Thinking Beyond The Box: What Every Brand Should Do
Let's face it, ecommerce has an ugly side that we choose to ignore. In exchange for the convenience of home delivery most of us will ignore that single use packaging is wasteful and environmentally unsound. Boxes inside of boxes, plastic sleeves, and more plastic all create a significant environmental impact. Each year in the U.S. alone, 165 billion packages are shipped amounting to one billion trees and 140 billion gallons of water consumed in the process. With the demand of e-commerce and shipping expected to increase, packaging poses a real problem.
Lime Loop and their early adopter Toad&Co, an outdoor lifestyle apparel brand, are making strides to solve the packaging problem by way of a reusable shipper. Each shipper is estimated to last for up to 10 years thanks to its reclaimed vinyl material sourced from billboards. Once a customer receives their new threads, they simply use the provided return label to have it sent back to the distribution center. Adding to Toad&Co’s desire to make a difference, they partner with Planet Access, a fulfillment center that provides career opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
In the early stages of the Lime Loop concept, the company’s founder, Ashley Etling, approached Gordon Seabury, Toad&Co’s CEO with her idea, who has since been an influential customer. As an early adopter, Gordon helped Ashley hone a business model that would be suitable for brands. The result is a cost neutral solution when applied at scale compared to traditional, single use packaging.
During the pilot phase, Toad&Co and Lime Loop noticed that some shippers wouldn’t make it back to the fulfillment center. Lime Loop flexed their tech muscles and have since added tracking capabilities to each shipper. This enhanced tracking data allows brands to know where their fleet of reusable shippers are at all times and provides precise shipping analytics for their customers. Implications of this level of data could provide massive opportunities to gain critical insights and opportunities to offer even better services to customers.
In fact, this shipper makes returns and exchanges even easier for customers who simply place the items to be returned back in the bag, zip it up and drop it off in a mailbox.
Lime Loop is one of those instantly intuitive and ingenious ideas that makes one wonder why a solution like this doesn’t yet exist. They provide tremendous opportunities for brands to easily do good for the environment. For every 100 shippers that get used, brands save 1300 Trees, 1.78 million gallons of water and 4,000 gallons of oil.
For Toad&Co, Lime Loop is one of several initiatives centered around their aspirational goal of helping bring sustainable and social good to ‘mainstreet fashion industry’. Often, small to medium sized brands can view sustainability as a luxury that’s reserved for the bigger brands with loftier budgets. But Toad&Co is proving that mid sized companies can make big impacts through strategic partnerships with innovative vendors, something all brands should take note of.