Blog Post

The ultimate guide to eco-friendly clothing packaging

Eco friendly clothing packaging

Making the switch to more eco-friendly clothing packaging is a good idea for every clothing brand. Why? Because consumers are more aware of how their choices impact our planet, and there’s a demand for businesses to do the same. In fact, a recent survey found that 70% of consumers were willing to pay more for products in sustainable packaging.

Here are three reasons why your clothing brand should make the switch and a list of the best eco-friendly clothing packaging to get you started.

Why switch to eco-friendly clothing packaging?

Your clothing packaging is key to both representing your brand and building a positive customer experience. This is particularly the case if you’re an e-commerce brand, where packaging is usually the first physical touchpoint a customer has with your brand. In this case, it’s your first opportunity to show your customer what your brand is about. And switching to eco-friendly clothing packaging can make all the difference. Here are three reasons why:

  1. It helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Switching to more sustainable clothing packaging gives you an opportunity to review and lower your current emissions.
  2. It can help reduce costs. Eco-friendly clothing packaging tends to use less materials which makes it lighter and leads to fewer shipping costs.
  3. It makes a difference to sales. Eco-friendly clothing packaging shows your business is taking action to do better and that helps to build customer loyalty.

Read more: The benefits of sustainable packaging for your business

Best eco-friendly clothing packaging for your business

Clothing packaging boxes

Clothing packaging boxes are an excellent way to ship apparel. They’re durable, secure and easy to assemble. And they’re completely customisable so you can add features like a double peel & seal to make returns easier for your customers.

Mailer boxes

Mailer boxes can be used for almost all clothing items, from dresses and trousers to a pair of shoes. They’re available in a variety of sizes and can also be custom-sized to better fit your products or shipping preferences. Letterbox clothing boxes, for example, can fit through most standard letterboxes in the UK so you won’t need a third-party courier. These are good for small clothing items like ties, socks and t-shirts.

The advantage of eco-friendly mailer boxes is that they’re endlessly customisable. Along with customising your box size and features, you can also add custom printing. With double-sided printing, you can brand both the outside and inside of the box with your artwork, adding to your customer’s unboxing experience.

Create custom clothing boxes online with Sourceful. Get started.

With Sourceful, you can create custom clothing packaging boxes directly in your browser. All our clothing packaging boxes are made from FSC certified material, which means it’s from sustainably managed forests. And when you customise your eco-friendly clothing packaging boxes, you can add an FSC label to highlight your sustainability efforts to customers. You can then choose to offset the carbon footprint of that order at checkout using high-quality, vetted carbon offsets.

Read more: How Sourceful offsets the footprint of your order

Shipping boxes

Shipping boxes are ideal for sending heavy clothing bundles or bulky clothing items such as boots, coats and knitwear. They’re sturdy, quick to assemble and 100% recyclable. They can also come with pre-cut handles to help make it easier for your customer to carry their package inside once it arrives.

All eco-friendly clothing packaging boxes at Sourceful are roadside recyclable, which makes it easy for your customers to recycle them afterwards at home.

Clothing packaging bags

For soft clothing items that do not require additional padding, clothing packaging bags are another strong option. These can be made using a variety of sustainable materials, ranging from recycled plastic and FSC certified paper to paper made from stone. So there’s more opportunity for your business to choose a material that aligns well with your brand.

Recycled Mailer Bag

Recycled mailer bags are a great eco-friendly clothing packaging alternative to virgin plastic poly mailer bags. These are waterproof, made from recycled plastic film and can be recycled afterwards at local collection points. At Sourceful we have two recycled mailer bags available – one is made from 95% recycled content and the other from 30% recycled content. Both of these can be customised online and are available with live pricing and real-time carbon footprint data.

Paper Mailer Bag

If your brand prefers a plastic-free option, then you could go for a paper-based mailer bag. These are lightweight, flexible and splashproof. All Sourceful paper mailer bags are made using FSC certified paper and are 100% roadside recyclable. To help your packaging stand out and delight customers, create eye-catching designs with custom printing.

Bespoke Mailer Bag

For brands looking to make a statement with their packaging, creating a bespoke mailer bag might be the best option. This was the case for Blue Elvin, an e-commerce clothing brand that produces sportswear to protect women during barbell training. Each of their products must support their ethical baseline: is it built to last? To reinforce this message with their packaging, Blue Elvin were looking for a stone paper mailer bag because stone paper doesn’t use any water or chemicals in production and is infinitely recyclable. They partnered with Sourceful to help source this missing piece.

Stone paper mailer bag for clothing brand Blue Elvin, produced by Sourceful.

Looking for bespoke eco-friendly clothing packaging? Chat to an expert

Clothing packaging accessories

Accessories are a great way to complete your eco-friendly packaging bundle. They can be used to seal and secure clothing boxes, or as a way to decorate your packaging and delight your customers.

Packaging Tape

Gummed tape or self-adhesive tape are solid options for securing larger clothing packaging boxes. These can also both be customised to include your logo, a brand message or other artwork. Gummed tape is plastic-free and roadside recyclable, making it a more sustainable alternative to traditional packaging tapes. In fact, by switching from a polypropylene tape to our gummed tape, you can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 40%*.

*Calculated using Sourceful’s live carbon footprint data. Learn more


Items like stickers can provide further branding opportunities for your packaging. Include your logo or artwork on a sticker to help add more colour to your clothing boxes or clothing bags. If your items are wrapped in tissue paper, you can use branded stickers to hold the tissue in place. Or, as an alternative to tape, use large stickers to seal your packaging. Stickers can be completely customised to best suit your business and packaging needs, from the shape and size to the finish. For example, you could add a water-based varnish so your stickers are protected from any possible spillages.

Envelopes and Cards

Envelopes and cards are simple but effective ways to create a more personal and seamless experience for your customers. For example, envelopes can be used to hold a returns slip or any additional marketing materials you might like to share. Alternatively, if you’d like to create a more memorable unboxing experience for your customers, adding a welcome card or a personalised note for any limited edition items can help.

Card and envelope for florist platform Floom.

Switching to eco-friendly clothing packaging benefits both your business and the planet. It helps reduce your carbon footprint and it shows customers that you care.

All Sourceful packaging can be customised to your exact needs — from the size and material to the printing and features you want. If you need assistance, you can access Sourceful’s in-house packaging experts at any time for guidance or to partner with.

Browse our eco-friendly clothing packaging shop

sourceful insights
Other articles you might be interested in
Impact Report
Sourceful's First Impact Report: A Testament to Sustainable Sourcing
Written by Albert, Head of Sustainability at Sourceful about the new impact report that Sourceful have created
Carbon Removal
Carbon offsetting
Blog Post
Betting big on Manchester: why we are building Sourceful in the World’s Original Industrialised City
Written by Wing, co-founder of Sourceful on why he moved from London and chose Manchester as the HQ for Sourceful
Sourceful News
Blog Post
Sourceful's Top Packaging Trends 2024: Part II (Technology)
Our second installment of the top packaging trends for 2024. Next up: technology.

Interested in creating the perfect packaging for your brand?

We love to help you further with any questions
about your printing needs.
Talk to Sales