Cellophane, tissue paper, ribbon, bows, string, colorful wrap and a whole lot of plastic… heading to the garbage bin! That’s what I would see when I looked at the corporate gift baskets my dad used to receive from his clients during the holidays. Eco-friendly? Maybe not.
Have an idea of what I am talking about? You know, the baskets that are bigger than life itself? With chocolates, cookies, jams, crackers and sauces just bursting through the cellophane. At ten years old I thought these baskets were AMAZING! I mean, what kid wouldn’t be plotting how to sneak all of these goodies up into their room to gobble up later?
Looking back now as an eco-conscious consumer and business owner (yay!), a process that has had its challenges and that certainly has an ongoing learning curve; it all seems a little excessive, just a bit.
Through my research adventures, I’ve discovered that those gift baskets are still out there doing their thing. And that’s cool - my goal with this post is not to bad talk any of those baskets out there. My inner ten year old still appreciates the hard butterscotch candies that were easy to sneak away with. Rather, I am writing to share with you how I was inspired to create The Kind Curator Co. and how I plan on doing things differently - and shake things up a little!
Let’s start with the products you’ll find in the boxes, because that’s where things get exciting!
Sourcing and selecting eco-conscious products that align with our company values
We choose brands to partner with that are working to do better; brands that are awake, you might say, and looking to continually improve. They believe in environmentally friendly practices, use high quality ingredients that are organic whenever possible, and they create products that can benefit someone’s wellness - both physical and mental. We partner with brands that aim to use minimal packaging and minimal plastic or no plastic at all. Less waste is a focus. Our partners find and use more sustainable materials like upcycled fabric scraps from the fashion industry and turn them into something new like the hair scrunchies we gift. We love products that can provide us with easy swaps for everyday living, like beeswax wraps over saran wrap (innovative!).
Small batch? Love it! The exclusivity, care and love that goes into a lot of small batch creations like maple syrup is something we want to gift because it’s truly special.
We also choose Canadian-made goods to keep things local, and because Canadians make some pretty awesome things!
We carefully select eco-friendly packaging & shipping options
Can I be honest here? This has been quite possibly the MOST challenging and time consuming part of launching this business. Hair pulling and swearing have very much been a part of the process. Dealing with box manufacturers? I’d rather pick up my dog’s poop from the backyard... (too far?). In fact it may have taken even more time than finding my first batch of brands to work with. I already had a pretty long dream list of companies to work with set aside (product nerd here!).
All of our gift boxes consist of one box only - there is no box inside of another box. I made the decision to ship like subscription boxes do so less packaging would be required. Minimal waste and no additional cost to you.
We use mailer boxes that are made with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled material. They can be easily recycled at home or even reused. They are great for storage or even re-packaging for another gift! We are working on sourcing a close-to-home manufacturer that makes 100% post-consumer recycled mailer boxes that are more accessible to small businesses. As a new small business I want to set a standard of being as transparent as possible with you about challenges and areas that we are working on to improve.
All of the other pieces included to make our gift boxes look & feel luxurious are eco-conscious: recyclable, biodegradable, compostable, and non-toxic. My poor graphics designer Sam had to help me on this crazy mission, finding the most eco-friendly stickers that would also hold up to being shipped around. Our stickers are made of paper pulp, non-toxic inks and will biodegrade naturally. Our custom tissue paper from noissue (a really cool company!) is made from paper that is sourced from a sustainably managed supply-chain and forest. It’s also acid free and coloured with soy-based inks.
A whole lot of energy and love has gone into the creation of our curated gift boxes and I know that as we grow, we will continue to research new options for packaging and products, as well as partner with new initiatives.
Our tree planting partnership
You can read more about our partnership with TreeEra - For every purchase, we plant a tree.
If you have questions about our packaging, products or you have some product suggestions to include, we would love to hear from you as we are always looking for new recommendations!
Leave us a comment below, can’t wait to connect with you!