Taking Sustainable Packaging to a New Level

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When we think about “sustainable packaging,” we think about recycled paper and plastics, but there is a lot more to sustainability than that. In running across a company called Distant Village Packaging, which specializes in sustainable packaging, that fact was brought home in a powerful way. . . in pictures.

I learned of A Distant Village when it introduced what it calls “the world’s most environmentally-friendly labels.” Called Pure Labels, these are adhesive-backed inkjet or laser printer labels made of wild grass paper. They are not only produced with 100% recyclable materials (including no HDPE or other plastics) but are manufactured according to what the company calls “the strictest adherence to socially responsible business practices.”

That’s what impressed me most about the company. Lots of companies claim to produce “green” products, but A Distant Village is looking at the entire lifecycle and social, as well as environmental, impact of the packaging design and production.

Its website states:

Job creation, fair wages, fair trade, pre-payment to support artisan workshops, and steady, guaranteed demand chains are some of the ways we contribute toward fair and conscientious global economic participation. By engaging industries in remove villages, families thrive, children have futures, and local economies flourish.

Sometime back, I wrote about the uniqueness of “green” consumer, who studies show care not just about buying products kind to the environment but about whether or not the companies themselves are committed to environmental sustainability.

That seems to describe Global Village quite well. The company goes beyond the packaging to the people behind it. The company’s founder, Richard Cohen, comes from an international business background, and his heart was to create “mutually beneficial relationships throughout the global community” through fair and ethical business practices.”

The result? Much of the company’s product line is hand-crafted packaging created in those “distant village” communities, and its website shows those artisans hard at work. The pictures tell an incredible story.

I wish more companies not only had models like this, but if they do, they would promote them as visibly. I love that marketers can not only feel good about buying a product that is sustainable, but they can actually see the people who earn their livings creating it. When I see the pictures of those artisans in “distant villages,” it makes me want to go out and package something.

Like this post? View all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

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