When receiving an order from RECLAIMthreads, sometimes it’s super obvious that all the materials used in packaging are secondhand, but sometimes it’s not. If your order is shipped in a box, it’s usually pretty apparent that the box has been through the post before… and often, it’s an amazon box. We collect and reuse any packaging we receive from our rare convenience purchases, and also collect materials from local sources. But, sometimes if your order is shipped in a “poly-mailer,” our commitment to sustainability may be less obvious.
When running a business, there are some necessary materials that can’t be avoided. For shipping, mailing bags are one of them. That said we only use “poly-mailers” that are secondhand (usually reusing amazon bags), made of post-consumer recycled materials, or are biodegradable. Unfortunately with plastic amazon bags, the only options for the purchaser is to reuse it or throw it away. As far as our other two mailing bags, one can be reused or recycled, and the other can be reused or composted. After testing both options out, we prefer the durability and accessibility of the recycled bags for recycling.
We cannot avoid shipping tape or shipping labels, period. So although those items create waste, it is a small percentage of the total materials used. We print our shipping labels at home with a thermal printer. This means less carbon emissions from travel to and from the post office, since the postal worker picks up outgoing orders from our location along their normal route. The thermal printer does not require ink, so no plastic cartridges!
Now, the fun stuff! All materials used inside the required mailing package is secondhand! Your order may be wrapped in secondhand vintage wrapping paper, contemporary wrapping paper, colorful tissue paper, or natural paper. The wrapping may be decorated with secondhand ribbon, when we have it. Our thank you notes are always handwritten on secondhand cards, novelty paper products, magazine cut outs, pages from vintage children’s books, or really any fun secondhand paper products we can get our hands on. Unfortunately, some orders have to go out less decorated than others when we run out of supplies, because we will never buy these materials new. We also prefer to use secondhand materials that are also recyclable - so the less visually appealing natural brown paper is actually preferred over wrapping paper, which is not recyclable.
This year, we are utilizing tools to calculate and off-set our carbon footprint! With shipping and travel, there is no way for us to cut our carbon emissions to zero. But, with the help of other sustainable companies, we can off-set our carbon footprint by donating to organizations focused on environmental regeneration. These organizations plant trees, restore soil, clean the ocean, and utilize biomass - all processes that aim to remove excess carbon from the environment. Check out Commons App to track and off-set your carbon footprint with ease.
We are committed to improving our sustainability as our business grows. Thank you for reclaiming your threads 🧡
Read about why this matters to us: UPDATE! The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion: Why We Need to RECLAIM Our Threads (& some tips)