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Packaging for Apparel

Custom packaging bags for apparel

Looking to ship apparel in a way that’s both eco-friendly and offers a distinctive “unboxing” experience. Custom packaging bags or shipping bags for clothes aren’t your only packaging options though- here we’ll break down some of your best bets for shipping apparel. T-shirts, socks, pants, underwear, jackets - whatever apparel you sell, you have a few e-commerce packaging options to consider. Let’s dive right in and find the best apparel packaging solution for your brand.

Box or a Mailer?

Because clothes can’t be broken in transit, you have options when shipping them. Apparel companies can use more durable shipping boxes or mailers. Both are great options, depending on your business. Mailers and bags are more cost-effective, efficient, take up less room, and are more sustainable because they use less material than an equivalent shipper box.

On the other hand, boxes make for exceptional presentation and work well for companies that want to go the extra mile for a unique, premium customer experience. And while they are not as sustainable as equivalently sized mailers, our custom shipping boxes are 100% recycled (95% post-consumer) and recyclable, and highly likely to be recycled. They work particularly well if your orders typically include three or more items.


Comparing Different Packaging Bags, Mailers, and Boxes

Looking for a compostable poly mailer? Click here to learn why we recommend paper mailers for those seeking compostability (and why we recommend 100% recycled options for those who need a film-based mailer). Looking for custom packaging bags? Work with us to customize all of your packaging for a one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly unboxing experience.


THE GOOD

  • Lowest cost
  • Weather-proof
  • Reusable for returns
  • 100% recycled
  • Lightest option
  • Lowest carbon footprint
  • Recyclable

THE BAD

  • Derived from petroleum-based plastic
  • Has to be recycled in plastic film-specific bin
  • Loses its shape if product does not fill it out completely
  • Flimsier presentation (can use Flap & Seal to enhance customer experience)

THE GOOD

  • 100% recycled, renewable source material
  • Plastic-free (trace polymers on adhesives and release liner)
  • Made with 15pt paperboard - strong enough for bulky goods
  • Largest size made with 18pt paperboard, with side gussets
  • Design includes top and bottom crease lines for expandability
  • Curbside recyclable
  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable

THE BAD

  • More expensive than Kraft Mailer and Poly Mailer
  • Heaviest mailer option (making it more expensive to ship to you, and for you to ship to customers)
  • Paper is less durable than plastic - mailer can tear or puncture
  • Paper is not 100% weather proof
  • A strong seal requires firm pressure across adhesive strip

THE GOOD

  • 100% recycled, renewable source material
  • Plastic-free (trace polymers on adhesives and release liner)
  • Lower cost than Paper Apparel Mailer
  • Two sizes features side gusset
  • Curbside recyclable
  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable

THE BAD

  • Made with 120# paperboard, making it great for lighter weight shipments, but less protective than the Paper Apparel Mailer for heavier packages
  • Paper is less durable than plastic - mailer can tear or puncture
  • Paper is not 100% weather proof

THE GOOD

  • 100% recycled, renewable source material
  • Plastic-free (trace polymers on adhesive and release liner)
  • Extremely durable, strong fibers
  • Water resistant
  • Curbside recyclable
  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable

THE BAD

  • More expensive than Kraft Mailers
  • Presentation is not as appealing as Apparel Mailers or Boxes

THE GOOD

  • 100% recycled, renewable source material
  • Plastic-free (though plastic is often used when taping boxes)
  • Strongest, most durable and protective option
  • Excellent presentation
  • EcoEnclose custom cuts shipping boxes, so your packages fit your products
  • Curbside recyclable
  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable

THE BAD

  • More expensive than mailers
  • Heaviest packaging solution, leading to higher inbound and shipping costs
  • Boxes typically increase the amount of air that is shipped
  • Requires assembly and tape
  • Bulkier to store and tape
  • Highest carbon footprint

THE GOOD

  • 100% recycled, renewable source material
  • Cushioned mailer, with cushioning made from upcycled newsprint
  • Plastic-free (except for plastic tear strip)
  • Protective mailer against elements and punctures
  • Curbside recyclable
  • Naturally biodegradable and compostable

THE BAD

  • Most expensive mailer; more than most apparel companies need
  • Bulkiest and most space intensive mailer
  • One size (14.5x19" work well for larger apparel; otherwise size options are fairly small).

Need Protective Inner Packaging?

Packaging bags
Eco bands are perfect for personalized packaging inside an outer shipping bag

EcoEnclose offers three different inner packaging options.

Self Sealing Glassine Bags: Frosted bags made with supercalendered paper that offer a toothless and weather resistant finish. These are an excellent solution for large companies looking to go plastic-free.

100% Recycled Flap & Seals: Clear bags designed to serve as inner protective packaging for items, particularly items like apparel.

Flap & Seals and Glassine Bags serve two potential purposes. Companies that sell wholesale (they send their products to retailers or third party warehouses) typically first individually package each of their items in a clear poly bag. This not only protects their goods and allows for easier sorting and storage by their retailers, but it’s also often a packaging requirement set by third-party fulfillment centers (such as Amazon FBA).

Some apparel companies that sell and distribute directly to their customers also use Flap & Seals, Glassine Bags or other clear poly bags to protect their goods - from dust or any tears in the outer packaging - while in transit and to strengthen the overall customer experience.

Our third inner option for apparel packaging is 100% Recycled EcoBands: Paper-based option to individually separate and present your apparel. EcoBands are an excellent choice for companies who manufacture and fulfill their own goods, and are looking for a solution that can keep their inventory nicely organized and that makes for a unique experience for customers.


Mailer Sizing Chart

If you've decided that mailers are right for your apparel business, this sizing chart can help! We recommend using it as a starting point only! If you're not sure the right size for you, we strongly recommend that you order free samples first to ensure you choose the one(s) that will work well for your business.

  Poly Mailers Kraft Mailers Apparel Mailers
Sweater

12 x 15.5" or 14.5 x 19"

12.5 x 19"

12 x 15" or 10.5 x 4 x 19"

T-shirt 9 x 12"

6 x 2.5 x 12"

10 x 13"

Dress shirt 10 x 13"

6 x 2.5 x 12"

10 x 13"

Two shirts 10 x 13"

9.5 x 14.5"

12 x 15"
Three shirts 12 x 15.5" 12.5 x 19"

10.5 x 4 x 19"

Dress or jeans 12 x 15.5" or 14.5 x 19"

12.5 x 19"

12 x 15" or 10.5 x 4 x 19"

Socks or baby clothes 6 x 9"

6 x 2.5 x 12"

7 x 9" or 10 x 13"

Packaging Ideas for Apparel

Custom poly bags

Twelve Bees produces burp cloths, and first protects them in our Flap & Seal bags, and then packages them in 100% Recycled Poly Mailers.

Custom packaging for apparel

Custom packaging boxes with a logo are another attractive option. Here, Cotton Squad packages their stylish shirts in a uniquely designed custom cut tab-locking box, with tissue paper for protection and presentation.

Custom clothing packaging

Here, Third and Oak first protects children's clothes using Flap & Seal bags, and then packages them in 88% Recycled Poly Mailers.

Custom packaging boxes with logo

Miakoda uses a combination of shipping boxes and 100% recycled poly mailers to ship their goods.

Branded apparel packaging

Here, Boheme uses the largest, gusseted size of Paper Apparel Mailers to ship gorgeous, vintage clothing.

Custom packaging bags for shipping

Here, Druthers packages their boxers directly in 100% Recycled Poly Mailers (without using Flap & Seals).

Shop Solutions: Apparel

Or contact us at any time at support@ecoenclose.com if we can help you find the best packaging for your apparel business.