#1 Fair Trade Packaging
Fair trade continues to gain momentum and the adoption of fair trade practices will accelerate throughout 2014. Most recently, Patagonia announced they’ll be one of the first major outdoor-clothing companies to offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel starting Fall 2014. Larger companies are also making strong fair trade commitments, like Starbucks who now purchases nearly all of their coffee from fair trade producers, and has committed to purchase 100% from fair trade producers by 2015. The movement to fair trade sourcing is not by mistake; it is a natural development coming from mature sustainability initiatives. Fair trade makes sense as it aligns with the vision of triple bottom line sustainability. As companies seek to establish stronger differentiation through their sustainability commitments, their roadmaps naturally lead them to responsible sourcing and fair trade products from emerging economies, including packaging. Fair Trade packaging provides brand owners with a natural advantage. The fair trade packaging trend will follow in a similar manner to eco-friendly packaging following the introduction of eco-friendly products. The leading supplier of adhesive labels from fair trade papers PURE Labels™ has seen a significant increase in the volume of orders in the past year, and estimates sales of fair trade adhesive label stock to double in 2014.
#2 Eco Design Polarity
Sustainable packaging has come a long way baby! With a wider array of high-quality sustainable materials and sources, the original crunchy natural kraft look is not the only option anymore for sustainable packaging. Modern-looking materials and conventional packaging aesthetics are now possible in many sustainable varieties of materials for production of sustainable packaging solutions. As an example, sustainable packaging produced by Elevate Packaging are only made from FSC-certified materials which look and feel just like any other paper product, while maintaining the attractive, modern and contemporary brand image desired by some premium and luxury brands. From a brand perspective, as the competitive space for sustainable products expands, brand owners will seek new themes of differentiation, which has and always will encompass packaging design. Brand owners will drive toward one of the polar opposites in 2014. Expect to see packaging designs steer toward 1) crunchy, natural, earthy and organic designs, more so than in the past, using non-tree handmade packaging from companies like Distant Village Packaging, or 2) they will move toward cleaner, more contemporary designs which emanate sustainable luxury from packaging companies like Elevate Packaging who are leaders in providing packaging from 100% Recycled Paper, Wind Energy offsets, 100% Carbon Neutral, agri-based non-toxic vegan inks, and FSC Certification.
The trend toward accelerated engagement of sustainable packaging may seem as a natural conclusion, especially in light of the previous two trends. Sustainable packaging has been a hot topic of discussion throughout the packaging world for more than a decade. It is now more obvious than ever that the packaging world is inevitably driving toward 100% sustainable packaging. This is being driven, without question, by the growth and maturity of sustainable brands. In 2014, expect to see accelerated engagement driven by the following factors: maturity of sustainability programs within large multi-nationals; alignment of supply chains to enable the full life cycle of sustainable packaging systems (manufacture, supply and disposal/re-purpose); and a stronger consumer sentiment and awareness regarding sustainable packaging and sustainability in general.
Elevate Packaging, a division of Distant Village, Inc, is a leader in American-made sustainable packaging since 2000. Our revolutionary approach as sustainable packaging innovators has earned international recognition and awards in paper packaging and adhesive labels industries. We follow an unwavering commitment to triple bottom line sustainable business practices. From start to finish, every packaging produced embodies a full-circle view of sustainability, including packaging brand design, natural plant-based materials, certified papers, green energy, fair trade, and social responsibility.
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