Sustainability is a key selling point that presents many luxury brands with a dilemma. Which places many luxury brands in front of a dilemma. The shivery, vibrant colors and decorated designs we associate with luxury brand packaging come at a cost to the environment, environmental cost, as they often involve the use of plastics and other less eco-friendly materials.
Can high-end brands maintain their luxurious look while meeting the sustainability commitments today’s consumers have come to expect? Let’s find out.
Photo: Our custom-made packaging design for Mr Porter
The market for sustainable packaging is growing at a rapid pace. We expect this trend to continue through 2027 with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%. Furthermore, we believe that many companies will focus on using 100% recycled materials because consumers demand it more than ever before.
As shown by the recent study, in which 73% of millennials are willing to pay more to buy from environmentally sustainable companies.
According to another recent study, approximately 35% of consumers would buy more sustainably packaged products if they could find them.
Photo: Matching 3D shaped products with vibrant box colors.
Sustainable vs. luxurious feel: do you even have to choose?
Are luxury and sustainability intrinsically opposed? At first glance, it may seem so. When we think of luxury, what comes to mind is extravagance and indulgence: in a way the opposite of sustainability. However, when you look a little closer, sustainability and luxury share many characteristics such as quality, durability, consistency and a creative, innovative approach.
Sustainable packaging is based on using fewer, high quality materials, made with innovative, low-impact technologies. Major brands are stepping away from plastics and moving to recyclable or biodegradable packaging. For example, Burberry has been using FSC-certified paper from recycled coffee cups for some time now. The resulting packaging has a high-end, expensive look and continues to resonate with the brand’s heritage. When a luxury brand sells designer clothing with price tags like Burberry’s, it puts pressure on others to follow in their substantial footsteps.
Good for the environment and good for business
Photo: Detailed pictures of graphic design on packaging
The sustainability should always be clearly presented on the packaging, as consumers cannot recognize the most sustainable packaging without visual clues. Curious about what characteristics consumers use to decide if a package is sustainable?
Also read our blog 'Sustainable packaging from a consumers perspective.'
Photo: Our custom-made packaging design for Vodafone
Luxury brands no longer need to choose between a luxurious brand imagine and their sustainability commitments.
Photo: Custom-made packaging design for Sonos, which is a client of our alliance partner Veritiv
To find out more about how Zero Packaging can help you to create packaging solutions with zero environmental impact but reflecting the quality of its contents, please reach out to us.
McKinsey & Company. (2020). The drive toward sustainability in packaging beyond the quick wins. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/paper-forest-products-and-packaging/our-insights/the-drive-toward-sustainability-in-packaging-beyond-the-quick-wins
Nissha. (2021). How packaging can be both luxurious and sustainable. Retrieved from https://www.nisshametallizing.com/en/how-packaging-can-be-both-luxurious-and-sustainable
Smash brand. (2022). Consumer demand for sustainable packaging is on the rise. Retrieved from https://www.smashbrand.com/articles/consumer-demand-for-sustainable-packaging-is-on-the-rise/
Weavabel. (2020). The best eco-friendly luxury packaging to inspire you. Retrieved from https://www.weavabel.com/blog/6-of-the-best-eco-friendly-luxury-packaging-to-inspire-you