Luxury and sustainability haven’t historically been all that close. But the world has changed a huge amount over the past two decades: prioritising the planet is now a non-negotiable and this unfamiliar pair has become a lot more friendly.
Packaging is at once both a big environmental challenge for brands and an opportunity to do good and stand out. For very good reasons, the environment is always the chief reason why a brand should switch to sustainable packaging – but it’s definitely not the only one.
From brand image to cost savings, there are many big reasons why sustainable packaging makes great business sense for luxury brands.
Meet evolving customer expectations
Eco-friendliness has become a major factor in purchase decisions for a lot of customers – for some it’s the biggest factor: three-quarters of consumers prioritise product sustainability over brand name.
We’ve seen the influence of this shift in the FMCG space – particularly with the explosion of B Corp – and there’s every reason for us to believe that the same is happening in the luxury sector, albeit slightly later.
Visible, physical and clearly differentiated between sustainable and unsustainable, packaging is a great vehicle for luxury brands to show customers that they too care about the planet.
Enhance your brand image
In many ways a direct result of our first reason.
Your brand’s image and reputation are true make-or-break factors for your business, and sustainability is the ultimate test. The brands that are performing well here are rewarded with incredibly strong customer loyalty and growing communities of passionate brand advocates who spread the good word for you.
Packaging is right at the top of the sustainability agenda and a true passion point for planet-focused consumers. From a luxury brand’s perspective, it’s a great way to stand out from competitors and showcase your environmental responsibility – without taking from the exclusivity and premiumness of your products.
Comply with changing regulations
Governments worldwide are implementing regulations on businesses designed to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices.
In the UK, so-called ‘obligated packaging producers’ are under pressure to reduce the amount of packaging produced, cut the volume of packaging waste that goes to landfill and increase the amount of recycled packaging.
By adopting sustainable packaging, luxury brands can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties.
This may be a contentious one – failing to be ingenious in design and thinking more broadly, sustainable packaging is often the more expensive option.
However, sustainable packaging can result in long-term cost savings. Sustainable packaging can reduce transportation costs and waste disposal fees by using good structural and material advice that delivers packaging that’s designed to be more lightweight and made from far fewer raw materials often with a secondary life. And as demand for sustainable materials grows, economies of scale should lower those initial costs further.
Reduce threats to your business
Simply put, there are lots of risks to being a brand that leaves a big environmental footprint.
You can be subject to boycotts, protests and activism, and negative feelings amongst employees. This may feel slightly dramatic considering we’re talking about packaging, but in 2023 it really isn’t. As we already know, packaging is subject to huge scrutiny, and to the outside world, it says a lot about your business and its values.
Help save the planet
We couldn’t not touch on this small final point.
Sustainable packaging is a lot better for the planet we call home. You know this and the reasons why already, but time is getting tight and we desperately need changes for the better.
The more brands that make this switch, the bigger the sustainable packaging industry becomes and the more accessible it gets. It’s truly a no-brainer!