Case Study:

Online retailer uses Greensource framework to find a sustainable packaging solution.

 

Client

Budmo Vintage is a rapidly growing online clothing retailer. Their vision is to reduce reliance on fast fashion, improve sustainability within the industry and look fresh while doing so.

The fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter.[1] It produces 1.2bn tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, which is more than aviation and shipping combined.[2]

Budmo are striving to make a positive impact by re-selling vintage clothing that would otherwise be destined to join the 57% of clothes that end up in landfill.[3]

The Challenge

Budmo was seeking an alternative packaging solution to the polythene bags used to ship their vintage clothing to customers. The bags were made from oil-derived materials and had limited recyclability so did not fit with Budmo’s sustainability vision.

In the UK it is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year, nearly half of which is packaging.[4]

Approach

We held a workshop with Budmo to build up a detailed set of requirements for packaging. In addition to the technical and financial aspects, we took a deep dive into Budmo’s sustainability objectives to ensure that we found a solution that met all aspects of their sustainability vision.

We recommended that Budmo use our GreenSource buying frameworks which include pre-qualified suppliers offering environmentally and socially sustainable products and services for common business overheads. Our GreenSource frameworks are available for all clients and can offer significant cost savings to SME’s like Budmo as purchases from all members are bundled together.

Results

By collaborating with a supplier in the GreenSource framework we found a bag produced from a by-product of sugar cane. The plant-based bag has the same technical standards in terms of strength and quality but is carbon neutral in its production.

The Carbon Trust have accredited an example of a sugar cane based polythene bag as carbon neutral, confirming that it’s possible to nullify the effect of carbon emissions.[5] The carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere in the growing process, offsets the carbon dioxide emitted through production and transport. Moreover, the sugar cane is grown on reclaimed wasteland and therefore has no impact on the virgin rainforest.

“Finding a sustainable packaging option for our products was a minefield with so many factors to consider like recyclability, plastic use and energy intensity of production. We greatly valued Procura’s support to help us navigate all of the options and find a cost-effective solution through the GreenSource framework that aligned with our sustainably objectives.” (Hallam Cunningham, Co-Founder – Budmo)

 

References

  1. UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable, (UN News, 2019)
  2. A NEW TEXTILES ECONOMY: REDESIGNING FASHION’S FUTURE, (Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2017)
  3. 5 Designers Share Tips For Sourcing Textile Waste, (Common Objective, 2018)
  4. Research Briefing on Plastic Waste, (House of Common Library, 2020)
  5. Sugarcane-Based Polythene Solution Certified as Carbon Neutral by Carbon Trust, (Blue & Green Tomorrow, 2016)

 

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