For many years in most households we have used gift wrap paper and plastic bows to wrap gifts which at the end of the day turns into a pile of paper and plastic that may not necessarily be the best gift for the environment and ourselves. That’s why we put together a list of sustainable wrapping ideas that you could use not only for the holidays, but also for birthdays and any other celebrations.
At We Love Colors throughout the years we have been reducing the amount of plastic and paper we use in our packaging, hoping that eventually we can eliminate it completely. Currently 95% of the items are folded tight almost like a #konmari method style and wrapped with a string that comes out of tights that didn’t make it through the process. We cut the tube legs by hand creating loop bands that are used to keep the products folded and also to add a small paper tag that includes size, color, and care instructions. These cards can be saved in case you want to order the same product and color again, they can be shared with friends if you want to recommend that particular item that you love or you can use the bands to fold the tights the same way we do and keep your drawer more organized. This folding method works perfect for almost all small items.
Talking about small items. These can be packed on almost any container. You could use empty jars, vases, glasses, metal tins or food cans. Socks also do a great job as gift wrappers, a wrap that you can wear after is always a great idea!
If you like the more traditional way you don’t necessarily need gift wrap, gift bags and plastic tape. You could recycle old boxes. If they have branding on the outside you can un-do them and put the inside out so you have a clean box on the outside, you could draw, paint or write all over creating your own “pattern” making it look unique.
If you are sitting there thinking, what is a gift without a wrap?, don’t worry! We have a couple options for you too. Let’s go back to those recycled boxes. You can paint over it (we painted a shoe box with white paint as an example) and wrap it with a piece of fabric crossing on the back and making a bow on the front or in the back, that’s up to you. We used one of the leg tubes from a pair of green imperfect tights because we have a lot of tights, but honestly any piece of fabric or string could work. A big percentage of packages ordered online also come with kraft paper inside as a “filler and protection” it comes all wrinkled, but it gives it personality so don’t discard it next time! Newspapers, magazines, catalogs and old books are another great option.
Lastly one of our favorite alternatives is the traditional Japanese way to wrap goods called Furoshiki, which consists on wrapping an object around with a piece of fabric tied with a knot at the top, extremely simple and sustainable. There are a lot of ways to Furoshiki. We used a scrap of our dull tricot to do so, but a scarf could be perfect for this.
If you don’t think you have a piece of fabric to use try checking inside your closet for those garments that you no longer wear, they could become a great gift wrapper.
To finish up you can use elements from nature to decorate your gifts to replace plastic ribbons and bows. Dry leaves, flowers, pieces of wood, cinnamon or perhaps old buttons, a brooch, a hand-painted piece of art will look fantastic and your loved ones will appreciate it.
If you try any of these ideas or even better if you have more to share with us tag us on social media. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as @welovecolors we also use the hashtag #WeLoveColorsUSA.