Packaging Options for DTC (D2C) intimate apparel and swimwear
Many people know us as the company that created the beautiful packaging for Sophia Vergara’s EBY panty subscription program, but our experience in that product arena goes well beyond that project. Over the many years we have specialized in custom printed packaging for e-commerce, we have been asked to create eye catching and cost-effective packaging for many new and up-and-coming product lines of intimate apparel including lingerie, bras, panties, and swimwear. The types of packaging commonly used are eco-friendly paper, unpadded mailer envelopes, rigid mailer envelopes and of course, corrugated DTC (D2C) shipping boxes.
Unpadded paper mailers
The fact is that most clothing products do not require padding, yet many people ask us for bubble lined envelopes for their apparel items. We have two major problems with that: according to most consumers, a padded, bubble lined plastic mailer envelope is NOT eco-friendly, and the padding adds cost unnecessarily because the products being shipped are not fragile or breakable.
Our unpadded paper mailers are a customer favorite because they can be as much as 100% recycled content, easily recycled (curb side for most), available custom printed in small quantities, available in white or Kraft as well as flat or gusseted.
Unpadded rigid mailer envelopes
Rigid mailers are typically used for products that you want to protect from bending or creasing in shipment. Photos and documents are a good example of most common rigid mailer applications. However, for the sake of presentation and keeping the clothing flat rather than crumpled up or wrinkled, a flat or gusseted custom size, custom printed mailer might be the best option.
Corrugated mailer boxes
With a low 1,000 MOQ, these can be custom printed inside and out. Add a little tissue in a solid color or matching branded print and your customers will have an exceptional (department store like) unboxing experience. There has never been a better time to use corrugated boxes. The equipment has become more versatile and efficient and the raw material corrugated board has more options available than ever before. Different finishes, different print processes, and unique board structures. For example, the triple white board we have promoted for medical, cosmetic, and other applications where overall box appearance is important.
Focus on right sizing
Since clothing does not really require undesirable void fill, shipping your product in the smallest possible container is the key even if it means utilizing a variety of designs, materials, and sizes. For example, the EBY project shown in the photo required three different mailer box sizes and one rigid paperboard mailer envelope size. This not only minimized packaging costs, it also helped reduce mailing costs while making a better presentation.
Packaging we don’t recommend for clothing
High on the list of my personal packaging pet peeves are poly mailers. As someone who spent a good part of my packaging career selling plastic packaging, I can tell you that the materials used are almost identical to the film structure of a good quality garbage bag – copolymers, multi-layer structures, etc. However, if you really want to ship your apparel in something that resembles a Hefty garbage bag and can accept the high MOQ for custom printing poly mailers (25,000), this may be a viable option. The plastic material issue of that option must be acceptable to you, your customers, and consistent with your brand.
The other item on my “do not use” list is any form of poly/paper combination. These are used extensively in their unattractive manila yellow color by overseas shippers. Both materials individually may have some sustainable merit but when laminated together, neither material is recyclable and will undoubtedly end up in a land fill.
Ready to serve you
Every clothing and apparel application and customer is different, for example, the solution we would recommend for a low volume producer of organic cotton baby clothes may be different than what we suggest for a large volume producer of a very expensive, lacey bra and panty set.
Our branded packaging advisors are experienced and will be glad to answer any questions you may have about your specific application. You can email us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. We also invite you to visit our gallery where you will see a small sampling of our work.