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New study reveals fashion retailers and brand are exploring sustainable packaging but there’s room for improvement

By February 20, 2024No Comments

A new study with board directors and senior executives of fashion brands and retailers in the UK, US and Australia, by Aquapak Polymers Ltd, which specialises in polymer-based material technologies that can deliver both performance and environmental responsibility at scale, reveals that most (83%) have already implemented the use of sustainable packaging.

The report, The Future of Packaging in the Fashion Industry – embracing the sustainability trend’ launches as London Fashion Week draws to a close with sustainability initiatives very much on the agenda over the past five days.

When asked how they would rate their company’s focus on using sustainable packaging at present, 45% of fashion executives said they only use sustainable materials, 38% said they have started to use them but there’s room for improvement.  However, 14% said there’s little focus in the business on using them, and 3% said they aren’t a priority – concerning statistics.

When asked about sustainable materials used to date, two thirds said they were using bioplastics – plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources such as starch, oils, woodchips and sawdust.  Over half (57%) said that they are using paperboard, 52% cited multi-material combinations such as paper and plastic, and 48% said they were using new polymers which offer the same properties as plastic, but without harming the environment.

When asked how good they think their company’s use of sustainable packaging will be in three years’ time, just 15% said excellent, 76% said good and 9% thought it would be average.  The research showed that paperboard is the material 71% fashion brands and retailers are most likely to use instead of plastic over the next three years, followed by new polymers (69%) and then multi-material solutions (57%).

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, comments: “Our study shows that sustainable packaging is on the boardroom agenda of fashion brands and retailers.  They are already exploring different types of materials to replace plastic, with a shift to paperboard and new polymers which provide garment and merchandise protection, but do not have any of the environmental problems associated with conventional plastic.”

Hydropol™ – Functionality and performance without the environmental problems of conventional plastic.

To help reduce plastic packaging pollution Aquapak has developed Hydropol™, a unique new polymer which is soluble and non-toxic to marine life. Hydropol™ can be used as an alternative to conventional plastic in a wide variety of applications as it provides the same functionality and performance but without the associated environmental problems.  It is currently used to make products such as garment bags, offering all the necessary features of traditional polybags: strength and puncture resistance; clarity of film; and protection from leakages and dirt.

Crucially, Hydropol garment bags present zero end-of-life issues for consumers and brands. They can be disposed of in existing domestic waste streams without contaminating other recyclable products or they can be dissolved immediately in hot water at home without producing harmful micro-plastics. They are also compostable, and degrade harmlessly on land or in the ocean.

Please complete a few details below to download a full PDF copy of this report.

    Aquapak Polymers Ltd
    Hollymoor Point
    Hollymoor Way, Rubery
    Birmingham B31 5HE
    United Kingdom

    UK & Europe:
    +44 (0)121 516 5656
    Asia: +65 975 53 203
    USA: +1 413 246 4452