Can Luxury Packaging Be Sustainable

Can Luxury Packaging Be Sustainable?

In the past few years, there’s been a sharp increase in demand for sustainably manufactured goods. Now that the average consumer knows of global issues such as climate change and plastic pollution, all brands are pressured to follow their sustainability promises.

For many companies, making their business model more sustainable seems complicated– if not impossible. It may seem especially hard for luxury companies to find ways to commit to reducing the use of harmful materials and processes that might make their products appear less valuable.

Contrary to popular belief, luxury brands are actually in quite a better position when it comes to sustainability. This is because many features of luxury products contribute to eco-friendly goals, such as longevity. 

In addition, consumers who can afford luxury items often have extra money to spend and are more likely to help a brand achieve its goals.

With consumer demand increasing each day, it’s undeniable that sustainability is a pressing issue for luxury brands. As a result, improving your green credentials by focusing on ways to be more sustainable has become a priority.

What Is Sustainable Packaging (Green Packaging)?

Green Packaging

Green packaging, also called sustainable or eco-friendly packaging, is the packaging that triggers the least amount of environmental damage. Depending on whom you ask, the exact definition may vary. 

However, sustainable or green packaging generally uses materials from responsible sources and fewer resources. Also, these types of packaging focus on manufacturing processes that reduce waste and pollution.

To be more sustainable, we may need to use fewer petroleum-based products such as plastics. We can also try to recycle more materials and switch to suppliers whose practices are environmentally friendly.

Examples Of Sustainable Packaging Materials

Sustainable Packaging Materials

Sustainability is important in today’s day and age, and luckily there are a number of ways that packaging material can help. For example, it can e created using repurposed waste or recycled materials. 

It may be designed to facilitate recycling as well. Alternatively, a sustainable material could be usable for years to come, thus allowing the end user to repurpose the pack. 

Sustainable packaging materials include:

  • FSC-Certified Papers – Sourced From Renewable Forests
  • Recycled Papers – Reduces The Need To Manufacture Virgin Materials
  • Tin – 100% Recyclable
  • Glass – Great For Longevity
  • Bamboo – A Highly Renewable Resource
  • Bioplastics – Efficient Alternative To Plastics
  • Corrugated Cardboard – Very Reusable And Recyclable

What Is A Sustainable Supply Chain?

Sustainable Supply Chain

A sustainable supply chain is one that includes every stage of production, from collecting resources to manufacturing and distributing them but executes them in a sustainable manner. 

Sustainability isn’t only about the final product; it’s about every process that goes into making and delivering it. So even if the end-user is unaware of these processes, they still play a role in sustainability.

When brands are looking at different areas of their supply chain, they should focus on tertiary packaging. Tertiary packaging is the type of packaging that is used to wrap, store and protect products during transport. 

The more reusable and recyclable this tertiary packaging is, its environmental impact will be smaller. Luckily, more and more sustainable tertiary packaging (e.g., biodegradable packing peanuts or recycled/recyclable wrapping paper) is becoming easily accessible.

Two large considerations while your product is in transit are size and weight. If a product and its packaging weigh less, it will take up less room on a pallet, cutting carbon emissions from storage and transit. 

An easy way to start making your packaging more sustainable is by using sealable bags instead of rigid pots or bottles.

Not only is it important for luxury brands to be sustainable, but they must also show that they are taking corporate responsibility seriously. There should be no debate – all companies involved in the supply chain should provide their workers with good conditions and pay them fairly.

Are Any Luxury Brands Sustainable?

Luxury Brands Sustainable

An evident change is happening where more luxury brands are focusing on sustainability. While some companies focus on the processes used to make their products, others concentrate on being socially responsible.

Luxury Spirits

There is often a big focus on premium packaging for luxury spirit brands, as this is a key marketing tool to make their rare or specialized releases appeal to discerning consumers. 

An additional benefit of this is that, by creating “keepsake” packs, luxury spirits brands can discourage customers from throwing the packaging away and decrease the amount of packaging waste ending up in landfills.

A large number of spirits brands are also transitioning to more sustainable materials, including bottles and packs. For example, Diageo’s new spirits bottle is environmentally friendly, as it is made from 100% plastic-free paper materials that are sourced sustainably. The best part? This bottle is completely recyclable!

Some newer spirit companies are gaining popularity by basing their entire brand around being eco-friendly. For example, air Company is an innovative brand that uses cutting-edge science to transform carbon dioxide into impurity-free alcohol. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions, but it also eliminates pollutants from the environment. Every kilogram of alcohol produced will remove 1.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, effectively reducing pollution.

Luxury Fashion

Fast fashion is notorious for its pollution, but the luxury market has a chance to make a difference by creating garments of lasting quality—not throw-aways that end up in landfill within twelve months.

Moreover, some fashion houses are sustainably sourcing materials and using animal-friendly products. For example, not only does Stella McCartney’s fashion label avoid using fur and leather, but it also uses recycled materials such as nylon, polyester, and organic cotton.

For other luxury fashion brands, the focus is on sustainable packaging. In 2019, Burberry revealed a new packaging line made from recycled coffee cups. They also promised to cut back on the use of non-recyclable plastics by replacing them with recyclable or compostable options.

Luxury Beauty

Luxury cosmetics are becoming more popular, and the bigger name brands are also doing their part to protect the environment. So far, La Mer has raised over £4 million via their Blue Heart foundation in order to help with marine biodiversity conservation.

The vast majority of plants used in Dr. Hauschka’s products come from the garden behind their corporate headquarters. 

