No cardboard box, no tissue paper: how can I deliver the best shopping experience without the waste?

I had my star moment last month when I sold the first Sailor Pussy t-shirt seconds after I posted it.

I was super excited giving all the details of how I designed it, how I hand printed each one, explained the length's a throwback to the high school uniforms on the original Sailor Moon comics…

But after I packed it, I felt all that excitement going away - DAYUMMM, I make some really ugly packages!

Why? Why do I do this to my precious designs?

Waste isn't pretty

Amazon box tossed on the curb
Oh that's why.

Branding's great marketing… until it becomes trash. 

Even if you're like me, and you actually enjoy a nice cardboard box to organise the many bits and bobs around your workspace, at some point you'll wanna make the switch to Muji:

Time to open up and neatly fold those cardboard boxes, take them to the recycling point and hope the container won't be contaminated by a greasy pizza box that'll prevent it from being recycled.

But since I'm putting so much love into my designs, why can't I apply some of it to deliver you Full Online-shopping Fantasy?

What I'm already doing: REDUCE & REUSE

Packages for reusing & postcards

  • Reusing the packages I receive from my suppliers: sometimes it's a paper envelope lined with bubble wrap, many times it's something that looks like a thicker trash bag...but it's always plastic.
    Most textiles don't need the hard shell of a cardboard box, the biggest concern is protecting them from moisture, light and bugs - so yeah, I get all my pretty prints in ugly plastic bags.

  • I also try to make them as small as possible, in case it might fit into your mailbox.

  • No fabric softeners, no synthetic fragrances: or just "no harsh chemicals", to keep it simple. 
  • Synthetic fragrances can cause allergies, and conventional fabric softeners are full of petroleum-based substances that aren't biodegradable.  

    My other issue with fabric softener, or rather the silicon wash they do in the apparel industry:

    Sure, it does make any regular sweatshirt feel velvety-soft like the gooey insides of a chocolate fondant cake (except not piping hot). 
    But wash it once, and it's gone! You're now left with a sweatshirt that feels just like any cheap sweatshirt, because the material was never that great to begin with.
  • Hand-written postcard from my personal collection: ooohhh I love me a museum shop!
  • My semi-nomad days were also my postcard phase, because I knew buying the exhibition book'd be too much trouble to carry back to my homebase in Brazil. Many ended up in obscure places and I never looked at them again, so I decided to use them for what they're for: writing love letters ❤️

    What I'm working on:

    Lavender sachet and hat box

  • Creating custom hat boxes with upcycled materials: I guess you'll wanna protect your precious Sailor hat, and I've been obsessed with my Pussy printing screens. Wonder what will come out of this...

  • "Smells like my herb garden!": I find the smell of mint and basil very comforting - more than any perfume - but I think it'll be safer to use lavender for EU shippings.
  • I'll probably get in trouble if I send untreated plants and seeds overseas, though. Now I have to find out if vetiver oil won't stain (I'm terrified of chemical reactions on textiles).

    Is it enough? 

    There's a lot to re-evaluate on our relationship with waste, but there's no need to retreat into a cave in the woods wearing a potato sack.

    (Wear a t-shirt dress instead! *cheeky salesperson wink*)

    Shop - Aeon kitty t-shirt dress