The Story of our first 100 boxes, and the steps we are taking towards sustainable packaging
October 21, 2020
This is the story of our mistake. We are sharing the details about some of the decisions we make as a company, both our errors as well as successes, because we think it’s important information for both consumers interested in the behind-the-scenes of how to build a company rooted in values as well as for other businesses who want to do the same.
So let’s get into the story of how we messed up our first round of boxes.
We spent hours researching sustainable packaging. We really did not want to compromise in any way. Our goal: recyclable, compostable, minimal.
Living in Zurich at the time, we found a German company making boxes out of mulberry bark. We loved this natural-material option. Mulberry is the plant used for silk and grown for production, but the bark often just gets ignored. It quickly regenerates and doesn’t hurt the tree to remove the bark, so it seemed like a great eco-friendly option.
The only issue was the plastic styrofoam lining the bottom that most jewelry boxes still contain. We wanted nothing to do with it.
When you are starting a company, your brain switches from thinking, “oh no, we hit a dead end” to “how can we build a bridge over this dead end, and find a solution?” We decided we would ask the company not to include the bottom lining, explained why, so we could educate them, and instead, have small pouches made to put the jewelry in within the box. The pouches were going to be made out of overstock fabric from our good friends with a factory in Istanbul. Creative problem solved.
Those who know me (Gemma) know how I try to avoid plastic at all costs. Imagine my horror when 100 boxes with styrofoam lined bottoms arrive at our door, and we realize that we forgot to ask the company to send the boxes without it.
We quickly emailed the company asking if we could return the styrofoam, but they said they would not reuse it regardless. So, we were stuck with 100 boxes with the devil material itself.
This was the silliest error. We had spent hours literally figuring out every way possible to avoid using plastic, and in one forgotten email, it didn’t matter anymore. Our mistake is why our first 100 boxes do have black plastic lining at the bottom.
Moving forward, our packaging will be 100% plastic free.
This lesson taught us that sometimes you can make mistakes, or not hit the nail on the head, but that shouldn’t stop you from dreaming big and reaching higher goals. Our first packaging has a lot of elements we are proud of, but it’s not quite there yet. And that's okay. Sustainability doesn’t start at 100% perfection and we want to highlight that thought.
As we sell, we explain this choice to consumers, and for the most part, most buyers have said they don’t even need the packaging, which is why we still have so many of the first round of boxes still available. Our human error seems silly in retrospect and luckily it wasn’t a bigger scale decision, but it does show how quickly mistakes can be made, and how you cannot let mistakes define you.
Thank you for believing in us, and joining in on the journey. We will never stop working towards becoming the most sustainable company possible.