Neal’s Yard Remedies has promised that the packaging of its products will be made entirely out of recyclable materials by 2025. Additionally, REN created a line of recycling bottles partially composed of ocean plastics.

What Sustainable Packaging Practices Can Luxury Brands Implement?

Sustainable Packaging Practices Can Luxury Brands Implement - GoTo Packaging

There are different sustainable packaging that luxury brands can use. Some of them include the following:

  • Gain A Better Understanding Of Plastics
  • Facilitate Recycling
  • Use Responsibly Sourced Materials
  • Pay Attention To The Full Life Cycle Of Luxury Packaging
  • Be Cautious When Using Embellishments
  • Learn How To Improve Luxury Packaging Retention

Gain A Better Understanding Of Plastics

Although some people have a negative reaction to the use of plastics, it’s important for luxury brands to realize that the issue is more nuanced than simply good or bad.

First, it’s important to know that not all plastics are the same. Some plastics are more valuable than others when recycled, so they are in higher demand by recyclers. 

Less valuable and harder-to-recycle plastics are less likely to be recycled and more likely to end up taking up space in landfills.

Second, there are some benefits to plastics that other materials can’t as easily replicate. For example, plastics are usually lightweight and tough, making them inexpensive and easy to move around. In some cases, it is more environmentally friendly to use plastic materials over so-called “eco-friendly” options, whose manufacturing costs and emissions far exceed that of plastics.

It’s crucial to comprehend that in some circumstances, using a common plastic like PET may be more responsible than opting for a material that seems greener.

If luxury brands want to ensure they can keep using plastic in their packaging, they need to understand how to use plastics sustainably.

Facilitate Recycling


The end goal for sustainable packaging that is not meant to be reused is full recyclability. This can be accomplished if the materials used to make the packaging are able to be recycled.

Considerations that may be less obvious are aspects like the inks used and the overall structure of the pack, i.e., how it fits together.

A pack that’s easy to recycle is one made with soy inks and water-based adhesives, which can be separated easily into individual parts by the customer.

More and more companies are opting for mono-material packs made from one type of recyclable material. 

A recycling process that only has to handle one type of material, whether it be tin, paper, or plastic, is more effective and uses less energy. That’s because there is no longer any need to separate materials from one another.

In the luxury market, brands are generally more hesitant to use such an approach. Again, certain products – like a lipstick tube – may be better off with only one type of material or using as few materials as possible.

Use Responsibly Sourced Materials

One way that luxury brands can improve is to switch to using responsibly sourced materials. This could suggest that they originate from easily renewable or well-maintained resources, such as FSC-certified forests, or that they’re constructed from recycled, instead of virgin, materials.

In addition to practicality, evaluating the ethical implications of your choices when sourcing materials is important. 

All people involved in the farming and manufacturing of eco-materials – from the workers to the indigenous peoples – should be treated fairly and kept safe throughout the process.

Pay Attention To The Full Life Cycle Of Luxury Packaging

If you want to show that your brand is sustainable, it’s important to consider the entire lifecycle of packaging. As you become more eco-conscious, it’s normal to want to research the carbon footprint of products. 

Fortunately, life cycle assessments (LCA) give an understanding of how much energy is used and emitted throughout a product’s lifespan – from water consumption during production all the way through to post-consumer recycling rates.

When assessing proof, it’s important to look at the entire lifespan of the pack rather than just individual elements. By taking this approach, you can make better decisions about what actions to take next. 

For example, the LCA might show that an “eco-friendly” material is actually leading to more pollution during manufacturing compared to traditional plastic.

By considering all production elements, you can identify ways to diminish pollution and deforestation. This will have a positive impact on the environment as a whole.

Be Cautious When Using Embellishments

Luxury packaging would not be complete without embellishments. Sleek details such as foils, varnish, and embossing elevate the look of a product’s packaging and suggest to consumers that it was made with care and expense.

Rather than avoiding these details to be more sustainable, luxury brands should investigate ways of producing them while being eco-friendly. 

Look for fully recyclable laminates and foils, and UV varnishes – they usually pollute less and use up less energy than regular petrochemical varnishes.

Learn How To Improve Luxury Packaging Retention

Improve Luxury Packaging Retention

By encouraging the end user to keep luxury packaging, we can prevent more waste from going into landfills.

The most straightforward way to make a pack more valuable is to use high-quality materials and finishes. In addition, adding a personal touch to your packaging is an excellent way to add value. 

The unique number on each whisky bottle serves as a reminder of its rarity and encourages the consumer to hold onto it.

The best way to encourage people to keep your packaging is to make it multi-functional. Modern luxury brands are turning to packs with hidden speakers or playable features to reinvigorate their brand. 

Another example is to craft packaging that has a clear secondary purpose, such as being used as a jewelry box or clutch bag.

In Conclusion

Luxury brands have a responsibility to be more sustainable. Fortunately, there are many ways to make packaging more eco-friendly without sacrificing style or quality. 

Use soy inks and water-based adhesives, avoid multi-material packs, seek out recyclable embellishments, encourage customers to keep the packaging, and consider the full life cycle of packaging when making decisions. 

With a little effort, luxury brands can be sustainable and stylish.

Sustainability should be the top priority of any brand. However, contrary to popular belief, luxury packaging can be sustainable. The modern definition of luxury suggests that it should be sustainable. 

How do you make your luxury packaging sustainable? We hope that this post has helped you to gain a better understanding of that. If you have any more queries, feel free to contact us

We offer sustainable packaging solutions tailored to meet our customers’ specific needs. So connect with us today to order your sustainable luxury packaging!

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