Fashion retailers increasingly exploring sustainable packaging, study finds

A new study with board directors and senior executives of fashion brands and retailers in the UK, US, and Australia, by Aquapak Polymers, has found that more than 80 per cent have already implemented the use of sustainable packaging.

The report, The Future of Packaging in the Fashion Industry – embracing the sustainability trend’ launched this week, found 83 per cent of fashion executives surveyed said they have already implemented the use of sustainable packaging in some form. However, when asked how they would rate their company’s focus on using sustainable packaging at present, 45 per cent said they only use sustainable materials, 38 per cent said they have started to use them but there’s room for improvement. According to the report, 14 per cent said there’s little focus in the business on using them, while 3 per cent said they aren’t a priority.

When asked about sustainable materials used to date, two thirds said they were using bioplastics – plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources such as starch, oils, woodchips, and sawdust. More than half (57 per cent) said that they are using paperboard, 52 per cent cited multi-material combinations such as paper and plastic, and 48 per cent said they were using new polymers which offer the same properties as plastic, but without harming the environment.

When asked how good they think their company’s use of sustainable packaging will be in three years’ time, just 15 per cent said excellent, 76 per cent said good and 9 per cent thought it would be average.

The research showed that paperboard is the material 71 per cent fashion brands and retailers are most likely to use instead of plastic over the next three years, followed by new polymers (69 per cent) and then multi-material solutions (57 per cent).

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, said that the the study shows that sustainable packaging is on the boardroom agenda of fashion brands and retailers.

“They are already exploring different types of materials to replace plastic, with a shift to paperboard and new polymers which provide garment and merchandise protection, but do not have any of the environmental problems associated with conventional plastic.”

To help reduce plastic packaging pollution Aquapak has developed Hydropol, a new polymer which is soluble and non-toxic to marine life. Hydropol can be used as an alternative to conventional plastic in a wide variety of applications as it provides the same functionality and performance but without the associated environmental problems. It is currently used to make products such as garment bags, offering all the necessary features of traditional polybags: strength and puncture resistance; clarity of film; and protection from leakages and dirt.

Hydropol garment bags present zero end-of-life issues for consumers and brands. They can be disposed of in existing domestic waste streams without contaminating other recyclable products or they can be dissolved immediately in hot water at home without producing harmful micro-plastics. They are also compostable and degrade harmlessly on land or in the ocean.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at

Sign up to the ProPack newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required