People Tree Customer Services frequently receive emails from customers asking why we use plastic packaging:
“Dear People Tree staff,
I have recently purchased two dresses from you and I am so happy with them. They are comfy, sweet, original, and I look so well on them! And the most important, they are made with first quality sustainable textiles and employing people in fair and human conditions. Your company is what I have been looking for so long.
I have just a very little concern. Not a concern, a thought that can be used as a suggestion. The package in which the dresses arrived was a lovely paper envelope, and then inside each dress was on an individual plastic bag. I imagine that, when you have to send the clothes from India to UK they arrive already on these plastic bags because is the easiest way to pile and distribute. But, my concern is that all these plastic bags represent a big quantity of waste, and plastic waste is one of the main problems of our environment. And considering that you so concern about sustainability using ecologic textiles, perhaps there are other solutions. I know that this is not easy for many reasons. For instance, if you want to protect the clothes against being damage when send them (for example if the package gets wet or stained) yes, the clothes inside the plastic bags would be definitely more protected. But I think that this is a very remote scenario. And I am sure our environment will benefit for every action that we make to damage it less.”
We use plastic packaging because in accordance with our commitment to sustainability. We sea-freight the majority of our products, so we have to pack them in plastic to protect them from moisture damage in transit. This is not a remote scenario, unfortunately, and we have in the past lost parts of our collection due to damage in transit. This is a terrible shame for both our producers and customers.
The plastic we use is made from polypropylene and is actually recyclable and biodegradable! We have two aeration holes in the plastic packaging to prevent condensation from forming, and the plastic is also Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) free, which prevents garments from yellowing.
The garments come in our lovely brown paper packaging which can also be recycled:
As a small company, we always have to weigh up what has the bigger impact when we consider a complex issue. We feel that in terms of packaging, protecting our beautiful, handmade clothing is the priority. However, we are always reviewing our current sustainability practices and we would of course implement a change when we are in the position to do so.
We hope this provides our customers with a little more information as to why our garments are shipped in plastic and we very much appreciate your continued support for fair trade and sustainable fashion.