Smurfit Kappa creates MPG garment packaging for Dryrobe to cut fashion footprints and costs
16 Nov 2023 — Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple has provided Dryrobe, a UK-based clothing brand, with fit-for-purpose packaging for its range of “high-performance” weatherproof products.
Smurfit Kappa was tasked with exploring multiple design options with multi-point glued (MPG) functionality. The team identified a six-point MPG design that saved the fashion brand approximately £40,000 (US$50,000) yearly by removing secondary paper tape (sealing) and reducing the time needed to assemble the boxes before packing.
The switch reduces carbon by 24.98 metric tons, as the MPG design uses less board. The design also enables reduced packing time by 30 seconds per box.
“When it comes to fashion in particular, we’re seeing a significant shift in consumer expectations. Consumers aren’t just choosing products based on price or the way they look; they’re choosing them based on whether the brand behind them aligns with their own ethos, and this includes packaging and its impact on the planet,” Suzy Gedney, UK Marketing Manager at Smurfit Kappa tells Packaging Insights.
“For example, in our Half Yearly Insights Report 2023, we described how, according to research, 37% of Gen Z shoppers make a conscious effort to read green messages displayed on the packaging. This is a trend that will continue to grow as we go into 2024 and beyond.”
Smurfit Kappa and Dryrobe began their packaging journey in 2021. Dryrobe was searching for packaging that reflected its “environmentally responsible ethos.”
Dryrobe’s box with Smurfit Kappa focused on the customer unboxing experience.“Smurfit Kappa’s superior e-commerce packaging for clothing has not only ensured a fuss-free five-star experience for our customers — but it’s also helped us achieve our sustainability goals, up our game in terms of customer unboxing experience, boosted our brand and made a big difference to our bottom line,” says Richard Davis, head of Operations at Dryrobe.
The original plan for the partnership was to remove all single-use plastic from Dryrobe’s direct-to-consumer operation. Smurfit Kappa received praise from Dryrobe customers, who applauded the planet-friendly approach.
The next phase of their partnership was to explore solutions to achieve greater packaging efficiency and cost reduction. Additionally, Dryrobe wanted to improve the customer unboxing experience, boosting brand awareness and reputation.
Reducing costs during price surges
In light of the rising paper, labor and energy costs over the previous year, the Dryrobe team wanted to reduce its spending, whether via unit price per box purchased or operational efficiency savings.
A self-sealing tape and ripper strip were added to the new/ pack, making it easier for customers to open the box. The addition of tape and ripper strips removed the need to use a knife or scissors to open the box. This also eliminates the risk of product damage upon opening.
Smurfit Kappa developed the print on the box to reflect Dryrobe’s core brand colors by flood-printing the inside of the box black. The outside of the box was left plain. Smurfit Kappa has designed a more ecological box for Dryrobe’s e-commerce.
“For brands to earn and maintain loyalty, it’s imperative to communicate their sustainability credentials transparently and honestly, and this is backed up by recent research by Drapers. This trend is reshaping fashion packaging, steering it toward more [environmentally] sustainable, eco-friendly solutions that resonate with evolving consumer values,” explains Gedney.
Smurfit Kappa Group recently announced a trading update for nine months to September 30. The company registered an EBITDA of €1.625 million (US$1.7 million) with an EBITDA margin of 19% and a return on capital employed of 18%.
Last month, Smurfit Kappa planned to expand its Design2Market Factory initiative across Europe after a successful first operative year. The facility empowers customers to test and adapt their packaging solutions on a small scale before market launch. It is set to be replicated in key European markets, including Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK.
By Sabine Waldeck
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