Posted on November 7, 2019 by Dennis Salazar

Guidelines for Shipping E-Commerce (DTC) Athleisure Clothing

I will admit that until very recently I was not even familiar with the term “Athleisure clothing”. This type of clothing may also be referred to as sports apparel, workout clothes, or casual wear, but most was designed for working out in a gym. Though truth be known, much of it has never seen the inside of a gym. It is now clothing we can see worn just about anywhere and almost everywhere.

We have been serving the apparel market for years, creating eye catching but protective packaging for everything from baby clothes, women’s lingerie, formal wear, and everything in between.

When you cut through some of the details, it really comes down to two different shipping container options for most people – a custom printed shipper box or a custom printed shipper envelope.

Custom printed boxes for athleisure clothing

There are two basic box styles often used for apparel. The first is an RSC style shipping box and the second is die cut shipper/mailer box.

Mailer boxes and envelopes for apparel by Salazar PackagingRSC (moving box) style shipping boxes and print plates are less expensive compared to die cut shipper boxes. Until recently, RSC boxes were printed outside only while die cut mailer boxes are printable inside and outside. However, the newest trend is to use RSC boxes and print the inside as well as the outside. If you have the right equipment, which we do, it is not nearly as expensive as you might think.

The one issue I have with using RSC boxes for soft goods is the major flaps traditionally meet in the middle, making it possible for the consumer to damage the product when they cut the tape by running a knife down the middle where the major flaps meet. We do have ways to prevent that possibility if necessary.

Our most popular box option is die cut mailers which are the presentation style shipping box containers that dominate our gallery. Most are one or two color flexographic print designs but we can also do digital if your graphics require it.  The newest feature people ask for is peel and seal adhesive strips which eliminates taping, and easy open tear strips for the consumer. We can print inside and outside including flood coat in solid colors which have become very popular.

flood coat printing for clothing by Salazar PackagingCustom printed mailer envelopes      

Once again there are two different types: poly (plastic) mailers and paper mailer envelopes. For clothing we usually recommend unpadded because clothing does not require cushioning and paper mailers add weight and cost unnecessarily. However, mailer envelopes are generally less expensive than most boxes.

I will admit that we rarely sell poly mailers because the minimum for most of our customers is too high (25,000) and the lead times too long since many come from overseas. That also leads to questions and concerns about content and recyclability.

However, we sell millions of unpadded paper mailer envelopes. They are green, with up to 100% recycled content, relatively inexpensive to buy and to print, with a peel and seal adhesive strip standard. They are available flat or gusseted for those larger bulkier products and orders. We don’t offer padded paper mailers because they are messy if punctured or ripped, heavy for mailing and in most athleisure applications, the padding is simply not needed.  Our standard unpadded paper mailer products have a very low one case MOQ (usually 200 to 500 depending on size) and custom designs such as two-way (double adhesive strips) envelopes are also available.

Tips on Branded Packaging for Clothing

As in any other type of branded packaging, make sure your color and brand are consistent with your other marketing.

  • There is increased scrutiny on the eco friendliness of e-commerce so if you choose green, recyclable materials, state it on your graphics. We call it being “eco obvious.” Be proud you are doing the right thing.
  • Depending on your product value, increased security and convenience of adhesive strips and tear strips are appreciated by your customer.
  • Make sure your packaging is consistent with your price point and your customer’s expectations. Are you shipping a $30 tee shirt, or a $200 two-piece branded athletic clothing set? The expectations are considerably different.
  • Consider using different types of packaging such as mailer envelopes for small orders and branded boxes for wholesale or larger orders.

No matter what it is you are shipping, we have probably already created packaging for something similar. We can put that experience to work for you and likely to save you time and money while producing a great looking shipping container that is perfect for your application and budget. Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us at Our branded packaging advisors and designers will help you determine the best product and path forward for you.

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