Reduce Reuse and Recycle in Packaging and Shipping

Reduce Reuse and Recycle in Packaging and Shipping 

In addition to having a studio that makes use of previously owned furniture, tools and sewing machines as I wrote about in my previous post, I am aware of the three Rs in regards to shipping and packaging as well. I'm also aware of it when I order from other companies.

I ordered a knitting needle from Amazon. It was not a long needle; it was two 5-6" needles connected to one another by a piece of plastic cord. Here is how they arrived at my house, in a box that was 12" square and 2" tall. There was at least a yard of bagged air in the box, too.
This is the box and all the packing materials
Amazon used to send me a single pair of
knitting needles.

What a ridiculous amount of packaging for a very small item! I lose my patience with this kind of packaging. It's so wasteful and is also a hassle for me to get rid of as the consumer.

When I ship out the ties and suspenders that I make, I strive to minimize my packaging. Here's a collection of what I use in shipping:

Shipping and packaging materials used by Cardboard envelopes and
boxes made from post consumer waste,
 post consumer waste from our household
(cereal box), Geami Green Wrap
(compostable/recyclable alternative to
 bubble wrap), and ribbons from scrap fabric
  to pretty up gift pillows made from recycled
materials and recyclable themselves.

With one exception, I order my shipping supplies from Ecoenclose. Their products are made from post consumer recycled materials or from regenerative resources (like plants), whose production actually strengthens soils, waterways, habitats, air quality, and local communities. Every single piece of packaging can be and is recycled, so no materials and resources are wasted and no packaging ends up as litter and in oceans. "EcoEnclose exists to catalyze and support businesses to become a positive force for our planet and humanity." I love this company and am willing to pay a little more for the responsible-to-the-earth shipping supplies that I get from them.

Generally, I wrap whatever you order from me around a piece of cardboard from our household recycle bin, like cereal/cracker/tissue boxes. I stamp each piece "I like to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever I can" so that when you open your package, you have an explanation for the piece of a LIFE cereal box or Woven Wheat Cracker box that I've sent to you. I could order that cardboard pre-cut and stamped with my logo or promotional advertising. It would be much easier and simpler to buy the pieces already made for me, but I prefer to put to use what I can from our household.

Cut up household cardboard for shipping stabilizer

You always have the option of choosing a gift pillow with every order. My gift pillows are, Surprise! Surprise! made from recycled materials. I wrap a piece of ribbon made from scrap fabric around each pillow to pretty it up. If I am shipping the item to you, I ship the gift pillow flat. If I am shipping it directly to the gift recipient, I 'puff' the pillow and put the tie or suspenders into the pillow.
'Puffed' gift pillow on left, flat (for shipping)
gift pillow on right.

So the next time you receive your order from or place a gift order on, you can feel good about the packaging I use to send out your items. I take seriously my responsibility to create less waste for the planet to digest while still providing excellent packaging for your made-to-order bow tie, necktie and/or suspenders.

For more than 25 years Lisa Eaton has been designing and making men's bow ties, suspenders and neckties from silk and cotton. She is the owner of the Maine based company


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