This box is the problem….

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When Mr P presented me with this box at the weekend and asked if I could use it for anything it struck me that this box epitomises the very problem with high end packaging and is exactly what I was meaning in my blog post about resentful packaging.

It’s beautiful, it’s made out of solid board, covered elegantly with bright red glossy paper for the base and a slight flock feel fabric paper for the lid. It oozes quality, it feels special. So special in fact that you keep the box long after the products have been used and their packaging discarded.

You want to use this box for something that matches its quality and timeless elegance so you put it away while you think what that purpose could be…. Fast forward 4 years and the box has been on a shelf gathering dust in Mr P’s office as he doesn’t want to throw it away. It’s too nice to throw away oh and the real kicker is that if you did throw it in the recycling, it’s not recyclable as many of the gloss finished papers can’t be recycled in the usual way so even if I were to put it in the green bin, the people who sort the recycling would have to put it to landfill. The box doesn’t seem so special now…

Whilst I do personally love beautiful, elegant packaging, I can’t feel comfortable about the cost it has not just in terms of the price of the product but also the environment. Lubylu® packaging is designed to be elegant and stylish but not wasteful and resentful. It’s made from recycled materials and can be recycled. My aim is for my customers to be able to enjoy high quality, handmade home fragrance products with a hint of fun and a sprinkling of glitter that don’t cost the earth in more ways than one.

Who’s with me on trying to increase our purchases of Ethical Luxury goods…?

 

Lucy Pimblott

Owner

Lubylu® Ltd

www.lubylu.com

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You don’t have to go and live in an organic hand knitted Yurt to do your bit for the environment!

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We all want to do our bit for the environment, we care about the future of the planet and what kind of a world we are leaving for our kids. For some of us it bothers us that we seem to take our endless supplies of material goods for granted. We buy new clothes instead of mending old ones but then the clothes we buy aren’t made to last. We waste food because it’s Friday and the label says best before Wednesday, we even buy new electrical items and furniture because the broken TV can’t be fixed and the skills to mend a chair leg haven’t been passed down through the generations….

The problem is that when we try to do ‘our bit’ it sometimes feels like our small efforts are going to waste and will have no impact at all. When you see lorries churning out great plumes of fumes as they trundle through our cities you wonder why you’ve made the effort to get public transport, when you imagine the amount of electricity used to power the lighting at a major sporting event you wonder why you bothered switching to low energy light bulbs in your home. It reminds me a sketch by comedian Sean Lock who talks about rinsing out his Marmite jar before taking it to the recycling depot being akin to turning up the aftermath of a volcanic eruption offering to help clean up the ash with a dust pan and brush… it seems too little too late.

The other side of this though is that if everyone took the time and the effort to make small changes in their daily routines, their actions would soon amount to a very large difference. If everyone recycled all their glassware, used low energy light bulbs and tried to make the most of all the food they bought, the positive impact would soon be felt. The same goes for our choices of packaging materials.

If we all made the effort to buy products that come in recycled and recyclable packaging and resisted buying the fancy products in glossy hardboard boxes with plastic wrapping not only would this have an immediate positive impact but it would also start to make the companies that sell products in none environmentally friendly packaging think long and hard about what consumers actually want. It’s one of those things that seems hard to do at first, a bit like when the carrier bag charge was introduced at the supermarkets; we all though it’d be a hassle making sure we had our carrier bags with us and for a while, yes, we did take them and then leave them in the car, but it’s now become habit and it’s sparked a whole new range of reusable shopping bags. It’s almost looked down upon now to answer ‘yes’ when the person on the checkout asks if you need any bags! The same can happen with product packaging that clogs up your cupboards and landfill sites.

As consumers, if we make positive, ethical choices about which products we buy based on what’s important to us, at some point those issues will become important to the manufacturers and notice will be taken. Increasing numbers of products are now available with recycled, recyclable or even re-useable packaging. This is one of the reasons I have focused one of the main elements of the Lubylu brand to be ‘ethical luxury’. We can still have the nice things in life, the treats and the luxury goods but we can now look for ones that have a positive impact on our ‘world’. Lubylu handmade home fragrance products come in packaging that is either recycled, recyclable or re-usable or all three. It’s important to me that my customers feel good about their choices and you don’t have to live in an organic, hand knitted yurt, to have a positive impact on the world around you, just buy your luxury soy wax candle from Lubylu!!

