noissue Custom Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper by @tower28beauty
From Glossier and Chanel to Charlotte Tilbury, beauty brands are well-known for their enticing and Instagram-worthy packaging designs — and their customers expect no less.
But there’s a dark side to all this beautiful packaging; growing volumes of packaging waste.
The beauty and personal care industry is responsible for producing over 120 billion units of packaging globally each year — most of which cannot be repurposed or disposed of responsibly. So, what can brands do to try and remedy this problem?
In this article, we’re going to explore sustainable beauty packaging ideas that you can introduce to your business.
The difference between sustainable and circular packaging
The words “sustainable” and “circular” are often used interchangeably in discussions about packaging. But it’s important to understand that these terms mean quite different things.
Sustainable beauty packaging uses renewable materials, such as paper and cardboard, to lower its environmental impact. In turn, this minimizes what customers need to dispose of at the point of delivery.
Circular packaging takes a much more holistic approach to sustainability by requiring all packaging materials to leave no traces behind. Either the packaging can be fully recycled or repurposed by the customer or undergo a biological process where it breaks down.
By selecting circular beauty packaging for your products, you are making the best possible choice for the planet — and your customers.
Why should beauty brands consider sustainable packaging?
The answer to this question is pretty simple; beauty consumers care about sustainability more than ever before. A study by Wella's weDo/ Professional found that 54% of consumers consider sustainability an important factor when buying beauty, hair, and skincare products, with 56% prioritizing looking for beauty products with fully recyclable packaging.
This is even more important if you’re a beauty brand that embraces the clean beauty movement. This means putting care and consideration into your products by restricting the use of harsh or unnatural ingredients. Customers will expect this to be reflected in how you package your products as well. Otherwise, this could create a perception that your brand is “greenwashing” and not truly invested in the philosophy — a big no-no.
But don’t worry; there are plenty of circular beauty packaging options out there for businesses who are wanting to minimize their environmental impact. Best of all, you can also combine this with customization so your packaging is both sustainable and reflects your brand.
With that in mind, here are nine sustainable packaging ideas for your business to invest in.
1. Recyclable padded mailers
Many beauty products are small, lightweight items, meaning they aren’t always suitable for shipping inside boxes. In addition to using a lot of wasteful packaging filler, a higher dimensional weight means that you’ll also be paying far more for shipping than you need to.
Recycled mailers are a great eco-friendly packaging solution for beauty brands because they’re designed to ship small items at a low cost. To maintain a branded unboxing experience for your customers, you can also combine mailers with branded tissue paper or custom stickers.
If you’re shipping fragile items, such as powders or pressed eyeshadows which can be disturbed easily, it’s a good idea to look for reusable and recyclable padded mailer envelopes like those from noissue. Best of all, the double adhesive strip gives your customers a second use of the mailer for their own shipping needs.
2. Reusable tote bags
While tote bags aren’t typically considered a form of sustainable packaging, they make a fantastic branding and packaging tool for any beauty brand.
For example, wrapping up products inside a tote bag for shipping is an eco-friendly strategy to avoid damage in transit. This avoids needing to use non-renewable materials such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts, which are likely to frustrate your customer.
Best of all, tote bags also qualify as circular packaging because they can be used again and again, rather than being thrown out as soon as the unboxing experience is over. Branding your tote bag with your logo or brand colors ensures that your customers receive ongoing reminders about your brand, which primes them for future purchases.
noissue’s Tote Bags are fully customizable on both sides and made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified 100% organic cotton, so you can make the best decision for the planet.
3. Compostable packaging
Compostable materials such as sugarcane, cornstarch, and certain types of paper create truly circular packaging designs that beauty businesses should consider.
When disposed of correctly, compostable packaging will decompose naturally and leave no harmful residues behind. This makes it the perfect zero-waste option for brands with a very eco-conscious customer base, or who don’t want to burden their customers with the responsibility of repurposing packaging.
Eco-friendly beauty brand Ethique uses 100% home compostable cardboard packaging for all of its products — even its lipstick tubes. You can also consider noissue’s Compostable Mailers and sticker combo for a circular shipping solution.
4. Reusable drawstring bags
Small and fragile products, such as eyeshadows, lip balms, or bars often need to be placed in another container to prevent them from moving around in transit, especially if they are part of a bigger order.
