The bedding brand aims to unpack the luxury boxes without the extra tissue paper

Bed linen brand Beflax was looking for a way to give shoppers a luxurious unpacking experience, but it didn’t want to use extra materials that customers quickly throw away.

Beflax sells linen sheets for $300, and sustainability is one of their brand values. Many luxury online shoppers expect a package to arrive online with napkins galore sealed with branded labels, paper insert, and branded ink on the box, says Katrina Rothman, founder and CEO of Beflax Linen.

“I want to provide the best customer experience,” says Rothman. “They pay an average of $300 per set, and people want to see the value — even in the box when they receive it and open it. There’s still a missing link in the majority of consumers. Even if they’re more sustainable minded and environmentally friendly, they still want to have This luxurious experience of all tissue paper and a smooth box opening.”

At first, Beflax shipped their orders in an unbranded cardboard box—Rothman refused to use a plastic bag—with recyclable craft tape instead of plastic tape and extra tissue paper to signify a luxurious unpacking experience.

Katrina Rothman, Founder and CEO, Beflax Linen

“It’s against my principles to put product in plastic bags or plastic tape over boxes,” says Rothman.

Often times, when a box is marked with too much ink, it cannot be recycled. Rothman was about to sign a contract for custom boxes that included the Beflax brand while they were still recyclable, but decided not to.

“The price was good, but the portion was killing me—there was no guarantee that the factory in China was operating to environmentally friendly standards,” says Rothman. “And logically, it didn’t make sense for me to ship products from all over the world.”

Beflax is based in Denver and manufactures its linen sheets in Portugal.

How charging works with LimeLoop

In the third quarter of 2022, a colleague introduced Rothman to LimeLoop packaging. The seller provides reusable e-commerce packaging to retailers. The bags are made of recycled polyester, mostly from old billboards, on the outside, have a zip closure instead of a ribbon, and are recycled cotton on the inside. On the outside, the package has a wrap for the retailer to enter shipping information, rather than using an adhesive label.

After a few weeks of negotiation and a month of implementation, Beflax began using LimeLoop bags for their packaging. Here’s how it works: Beflax ships all of their products in one of three sizes of reusable bags to the shopper. The shopper receives the product, which includes a card showing how to return the bag. The bag will have a return shipping label on the back of the main shipping label, which the shopper will flip onto the front of the package. The customer then mails this bag using any US mailbox, and it will return to Beflax.

Beflax ships all of their products in one of three reusable sizes of LimeLoop bags for a luxurious unpacking experience.

The bags can be reused at least 200 times. Then, LimeLoop will recycle them back into new, reusable packaging. Beflax rents bags from LimeLoop for $1 per bag, per month. Currently, Beflax rents 50 sachets, and they can be used several times a month. Beflax, which launched in 2017, has annual revenues of about half a million dollars, Rothman says.

On average, Beflax costs $16-18 to ship the product and about $4.50 to ship back. Beflax absorbs some of those costs because it charges shoppers $15 for shipping. (Beflax provides free shipping for the first consumer order.)

Reusable packets practically work with Beflax

The cost of Beflax is comparable to what it would cost the brand to buy traditional shipping materials, including unbranded boxes, tissue paper, tape and sticky labels, she says. The main return on investment, Rothman says, is that it’s the right thing to do.

For every medium LimeLoop bag, the retailer reduces 92% of its carbon dioxide emissions and 99% of its water use compared to shipping that order in a medium-sized cardboard box, according to LimeLoop. Similarly, for each LimeLoop mini bag, the retailer reduces 42% less carbon dioxide emissions and 9% less water use compared to plastic bags that use the polymer, according to the seller.

Beflax has not conducted a survey on how shoppers feel about using LimeLoop bags. Still, Rothman is confident that the bag provides a luxurious unpacking experience, describing the bags as slick with a very nice textured interior. The inside of the bags is so soft, Rothman says, that the brand doesn’t wrap the sheets in any additional packaging, like a polybag.

Beflax has had no problem returning shoppers to bags in the three quarters it has used it. If a customer is slow to return their package, Beflax calls them to remind them to send them back, and they do.

Beflax also sells its products on Wayfair Inc. and Etsy Inc. and Inc. Because Beflax does not receive customer information when selling on these platforms, it does not use LimeLoop bags and uses its previous disposable packaging, without the additional tissue paper. Sending bags without the shopper’s information is too risky, Rothman says.

Brands are looking for more sustainable yet luxurious products

LimeLoop is an interesting packaging vendor to watch, says Bernardine Wu, executive director of digital strategy at digital consulting firm OSF Digital, because it offers a sustainable packaging initiative that can scale and make an impact.

“Retailers and brands should focus on the most logical and most viable approach for their business, but at the same time, it is important to ensure that sustainability initiatives are in line with customer values, and must be honest and prioritized efforts,” says Wu.

LimeLoop launched in 2018 and has 45 online retail customers, most of whom are small businesses with annual revenues of less than $5 million. A company spokesperson says it has some enterprise customers, with a handful in the pipeline, without disclosing more.

EcoPackables is another e-commerce seller that provides sustainable packages to e-commerce merchants, including recycled plastic, recycled cardboard, and compostable materials. EcoPackables has been in business for four years and has more than 100 institutional customers, such as Ted Baker and Revolve, and more than 2,000 small businesses, many of them Etsy sellers, that use its products. However, she does not count many luxury goods sellers on her client list. Founder and CEO Shervin DeMobed says this is because many high-end brands are reluctant to forgo the extra “decorative” tissue paper in their packaging.

“The reason we don’t do high-quality packaging is because it goes against our ethos. The amount of waste in that packaging is insane,” says Damobed.

But Demobid hopes this will change as more brands want a better sustainability story and more consumers demand it. In fact, it may be because social media influencers don’t take the scraps out of the bin but recycle the paper there one day, he says.

Toad and Co. reduce Packaging with LimeLoop

Similarly, clothing brand Toad and Co. thought. They also delved deeply into their packaging and wanted to tell their brand’s story in a powerful and rich way, says Steve McCann, Director of Marketing. For example, many new or luxury brands, such as Apple Inc. , their brand stories inside the packaging and will include a pamphlet highlighting products features or other details about the brand in order to sell premium products.

“You say, ‘I want this for my brand,'” McCann says. Then you ask yourself, ‘Is this what my brand stands for? And you say, “No, that’s too much waste.” How do we get past that? How do we still have this story with us being so petty and responsible? ”

Thus, Toad and Co. fell behind. to the bare minimum, with no ink boxes, no hang tag attached and no brochure describing their brand. Instead, it gives shoppers a choice between recycled paper mailers and reusable LimeLoop bags.

McCann says about 12%-15% of online shoppers at Toad and Co. They choose the LimeLoop package option, and 20% of those who choose LimeLoop as their fulfillment method choose it again. Those are good numbers, McCann says, especially when you consider how many new customers Toad and Co. has. , without revealing more.

“When brands have an option and it’s different and addresses a problem, they love it and stick with it,” McCann says of LimeLoop bags.

Toad & Co. is No. 1623 in 2022 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Next 1000.

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