Hi, I’m Adam, one of the founders at Leaf. We care quite a bit about being authentic to the issues that matter to us as people, to our company, and to our users. Central to those issues is a strong forward-leaning stance on sustainable alternative solutions across our products, packaging, and decisions. I was drawn to the Slash Packaging initiative from our good friends at Lumi, because it’s a fantastic opportunity to be transparent about where we are, where we’re heading, what’s working and what’s not. It’s easy to dismiss or overlook packaging, but it’s such an important piece of a product’s story and journey.
Where are we now?
Let’s look at our packaging first. We commit to 100% plastic-free packaging, from the product all the way to the shipper packaging heading out to the customer. The components that make up our packaging SKUS are:
– Individual product packaging
– Direct To Consumer shipping
Individual Product Packaging
Our products that have packaging are our razors, our blades, and our razor stands. Our goal was to design the packaging to use the minimal amount of material as possible. It’s not the fanciest packaging in the world, we use simple paperboard construction. We manufacture our product packaging in the same country as our products (Taiwan) which means they have just a short journey to our manufacturing facility for packing out after product production.
– Communicates a cohesive visual brand
– Provides a minimal amount of protection for the product
– Cost-effective to product
– Easy to recycle with curbside paper products
What’s not working
– We do have issues with product damage every now and then, it could be more protective (any issues are always handled and replaced for the customer, of course!)
– The products we make are all metal, and heavy, and they can sometimes tear through and damage the paperboard so the presentation for the user is often less then ideal for a quality-made product
Direct To Consumer shipping
Any customer that orders on our website will receive a package shipping from our warehouse that we lovingly pack out. All of our packaging is plastic-free. It starts with the corrugated shipper box, extends to the butcher-paper void-fill and ends with our gummed-paper tape. We manufacture our shipping materials in the same country that our fulfillment warehouse is (United States) which allows us to be efficient with shipping costs and eco-burden of shipping production packaging to us for use.
– A thin-fluting allows for lighter shipping but adequate protection during shipping
– We have 1 size shipper box that ships 95% of our orders, allowing us to be efficient in manufacturing, create less waste / scrap materials
– Using butcher-paper void fill may not be the prettiest presentation of the product, but it is very effective trading off protection, weight, and recycling ability
What’s not working
– We started with a much larger box, about 3x’s the volume of our current shipper box; we were able to optimize this down
– We started with a much thicker kraft fluting, and were able to reduce that and optimize with the box size reduction and shipping requirements
Where are we heading?
We’re looking to address some opportunities with our next round of packaging design in 2020. Primarily, we are upgrading the quality of our product packaging for the razor we sell, providing more protection during shipping.
Our next-generation packaging will move from a simple paperboard construction, to a setup box construction which utilizes recycled chipboard, wrapped with paper, providing a more rigid structure then paperboard alone can provide.
This update will not just be better protection for the products, but can also serve a longer life as a functional travel case for the razor for a period of time. We like it when packaging can serve a potential life beyond transit into the customer’s hands.
We’ll always be thinking about packaging. It’s such an important piece of the journey for the products that we love so much. If you ever have any questions or suggestions – I’m always open for a chat. You can find me at asimone [at] leafshave.com