One of the things you need to take into account when starting a product based business (especially when it’s online) is your packaging. It may seem silly but packaging is one of the most important things of your branding, along with the logo and your tagline. After all, packaging is the first thing the customer sees, right?
So, here we were about 3 weeks before launching the website going from idea to idea, focusing on products, on finishing up the website, on building up an audience and somewhere in the middle… figuring out our packaging.
As a sustainable and ethical company, recycled boxes seemed like the right choice. For a while, without really talking about it, we both thought that was the way we were going to go. We sort of figured out the three different size boxes we needed and it was just time until we found somewhere we could buy them and then print our logo on.
But it didn’t feel it was for us. And when something doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t settle; in any aspect of your life.
So, we kept thinking until we found the solution and, as usual, it came unexpectedly.
On the way to pick up a few bags, we saw a store where they were throwing out in the street cardboard boxes they didn’t need, along with the rest of the trash they had. As in Bali they don’t have a public recycling system (only private companies pick up recycling for a monthly fee. A fee that is about 10% of the average monthly Balinese salary and as you can imagine not really affordable for locals) those cardboard boxes were likely to be either dumped in a landfill or burned as they normally do with the rest of their trash.
Why not reuse cardboard boxes that wouldn’t normally be recycled for our packaging?
In order to figure out if it was even possible to create the sizes that we needed with reused cardboard, we had to try it out first. We couldn’t get people to understand us, so we eventually called a local friend of ours to help out. He kindly came around and translated what we wanted to a few businesses down the road and they all agreed to provide us with boxes. We also created a few stencils to screen print our logo, tagline etc.