Ask Clive

Double bagging doesn’t just happen in the supermarket. Clive Allcott says the clothing industry needs to wean itself off overpackaging

With single-use plastic concerns across the promotional industry, how can garment decorators, clothing suppliers and distributors help in this global issue? Overpackaging is a great concern not only in textiles but across all trading platforms.

As garment decorators, we are often facing the issue of double or overpackaging. The supplied garments are delivered in individual polythene bags which are removed to apply the agreed branding method, the completed garment is then re-bagged and boxed ready for the delivery. With growing awareness of environmental issues, we need to change this and clothing suppliers and wholesalers are looking to deliver as a bulk packaged product (placed in one bag for protection instead of individual bagging).

This may be a small step but it will be the first of many. Decorators are also looking to replace the standard plastic bag with alternatives such as biodegradable/ compostable packaging, however, research is still not conclusive on this as a solution. Biodegradable plastics take three to six months to decompose fully which is much quicker than synthetic counterparts that can take several hundred years. Ideal. Or is it?

The concern is in exactly how long a biodegradable bag takes to break down as it is dependent on factors such as temperature and the amount of moisture present. Many biodegradable or compostable plastics have to be separated from the rest of the plastic waste and sent to a purpose-designed industrial composting facility. These facilities exist for food waste, but ensuring compostable packaging reaches them can be challenging.

It is another step in the right direction but not the full solution. There are other ways to present and package the garment such as recycled paper, pillow packs even potato sacks however they mean additional costs. As suppliers, we are continuously looking to find solutions but distributors need to drive these ideas into the marketplace. It’sinyour hands to make a difference. Ask your decorator what options they have for packaging garments. It might be just what your client is looking for. Clive, The Branded Clothing Guru.

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