100% Recycled Paper Apparel Mailer - What We've Learned in the First Month!

100% Recycled Paper Apparel Mailer - What We've Learned in the First Month!

Jun 12th 2019

The 100% Recycled Paper Apparel Mailer is EcoEnclose's answer to the request - "Can I get a Paper Mailer with the Strength and Durability of a Poly Mailer?"

This new product was the result of months of design and iteration. We tested the paper thickness, so we could find the right balance of strength and flexibility. We tested creasing and gussets to ensure this mailer could easily expand to fit large, bulky apparel. We iterated on the enclosure design to make it effective and efficient for companies to quickly seal the mailer.

After months of development, we were thrilled when this latest mailer was ready for showtime, not only so we could offer it to the world as a plastic-free option for shipping apparel, but also so we could start using it to ship our own orders out!

Field Testing! Since April, we've been packaging our own outgoing orders in our Apparel Mailer whenever possible. We've been asking recipients to let us know how the mailer performed in transit, so we could truly field test the product and continue refining and improving it over time.

We've also followed up with anyone who's ordered Apparel Mailers from us asking them to share their reactions and feedback.

Thank you to all our customers who provided helpful feedback! We are lucky to work businesses who are truly committed to sustainability and take the time to share their input.

What We Are Hearing

Overall, the feedback we're getting on the Paper Apparel Mailer is extremely positive. We found that many companies have been looking for a stronger plastic-free alternative to poly mailers. The expandable design and flexible material provide many of the fulfillment benefits of the poly mailer. Most importantly, these mailers are consistently performing well under the wear, tear and handling of UPS and USPS. The material seems to be the right mix of thickness - to withstand drops and crushing – and flex – to be able to bend around the product and and prevent void puncture or tears.

Some customers even sent us pictures of the packages they received from us! As you can see, the paper does bend and crease as it moves through the shipping center, but overall, the mailer retains its shape and protects the product. 

Opportunities and Next Steps

One area we are working to improve is the adhesive on the enclosure. These mailers are made with over 100% recycled paper (97% post-consumer waste). That is really exciting for us from an environmental perspective. However, we have found that the higher level of recycled content can make it more difficult for the adhesives to create a strong seal.

In sending out over 500 of our own orders in these Recycled Paper Apparel Mailers, we've learned that a strong seal is best achieved by applying firm pressure across the entire length of the adhesive when closing the envelope. This is different than our poly mailers which adhere quickly with very little pressure. When using the Apparel Mailer (or any recycled paper mailer), the packer needs to press down firmly across the seal. We recommend running across the seal two to three times. This will create a tight bond between the seal and the mailer. Without this firm pressure, the mailer can be more easily reopened. We have already implementing two fairly significant improvements that will make these Paper Apparel Mailers even easier to seal.

Through our own use of the mailer and feedback we have received from customers, we've identified other potential opportunities to further improve the Apparel Mailer. For example, one customer suggested we glue down the bottom corners to ensure no debris can find its way into the mailer while in transit. One of our own fulfillment team members suggested that we extend the enclosure to provide a more surface area for the seal. We have also had the request for additional sizes, which will likely be released over time.

We will continue to improve and refine the mailer and keep you informed along the way. Until then, please continue to share any feedback, experiences or suggestions you have! Send any input on the Paper Apparel Mailer to kyle@ecoenclose.com.

Thank you to all of our customers for not only suggesting we develop this product, but also for helping us continue to improve it so it can be a truly exceptional plastic-free packaging option for apparel companies