Small Business Shipping Supplies and Packaging
In today's economic climate, there is more and more of a push for businesses to become eco-friendly, which we at Knots of Art love! However, one of the biggest challenges as a small business is sourcing shipping and packaging supplies. The 'downside' (for lack of a better word) to being eco-friendly, is there are limited eco-friendly packaging and shipping options as well as limited eco-conscious companies to source these materials. In addition, these options aren't as inexpensive as you would expect.
Despite those factors, at Knots of Art, we try our best to be as eco-friendly as possible, while keeping our budget restrictions in mind! If you're curious about our shipping supplies and what we use for our packaging, here are some links and helpful information (Knots of Art is not an affiliate of these companies. We are simply sharing what we use!)
Packaging can be one of the biggest challenges for a small business. We wanted our packaging to be minimal, but still be cohesive with our brand and make an impact on our customers. We wanted to create some opportunities for multi-use packaging. This way, it would reduce on the consumer's waste.
For example, our "Thank You" cards double as a cute print on the front, and a business card on the back with all of our contact information and social media.
- Eco Clear Bags from ClearBags.com - these bags are made from PLA (plant based) and are certified compostable. However, it is important to note that these are not "back-yard" compostable and can only be composted through commercial compost facilities. You can find your nearest commercial compost facility here. Otherwise, we recommend re-using these bags to protect your stickers, stationary, or other paper goods!
- 4 Ply White Backing Boards from ClearBags.com - these backing boards are made from 100% recycled fiber - 90% from PCW materials, and are recyclable!
Decals and Stickers
- Eco Clear Bags from ClearBags.com - same as the ones used to package our art prints.
- Recycled White Cardstock from Amazon - we use this 100% recycled cardstock to print all of our backing cards in-house. You can recycle this paper if it's no longer in use, or you can give it to friends/family to share our information with the QR code on the front!
- Recycle/Compost Sticker from OnlineLabels.com - we use this sticker paper made from 100% post consumer waste for our packaging stickers that we print/cut in-house.
- Recycled White Cardstock from Amazon - same as the cardstock we use for the decal/sticker backings. We also use this cardstock to print/cut product labels for all of our macramé pieces and wristlets.
- Hemp Twine from EcoEnclose.com - made from 100% natural hemp. Hemp is a very strong fiber, biodegradable, and compostable.
Shipping materials are a separate challenge for small businesses. When we chose the shipping materials for our products, we had to think long and hard about the multiple possibilities of purchase options and how the products should fit into different shipping materials. In addition, we wanted to remain true to getting the most eco-friendly options with our limited budget.
- White 9x6x3" Shipping Boxes from Amazon - these boxes are recyclable.
- White 12.125x9.25x3" Shipping Boxes from Amazon - same manufacture as the ones above, and they are recyclable. They have a sturdy flap, so you could always re-purpose the boxes to hold other house-hold items.
- 9.75x12.25" Rigid Kraft Mailers from Amazon - made from 100% recycled paperboard and are also 100% recyclable.
- A7 Kraft Envelopes from Amazon - made from 100% recycled paper and are 100% recyclable.
Miscellaneous Packaging/Shipping Items
- Kraft Crinkle Cut Paper Shred from Amazon - we use this kraft paper shred as padding in our shipping boxes. The shred is biodegradable, compostable, recycled, chlorine free and bleach free.
- Water Activated Packaging Tape from StickerMule.com - we use this packaging tape on our shipping boxes. This kraft paper packaging tape is biodegradable as well as recyclable.
- Recycled White Tissue Paper from Papermart.com - the tissue paper we use in our shipping boxes are made from 60% recycled fibers and is 100% recyclable.
- Knots of Art Custom Stamp from Etsy - we love showing our support to other small business owners, so instead of purchasing custom printed tissue paper or a stamp from NoIssue (there is no problem with NoIssue, but their custom tissue paper is quite expensive and was out of our price range at the time) we decided to purchase a stamp from YellowBess on Etsy and hand stamp our tissue paper and boxes.
- Recycled White Cardstock from Amazon - again, we use this paper to print our Thank You cards in-house.
Are we the MOST eco-friendly business? No, but we are working toward making improvements all the time! Hopefully in the future, our shop and budget will expand, allowing us to purchase more eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials.
In the meantime, we are happy with the small strives we have taken to becoming an eco-friendly business, and love the branding of our current packaging.
We hope this list can give you some insight into Knots of Art's business practices as well as to help other small business just starting out with ideas for their packaging/shipping resources.
We hope this helps! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to Contact us.