Daniel Shaw

The future of print + packaging: Sustainability unpacked

“Now that companies are armed with the impetus and the business case to transform around purpose, the ‘why’ is no longer up for debate. The only question is ‘how’?”
Valerie G. Keller, Ernst & Young

We know that engaging with environmental, economic and social sustainability is the future of our brands. But can luxury and sustainability be synonymous? Our retail clients talk about the unboxing experience and a dilemma for an industry where a certain quality of packaging has traditionally been part of how luxury brands advertise their value and add to the ceremony of a transaction. This is particularly poignant as the rise of online retail makes the unboxing process the place where an emotional relationship is made with the customer.

But the face of luxury is evolving. As Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha gain more purchasing power, consumer expectations of luxury packaging shifts from plush to conscious. High-end brands will need to respect the planet and do it with honesty and transparency. So, when it comes to choosing your print and packaging, the best options are sustainable.

“You go buy a burger, then you throw away the box. What happens if you can eat the box? What happens if you can heat up the box and put it into your soup? What if it’s algae based or if it’s protein based? Then you can reuse it but not reuse it as a package — but in a different application. You can end up eating it. Or your dog can end up eating it. Those are the kinds of innovation I believe you’re going to see in the next five years, ten years, 15 years.”
Nick Santhanam, McKinsey & Co

Fortunately, businesses have been busy developing new materials and products that go further than providing zero-impact as alternatives to their polluting contemporaries. Not only do many of them have a positive impact on this earth, but they transform the parameters of packaging. Edible paper, anyone?

“Packaging is no longer there to simply protect the product. It needs to offer an alternative use and provide a unique unboxing experience which communicates the brand’s core message and increase their long-term customer loyalty.”
Robert Lockyer, Delta Global

This guide is not exhaustive. It is a helpful handful of the material and product innovations that could enhance the sustainability of your print and packaging. We reveal how pulling at the sustainability thread won’t unravel your brand: it presents a world of new opportunity.

For complimentary access to the report simply email dan@wearedelight.com.

Daniel Shaw