A word about… packaging
This might not be a consideration for you in choosing what online purchases you make, but it matters to us.
I guarantee, at some point, you’ve had a package arrive that just made you shake your head. Whether it was the excessive amount of plastic, the box that was 75% empty space, the ridiculous amount of filler, or the non-recycled or recyclable content, you know what I’m talking about. Truth is, it’s a huge challenge; especially when you’ve set out to do as little environmental harm as possible. What we’ve learned is, there’s no perfect solution, only a commitment to the journey of improvement.
We thought we’d take a minute to explain where we’re at on this path towards more sustainable packaging. But first, understand we have three huge advantages.
1. We’re small. OK there’s pros and cons to that, but being small means being agile. We make decisions, try things, and change strategies without being completely disruptive to operations or at a huge financial cost.
2. We’re local. We manufacture, warehouse, and ship directly from Portland. This means less transit and no time sitting in a dingy warehouse that would require extra protection for the garments.
3. We are small. Did I already say that? Well, this time it’s to say that being small can be efficient. We turn our inventory quickly, it’s under our own roof, and it ships to customers immediately upon being ordered.
All of this means that there’s no factory-level decisions about packaging that take into consideration keeping your garment safe as it travels on container ships across the ocean and then sits in a giant warehouse. Our only concern is getting it from our office, to your home.
But that’s not without challenges either.
What if your delivery gets wet, damaged, stained, or otherwise ruined? Isn’t having to return that garment, see it discarded, replaced and re-shipped much more wasteful than a simple poly bag? How often does this happen? Is it worth it?
The difficulty of these problems and making the right choice is real. Don’t believe me? Read about Patagonia’s extensive research on the topic and see why they still ship in plastic (albeit recycled).
We’ve tried to boil it down to a few simple priorities and are committed to building on these better practices to lessen our impact.
1. Make sure it arrives in good shape.
2. Keep it affordable.
3. Minimize negative environmental impacts (materials, transportation, waste).
4. Make it attractive (presentation, it’s a thing).
So where are we at today?
We’re proud to announce our transition to new packaging. Individual jerseys will ship in the completely recycled/recyclable padded envelopes and larger shipments will use there recycled/recyclable corregated boxes. This is a change from the standard USPS provided Priority Mail boxes which offer less protection, range of size and are less sustainably made.
Inside of these, we’re in the process of transitioning away from poly bags. We bought a huge box of them in our early days and we’ve pre-packaged some of our jerseys for efficiency. But we’re committed to weening ourselves off of them completely and look forward to being free and clear of poly bags in the very near future. In the meantime, reuse them if you can. I keep my phone and snacks in one when I ride and have on occasion lined my shoes in the really bad PNW weather. Anything’s better than sending them straight to the garbage bin.
Thanks for reading about some of the little things that we care a lot about.