Since we at WONDA swim developed a huge passion for good coffee, lots of (oat) milk packs piled up in our office and went straight to the bin. What a waste! Due to the fact that we were looking for a new packaging design for our new sportswear collection anyways, we put two and two together and our new packaging format arised.
Environmental impact of tetra packs
Did you know that tetra packs, like oat milk packs, are usually disposed of in a completely wrong way? As a result, a proper recycling of the packages is prevented. Beyond that the food industry acts barely transparent by claiming that a whole 71% of a tetra pack is being recycled. The Environmental Action Germany DUH on the other hand states that solely 36% of a tetra pack is recycled in total. In comparison to the food industry the DUH also takes it’s disposal (e.g. missorted packs), the plastic and aluminum proportions and the sealing cap (which accounts for 20% higher greenhouse gas emissions!) into consideration. Due to it’s lavish composition tetra packs cause a total of 721.000 tons of plastic each year!
Our fellow companions
Subsequently we got in touch with local cafes who confirmed us that all those empty milk packs cause a vast amount of waste on a daily basis. Just take a moment and image the enormous wastage worldwide. However, we decided to team up with cafes in the surrounding of our office in Hamburg, such as the Nord Coast Roastery, Was Wir Wirklich Lieben, Copenhagen Coffee Lab and Soul – Vegan Coffee Bar. These committed cafes decided to support the matter and provided us with quite some quantities of oat milk packages.
Eco-friendly packaging process
And what now? To guarantee a hygienic and clean packaging we contrived a process concept for each milk box. Starting with cutting it open at the back end and scrubbing it out in a water-efficient way. The next step requires a disinfectant spray, which consists in a natural-based liquid.
In terms of hygiene, we wrap the product item into a recycled tissue wrapping paper to ensure it to be unscathed when receiving it. After the inside part of the box is dealt with the outer appearance required a make-over. Ensuring we thought about, how we can generate attention towards the alarming and ongoing increase of waste in correlation with the misuse of the term sustainability and the resulting greenwashing lots of firms fabricate. Hence, we designed a sticker, which educates on sustainability-related topics regarding the fashion industry. Obviously, we make use of entirely eco-friendly stickers, which are PVC-free, made with eco-friendly glue, dispose of certified dyeing, and are easily removable to recycle them separately from the box. Once everything is wrapped up, we close the box on the back end with a striking sticker, so you won’t mistake it for waste! The packaging process ends by affixing the shipping label with a wax-based plastic-free tape (non-vegan) and sending it your way.
Wake Up call for the Fashion Industry
As mentioned above we designed a sticker in order to create more transparency regarding the ongoing events of the fashion industry. As we decided to use Oatmilk packs as our new packaging design we especially got inspired by Oatlys message printed on it’s carton. Oatly demonstrates perfectly the food industry’s intransparency when it comes to it’s damaging impact on our environment in terms of the numbers of greenhouse gas emissions amongst others. For instance, did you know that the food industry accounts for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as all transportation combined? Yet most companies still dont’t see why they should communicate the carbon emissions for each of their products in order to provide comparisons between various products and spread awareness towards the endconsumer. The same goes for the fashion industry. Though many fashion companies claim to operate sustainably, only a moiety does so. The PVC-free stickers we designed for our packaging contain our callout for change to the industry and a warning to our customers and everyone who reads it to be careful with the industry’s sabotage! Here is what we claim:
HEY FASHION INDUSTRY,Nearly every fashion brand claims to be „sustainable” these days. But what does being sustainable in fashion actually mean? Like for real! Not just on a campaign title or an Instagram caption. The truth is, it can mean so much, yet so little. Fast fashion brands fool its customers by only telling them half of the truth. Sustainability has too many facets to express its meaning in just one word. Most facets get concealed behind misleading marketing campaigns.* We have this vision of being a company that creates for the better instead of profits. One that is fully transparent and approachable so that you can be part of our journey. We also wanted to prove for the sake of an industry change that it is possible to build products, a brand and a company based on social values. That belief gave us the strength to create WONDA as a symbol for the power of honesty, true relationship, and empathy, portraited in timeless slow fashion products that stand for jointly working on a better future. Be part of the change by staying persistent and demanding. And please, dear fashion industry, let’s be honest… Get your shit together!
STOP FOOLING EVERYONE!
*The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, is the 2nd largest consumer of the world’s water supply, while polluting our biggest water reserves with microplastics and toxins (sources: UNEP, IUCN, UNECE).
To conclude, we saw the opportunity to make the world a bit better by taking advantage of an obvious win-win situation: reusage of waste, extending the lifetime of each tetra pack and an original packaging concept.