The art of gift wrapping has a long and intricate history that extends beyond convenience. A thoughtfully wrapped present can be a joy by itself, building anticipation in the receiver in the best possible way. Yet, conventional gift wrap is a significant source of waste.
The U.S. spent an estimated $12.7 billion on gift wrap including wrapping paper and assorted bags in 2017, according to a paper by Sundale marketing research. Most of that gift wrap cannot be recycled due to inks used and plastic lamination, so all of this paper is destined to be purchased, torn up, and cast into the waste stream.
We LOVE wrapping gifts and we know it's possible to do it without creating a bunch of trash, so we've put together our favorite ways to gift without the waste.
- Give it the Furoshiki Treatment!
Furoshiki is a Japanese tradition of fabric wrapping designed to transport clothes and gifts. These minimalist practices of ceremony and beauty date back to the 1600s. Our Organic Tea Towels are ideal for wrapping in this style. Turn every present into a stylish gift set by wrapping in the unique furoshiki style.
- Reusable Gift Bags
Reusable bags are a crowd pleaser that are just as attractive as they are functional. Transport oodles of gifts in a single Market Triangle Tote. Wrap up gifts with our Japanese style Bento Bags, or Snack Bags which you can customize from over 100 options, giving you the colorful experience of gift wrap without the paper waste. Available in three sizes, they make a perfect fit for any present!
- Fabric scraps
Utilizing the leftover bits and pieces of our fabric is one of our central goals in making our establishment a zero waste workplace. In your own household we recommend using strips of cloth to tie bows, or save larger scraps to wrap presents and gifts. If you're local to Eugene Oregon, come by our Eco-Shop and you can try it out yourself with scraps from our donation bin!
- Recycled paper & nature
Using recycled newspaper as well as brown paper bags as wrapping is a great way to cut down on waste. Reuse old shoeboxes, magazines, and even comic books for a unique, low-impact approach to gift-giving. Thoughtful touches like dried fruit or other snippets of nature will make it look distinct and festive!
- Wet Bags
You can fit an awful lot in our durable Wet Bags. Either size is perfect for putting together your own gift set. The water resistant liner makes it an inspired choice as wrapping material because it can hold wet items like chilled white wine or objects that you want to keep free of dust like electronics. The large Wet Bags are big enough to fit clothes, shoes, and even a tool kit!
- Sandwich Wrap
Sandwich Wraps make perfect reusable wrapping for smaller gifts, and— just like our Tea Towel —turns the gift into a two-part present. The straps are 18’’ long so no matter how you fold them or what shape your gift is, these wraps have you covered.
Containers like our Ceramic Cups, Upcycled Woven bowls or Bamboo Fibre Storage Boxes are easy to use as gifting baskets and will still be useful after the gift has been given. Or try repurposing a container! A plastic clamshell that used to hold salad or a canning jar can fit various small objects and, just like our #Thinkreusable Kit, acts like a terrarium showcasing multiple gifts inside. Try making your own container with an assortment of colorful goods to show off your creative side!
With all these options for reusable wrapping techniques, single-use use paper doesn’t stand a chance! No matter what you’re gifting this year, we know your friends and family will appreciate the extra thought and quality craftwork that goes into your gift.
Got other ideas? Let us know in the comments!