Lucy Pimblott, Owner, Lubylu Ltd

www.lubylu.com

Perfect Packaging

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I’ve been meaning to write about packaging for a while now and seeing as we are so close to Christmas, it actually seems a more apt time than any other bearing in mind the abundance of packaging that we are all no doubt about to receive!

I have a confession to make, I am a packaging addict! I love beautifully crafted, elegant boxes, tissue paper, bespoke bags and coordinating ribbon, and having spent so much time over the last year or so researching packaging, I know good box when I see one and I can estimate its cost (even allowing for huge volumes of scale). And it’s this cost, in terms of hard currency, the human labour and welfare and the carbon footprint elements that bother me. Lubylu packaging is designed to be functional, a little bit elegant and stylish but most of all, not ‘resentful’. Let me explain what I mean….

On Christmas morning (or any other special occasion) you receive a beautifully wrapped gift. You see it there in a well constructed, elegantly printed paper carrier bag with a hand tied grosgrain bow on it. You know from that instant that it’s special, the quality of the packaging tells you so. The tissue paper at the top of the bag is nice and thick and a bespoke colour to the store in which the gift was purchased and wrapped. You gently remove the bow, making sure not to damage the ribbon so you can keep it for later, it might come in useful, the same for the tissue paper – carefully remove this, flatten it out and then fold it neatly. Next you spy the box, it’s one of those luxurious hardboard, two piece boxes in total affirmation that the gift inside and indeed you, are so very special. At this point the gift can be pretty much anything as the wrapping and packaging are so elegant and amazing that who actually needs a gift? You gently remove the box from the bag and again, in case it might come in useful later, you carefully refold the bag flat so it can be stored away for future use.

Finally you get to the gift! You open the box, more high quality, thick tissue paper envelopes a stunning and thoughtful gift inside. Whether it’s cosmetics, underwear, jewellery, perfume or toothpaste, the next stages of the packaging giving process are crucial to defining ‘resentful packaging’. After all the thank you’s have been completed you can relax in the knowledge that not only have you received a wonderful gift but you are now the proud owner of some lovely ribbon, some gorgeous tissue paper, a new high quality and therefore aspirational gift bag and the holy grail of gift wrapping, a two piece lidded box in hardboard constructed in such a way that it will probably out survive your plastic storage boxes in terms of useful longevity. With all this in mind you go to put away your newly acquired wrapping and packaging items amongst your current ‘stash’, don’t try and pretend that there isn’t an existing collection of paper bags, tissue paper, boxes and ribbon because we all know there is. There may even be some old wrapping paper in there that has been flattened out because it was ‘too nice to just throw away’.

That’s when it hits you, you realise that you already have a whole load of wrapping and packaging items that you have previously held onto because they were ‘too nice to just throw away’ so you stored them. Some of them have proved ‘too nice to use’ so they will remain in the hoard of bags, boxes and ribbon forever unless you find an alternative use for them… I know, you could use the box to store your makeup in in your drawer, then you realise you already have one of those from the last cosmetic gift set you received so you think again. Maybe my daughter needs a box to keep hair bobbles and clips in to help keep things tidy (this is actually my thought train here), nope, she already has one from the other time a beautiful two piece box was received and here comes the final blow, you don’t need the box, you can’t store any more boxes, you have no need for any more boxes so logic dictates that you should throw it into the recycling. You don’t want to do that because it’s ‘too nice’ and so, you resent having to throw it away. This is resentful packaging!

You want it, you love it, it’s beautiful but it’s just too nice to throw away yet there is only so much you can store so you must throw it away thus causing resentment. Lubylu packaging is designed to eliminate this dilemma by being functional and elegant yet not so nice that you mind popping it in the recycling. My boxes for the candles and reed diffusers can be either recycled or folded flat and whilst they protect your product, they are not so thick and highly engineered that you feel the need to save them.

I still love packaging and if storage were no issue I think I’d have warehouses full of pretty, shiny boxes, bags and ribbons but that’s simply not possible, hence the time and effort that has gone into the very deliberate design and creation on Lubylu’s ‘non resentful packaging’!

Enjoy your festivities and I hope you find a use for all the pretty boxes…