October 23, 2022

Packaging with the Planet in Mind

Packaging with the Planet in Mind

As a fair trade organization, we are committed to following the pillars of Fair Trade. One of those pillars is to cultivate environmental stewardship. We actively consider the impact of the decisions we make on the planet as well as on people. Hand Weaving by its very nature is a sustainable practice. Powered by humans, there is no electricity needed!

You may remember our recent blog post Every Order Plants a Tree where we shared our commitment to planting a sapling for every order we place. We recognize the importance of replenishing the resources we are using from the earth. We also try to find ways to use every inch of the fabric that we weave, leaving little to no waste behind. That’s how we decided to create our dog tug toys as a fun way to use up strips of our striped fabrics.  

At Mayamam Weavers we also give considerable thought to our packaging. How can we honor the beautiful handmade work of our artisans while respecting the environment? We have made choices that we feel achieve a good balance between those objectives. Each website order is packed in a cardboard box lined with red tissue paper, ensuring that the unboxing experience is nearly as nice as the product inside. Every product has a hangtag that is attached by hand with a piece of crochet. The tissue paper is recyclable and certified FSC certified (which stands for responsible management of the world’s forests). The boxes are then sealed with an eco friendly paper tape. We hope that our customers not only appreciate the way their products are packaged but that they reuse the packaging as well. 

If a customer requests gift wrapping, we wrap the box with a matte red Kraft wrapping paper tied with a blue and white ribbon before sliding it into a 100% recycled sleeve to protect the wrapping. This sleeve can then be recycled by the gift receiver in their regular recyclables collection. 

Wholesale orders on the other hand, go out in recycled cartons whenever possible and often padded with recycled air pillows or industrial tissue paper. Our shipping department wants to make sure our products arrive in the same condition that they packed them in, so you might find your tissue paper wrapped product nestled in plastic pillows or paper that we are reusing from packages that we received. 

As the holidays approach and the season of markets begins to gear up for us, our in person sales increase. Many of our customers at farmers markets consistently bring their own bags and say no thank you to the extra packaging. For the other customers, we happily package their purchases in a recycled Kraft paper bag with a piece of tissue paper. It looks good enough to gift right then and there! 

It is always a balance between making sure the products arrive in beautiful condition while at the same time considering the environmental impact.  Every decision and purchase requires careful consideration. For example, when purchasing recycled plastic packaging (to take advantage of the water resistance of plastic) is it still sustainable if we have to order the supplies from the other side of the world?

Sustainability needs to be about the well being of the planet in conjunction with the well being of the people so that's why we continue to regularly reassess the packaging options on this fair trade journey.