Fourth Wave Wines has forged a new path in sustainable packaging, with its launch of the first-ever label-less wine, Crate, designed by sustainable drinks branding specialist Denomination.
Crate is a high-quality, barrel matured wine produced from some of Australia’s leading red wine regions with a sustainable footprint.
Denomination said the innovative design does away with “unsustainable branding materials” and optimises only the necessary packaging components. All the essential brand information is found within the tiny space of a capsule.
Denomination co-founder Rowena Curlewis said Crate is where premium wine meets sustainability: the spotlight is on the wine, not the packaging, in a way that has never been done before.
To do this, she said Denomination could only use the wine’s essential components: the bottle and the capsule.
“The challenge was finding the most energy efficient choice. Printing on the bottle would have involved using incredibly high temperatures, so we chose the capsule, even though it meant being creative in a smaller space,” she mentioned.
The capsule contains all mandatory information, brand logotype, varietal, region, vintage, legal claims, barcode, brand messaging and a QR code for further information, using the typography to give the illusion of space.
She added that the brand lays out its position on the carton: “our planet matters more than our packaging”, informing the consumer that no label saves energy, no glue saves waste, no paper saves trees.
Working with some of the world’s leading packaging manufacturers and suppliers, Denomination said it sourced and developed a design with the “most sustainable footprint”.
Crate uses transition glass, from bottles that would have otherwise been thrown away, and is lightweight, giving a lower carbon footprint. Alongside 100 per cent recycled cartons with minimal print, the wines can only be bought by the case. The wine itself is made from small boutique vineyards, reinvesting money into farmer’s pockets that need it.
“This is a provocative and brave design for a brave brand. As we talk about sustainability, we need to take risks, move beyond the conventional and explore other ways of branding and messaging,” Curlewis said.
“As both brand owners and consumers become more cognisant of the impact of increased paper use on our forests, and the use of non-renewables to create plastic, the use of labels on wines and other drinks prompts an important question that the design industry will need to answer in order to protect all of our futures.”
Fourth Wave Wines co-owner Nicholas Crampton said, “Fourth Wave Wines is constantly striving towards greater sustainability and, with the launch of Crate, is shining a light on alternatives to conventional packaging that use paper labels, an increasingly precious commodity.
“We enlisted the team at Denomination because they always put sustainability at the heart of everything they do. What they have created is a design that allows the quality of the wine to shine, while stripping away unnecessary waste from the packaging.
“There’s no label printing, no adhesives, no paper usage, and less energy used on the bottling line with the removal of the label component.