Designer Wardrobe are celebrating saying no to single-use courier bags as they begin the rollout of their reusable rental bags this week in an ongoing project to continue to lessen their impact on the planet in their day-to-day operations.
While they’ve been making use of traditional multi-use garment bags for any in-store pickups since their rental business began in 2017, they’ve been on the hunt for a circular solution to deliver online rental bookings. After exploring many options, including double-seal and compostable bags, they set their sights firmly on moving away from single-use bags towards something that would stand the test of time — a fully customised, reusable garment bag that’s both customer and courier friendly.
The bags are constructed in durable nylon and feature internal pockets and a built in courier ticket sleeve to minimise the need for any single-use packaging in the future. At first glance, nylon is not the most obvious choice when it comes to finding a more circular shipping option, however it was specifically chosen for its long term durability and impermeability to liquids — it’s both extremely strong and resilient, easy care and hygenic which were non-negotiables for the fast-paced start-up.
For Designer Wardrobe, it was a case of “weighing up the overall impact of different options and choosing the best solution that’s accessible right now”COO Aidan Bartlett.
Phasing in these new bags is expected to save 1000’s of plastic single-use bags finding their way to landfill each week and will be used to safely transport upwards of 95% of Designer Wardrobe’s rental garments to members nationwide. The bags will undergo quality control regularly and will be repaired onsite as and when required. It’s early days yet, but the bags are made to last, meaning that each individual bag has the potential to prevent tens of thousands of single-use bags finding their way to our oceans and landfill. The next challenge will be to find a recycler who can ensure the raw materials continue circulating through the economy — something the start-up intends to find a solution to before the bags no longer function as they were originally intended.
“We’ve been working on creating a circular solution for couriering our garments for some time now and it has been quite a journey finding something that meets our unique needs. It’s taken a lot of research and development, but we’ve finally found a solution that works for the majority of our collection which is an amazing result and a necessary step towards minimising our impact on the planet.”Founder, Donielle Brooke.