keep you feeling squeaky clean after a warming winter bath. Similarly, to the aforementioned brands, Lush promotes recyclable cardboard packaging with a water-based glue and eco-flo chips as an alternative to the polluting polystyrene, their protecting chips biodegrade quickly in either water or soil.
- Reformation (thereformation.com)
Reformation is a sustainable women’s clothing and accessories brand that has powered their way into everyone’s Instagram feed with their perfect basics and everyday styles. The brand’s e-commerce orders are packaged in 100% compostable vegetable bags, able to be broken down like any other organic waste without producing any harmful chemicals. Reformation pride themselves on having plastic-free packaging through using 100% recycled paper wrapping as well as compostable bio-based films and hangers for their clothing. The typical hangers that are constantly discarded after about 3 months, are made of plastic and metal, however, Reformation uses recycled paper hangers to lessen the demand for these new plastic materials and excess waste in landfill sites. Their innovative RefScale scheme tracks the company’s environmental footprint that allows staff to monitor waste generated as well as carbon dioxide emissions and water usage. They are aiming for the goal of zero waste.
- Studio Éhr (studioehr.com)
Studio Éhr are a new sustainable, conscious non-toxic movement wear brand that are quickly becoming everyone's WFH wardrobe staples and would be a perfect Christmas gift this year for a special someone. Their products are ethically made in London from recycled fabrics such as ECONYL and LYCRA XTRALIFE. The packaging is similarly recyclable and biodegradable, with a focus on excluding any throwaway packaging such as tissue or stickers. After speaking to Studio Éhr, they revealed their ingenious way of reducing wasted plastic and materials through excess labelling. Founder and Director May Golchin told me, ‘I wanted to reduce the labelling, for aesthetic and function reasons, whilst also adding as much information as possible on the origins of the garment and how to look after it, I decided to opt for a transfer QR code that can be scanned. This will take you directly to the ‘Garment Care’ of our website where we have explained quick facts and how to look after your garments properly’. This upcoming company is both educating its customers on sustainable clothing care to make their garments last longer, whilst keeping them comfy for those home workouts come the New Year.