Designing reusable packaging services together with online retailers and logistics companies needs expertise, experience and a a simple framework...
How reusable packaging is ideal for (fashion) rentals
Reusable packaging is an integral part of the user experience in rentals, adding convenience, cost efficiency and sustainability to the rental experience.
About Unown Fashion
Let’s face it: we live in a society that needs to consume less. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with our closets! Unown Fashion is here to help shoppers do just that. Their renting system makes more than 50 fashion brands accessible to responsible German and Austrian shoppers, so they can fill their closets with variety and still be eco-friendly.
Packaging plays a strategic role in rental
If consumer clothes remain inside the loop and never become waste, why shouldn’t the packaging? An existing circular model is probably where it makes the least sense to ship with single-use packaging. The Unown team turned to reusable packaging brands to achieve several missions:
- Enable waste reduction
- Fit products of various sizes
- Align with and support the Unown brand
- Create value for the rental experience
A monthly packaging subscription for closed loops
When Unown first contacted RePack, our rental service as it is today didn’t exist. We built the following model after a three-month pilot period.
Unown now rents RePack bags every month. The company pays a monthly fee based on the number of bags ordered.
Each bag can be used multiple times monthly without being charged extra. If more bags happen to be needed due to an unexpected order increase, up to 10% top-ups are included in the monthly fee.
Unown removes leftover tape and stickers with the equipment supplied by our team. The bags are quickly ready to be reused again. Though it’s less likely to happen in a rental mode, some bags require cleaning between uses.
Only two packaging sizes are necessary because the bags are adjustable, and the velcro on allows them to adjust to the size of the products. Unown’s branded stickers were placed on the bags, adding a little personalisation and specific instructions to the experience.
The most crucial part of the project was creating an accessible, understandable, and enjoyable rental experience for program members. When reusable bags were first introduced, some users returned them with unnecessary additional tape or to the wrong address. The RePack and Unown teams collaborated on design instructions placed inside each new order. This ensured success!
This real life test allowed us to learn on consumer behaviour and we have since made changes to our packaging itself to make returns even easier!
To wrap up
Unown has been using the RePack rental model for over a year now, and it’s a success!
- Packaging that's aligned with circular model
Overall, reusable packaging makes sense for rental fashion brands as it helps promote the circular approach and aligns with the brand’s objectives: clothes remain in the loop, and so does packaging.
- Packaging that supports sustainability objectives
And it has a substantial impact! By ditching single-use packaging, Unown has reduced its waste production by close to 99% and cut CO2 emissions while doing so.
- Packaging that adds value to the customer experience
It’s also a strong asset to the rental experience as members of the program are provided with this waste-free experience and the bag to return their items.