Case Study | American Dairy Association

American Dairy Association Northeast Proves That Recycled Content Can Be Gorgeous

Discover how design aesthetics can be maintained, and even enhanced, by switching to 100% recycled materials through the ADANE's story of a custom branded influencer-style shipping box.


Matching the design vision to sustainability

The American Dairy Association Northeast reached out for a custom shipping box, which they would send to a handful of attendees of their annual conference, focused on sustainability in the dairy industry and small farms. They came to EcoEnclose asking to produce a beautifully-designed influencer-style box, with full coverage print across the inside and outside of the box, detailed artwork elements, and 5+ colors. Their design vision was gorgeous, developed first from an original design drawn during their conference. The design required digital printing with CMYK process onto the box material.

What were the drawbacks?

  1. Digitally-printed boxes can be pricey - especially at volumes less than 300 units. Many times, they can run between $10 and $30 per unit.
  2. High-print coverage influencer-style boxes like these typically require mottled-white cardboard which is made with virgin white paper.


Redesigning for sustainability

At EcoEnclose, using virgin materials doesn’t align with our sustainability criteria. And the cost of digitally-printed boxes was far outside the budgetary scope for the ADANE. So for all intents and purposes, we had reached what otherwise would have been a non-starter for a project quote request.

The ADANE reached out to EcoEnclose simply to get a box quote, not necessarily for redesign support. But in our work together, we quickly realized that adjusting their original design would be critical, both to keep them on budget and timeline and to ensure their boxes could authentically communicate their eco-consciousness to recipients who were attending a conference focused on sustainability and carbon neutrality.

EcoEnclose worked with ADANE to adjust its design. Doing so enabled their boxes to be more eco-friendly and more budget-friendly. After several iterations, we landed on a two-color print that had the same elements as their original design but that could be beautifully and efficiently printed on 100% recycled kraft corrugated shipping boxes.

ADANE also added a We Care notecard in outgoing boxes, which communicated their packaging choices, their motivation for making them, and how to recycle the packaging correctly.

After Redesign

Before Redesign

Environmental Savings

By opting for 100% recycled custom shipping boxes instead of virgin boxes for their order of 275 boxes, the American Dairy Association Northeast saved:

585 lbs of wood from being sourced from trees

918.74 lbs of CO2e greenhouse gas emissions

409 gallons of water - enough for 40 5-minute showers

154 lbs of corrugated paper kept from the landfill

146 lbs of post-consumer waste, sourced from blue bins