We started Impack to create beautiful packaging supplies that are sustainable for small shop owners like you, so together we can make a positive impact on the environment.
We are Duy and Hien, the husband and wife team Impack. When we first started working on our baby brand and online shop, Nightingale, we quickly realized a big problem with the packaging of our products.
Realizing We Could Do More
We were spending months working on our packaging and trying to make great packaging that’s giftable, but they would often end up in the trash shortly after being opened (honestly who keeps all the packaging, except the Apple boxes?) We also learned that a large portion of the packaging is not recycled, but would end up in landfills, where they would take years and even decades (for most plastics) to break down.
We took a step back and tried to focus on the things that are really important to our customers: Quality products and the unboxing experience. Since we sell 100% online and directly to our customers, our packaging didn’t always have to come in boxes.
First Eureka moment 💡
I remember we were thinking “If we can make mailer bags that are just as nice, and if they’re eco-friendly, hopefully our customers can feel good about their choices too!”
And that was how our first mailer bags were created.
During the process, we came across many of the issues other small shops have been having for a long time:
- Huge minimum order quantity (MOQ): Most manufacturers required 50k to 80k bags for each design. We found one that let us print 10k bags each, but even then it took us ages to use them all up.
- One small mistake and it's permanent: I made a typo on one of the bag, (see “sillicone bib” with 2 “L”s in the photo above) and we had to live with that until they were sold out 🤦🏻♂️
- That was a lot of bags: 10k bags was quite a lot, but that was just per design. We had 4 designs so not only did they take up a ton of space, we also had to pay all for the bags up front, which really added up.
Doing it for Nightingale was great. But what about others?
As more and more customers (including small shop owners) started to recognize our mailers, we naturally got asked about it more often. I tried my best to share tips on where to find suppliers and best practices to order from them, but they still came across the exact same issues we were having.
Everyone we talked to wanted a better alternative to their current packaging solutions, but not everyone had the space and money to put up and hold on to a year worth of packaging.
Second Eureka moment 💡
The moment we realized we could design mailer bags that would stand out & other shops could also use, we started asking questions to our current manufacturer. A month later we decided to launch Impack with a clear goal: To bring affordable, beautiful bags to small shops at a low minimum so anyone can instantly upgrade their packaging so they would stand out, made using materials they can feel good about.
More Than Just About Packaging
Going down the rabbit hole of the different materials, we learned that it’s not so much about the material, but the recycling that’s the issue.
- Most poly mailers are recyclable, but only a small portion of them end up in a recycling facility.
- Biodegradable mailers can break down into carbon dioxide, water & biomass but takes longer than compostable to break down (~24 months)
- Compostable mailers are generally considered the most eco friendly material, but if they end up in closed landfills (where no oxygen is available) then they wont be able to break down at all
- Even paper/cardboard packaging, if there’s an adhesive sticker or plastic peephole, it would complicate the recycling process
At the moment there’s no one perfect solution so it’s really down to the brand to choose which problem they want to address.
For us we choose biodegradable because we want to address the exact issue when mailers end up in landfills or natural environment. That way, compared to regular poly mailers where they’d stay there for decades, our mailers can still break down a lot quicker.
Big Environmental Impack, One Small Shop at a Time
Hien and I really believe that the great impack on our environment can happen by the collective effort of small shops, starting with a small change in our choice of packaging.