Drawstring bags are a fantastic option not just to keep small items secure, but to organize order contents more efficiently without adding to package weight. These bags also add a nice touch of luxury and are a great place to add key brand elements or product information. For example, you could combine noissue’s Drawstring Bags with QR code labels or stickers to direct customers to relevant tutorials and factsheets on your website.
Just like tote bags, drawstring bags can be easily repurposed by customers for all kinds of uses. A spare sunglasses case, extra storage when traveling, delicate laundry items — you name it! Consider offering your customers some ideas on social media to ensure they get as much value as possible.
5. Paper tube packaging
Many beauty products such as skincare or foundation come in cylindrical containers. This means it’s easy for them to roll around inside the shipping container. Placing products inside cardboard tubes ensures a snug fit and that they are protected against any damage during shipping or delivery. You can also brand them with some custom stickers to liven up the exterior.
Cardboard tubes are easy to recycle and are the ideal circular packaging option. They can be easily repurposed by your customers for all kinds of different uses. Check out how Byron Bay Bath Bombs has shown their customers how to turn their cardboard tube packaging into cute planters once their bath bombs run out.
6. Recyclable card inserts
Receiving an online order from your favorite beauty brand is exciting. But packages can sometimes feel impersonal and thin on helpful information that can help us get the best out of our purchases.
For example, makeup and skincare products often have detailed storage and use instructions. Customers will want easy access to these, especially if they’ve purchased a product for the first time. Instead of leaving them to search through your website, consider printing important information on packaging inserts and including them within each order.
Moreover, inserts help you to extend brand storytelling from your website and social channels into the delivery experience itself. No matter whether it’s a coupon for a future purchase, product guidelines, or a simple “thank you,” inserts help to increase customer engagement and satisfaction with the unboxing experience.
noissue Cards can be printed with any text or design and are made from 100% recycled FSC-certified cardboard paper, making them fully recyclable and compostable.
7. Recyclable tissue paper
Tissue paper is one of the most versatile and sustainable packaging materials available to beauty brands. It’s relatively inexpensive and adds a deluxe vibe to any product, from perfume to soap.
Tissue can be used to wrap products, line the insides of boxes, or scrunched up as an eco-friendly replacement for packing peanuts. Brands can opt either for regular colored tissue paper or to create their own branded design.
The best thing about customized tissue paper? Designs are limited only by your imagination. You can keep it simple with a repeating pattern such as your logo or brand name, or get a little more creative. Notice how Credo Beauty uses its tissue paper design to promote its brand values.
noissue Custom Tissue Paper is acid-free and uses only soy-based links, meaning it can be safely recycled by your customers.
8. Recyclable shipping boxes
Boxes make it easy for beauty brands to ship and keep their products secure in transit. It’s also the first thing that people see when their orders arrive. A beautifully-designed box arriving on the doorstep is an easy way to build anticipation and excitement in your customers.
With the assistance of inserts and tissue paper, boxes make a wonderful presentation tool for both your products and your brand. Consider going custom with your box design to take advantage of spaces such as the exterior and inside lid. This is highly valuable real estate for brand messaging, CTAs, hashtags, website addresses, and much more.
Best of all, noissue’s custom shipping boxes are recyclable and printed with 100% compostable inks, so your design ambitions don’t have to come at the cost of the planet.
Pro tip: Consider printing a QR code on the inside of your box to drive customers to leave a review or join a social media giveaway.
9. Water-activated packing tape
Making sure that boxes and envelopes stay tightly sealed is important to keep your beauty products safe. And when custom-branded, packaging tape also has another equally valuable application.
It’s no secret that the cost of custom packaging can add up quickly. Big-ticket items like custom boxes are a considerable upfront cost per unit, especially for smaller brands. But you don’t need to worry about using plain boxes or mailers when you have some eye-catching tape to decorate your boxes with.
Check out the incredible tape design above by noissue customer PERL Cosmetics; it’s the perfect way for the brand to celebrate self-care and relaxation.
For the most sustainable beauty packaging possible, be sure to look for compostable or recyclable water-activated tape which is free of toxic adhesives like noissue’s Custom Tape. This ensures that your tape can be disposed of without any headaches.
🎁 Wrapping it up
The beauty and cosmetics industry doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to sustainability. But with more up-and-coming beauty brands putting the planet first with their products, eco-friendly packaging has never been more important to prove that your brand is genuine about its values.
With so many custom and circular beauty packaging options now available, you no longer have to choose between protecting the planet and promoting your brand. Check out noissue’s full skincare and cosmetics packaging range to find more circular packaging ideas to keep your business green!