Why We Use Sustainable Plastic Packaging

image of recyclable plastic bag packaging for TomboyX underwear

We’ve heard questions and feedback from many of you about our plastic packaging. So we sat down with David Moss, our Director of Product, to talk about why we use the packaging we do, and how we’re working to make it as sustainable as possible while still protecting your undies on their journey from us to you. 

TBX: Let’s get right down to it, David. Why do we use plastic packaging for our underwear? I mean, aren’t we a B Corporation

DM: Great point.  Plastic is generally bad, but we do our best to make it better.  Given the distances our garments travel  and the time it might spend on a ship or in our warehouse, we need to protect our  garments the best we can.  Poly bags are durable and protective.  Our poly bags are made of 100% Post Consumer Recycled polyester.  They are also 100% recyclable.  In addition we use an additive called Ecopure which helps the bags degrade much more quickly and safely, as well as a completely environmentally friendly and non-toxic adhesive at the bags closure.

TBX: So what are the differences between our bag and a standard plastic bag? Do we know the environmental impact of ours versus the industry standard “poly bag”?

DM: Reuse of plastic that has already been made and used is not only a cost-effective process, but a process which reduces waste. Processing the used plastic over making “new” plastic results in:

  • Less use of fossil fuels
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 85%
  • Less water consumption
  • Less energy consumption
  • Reduction of waste
  • A product that can be recycled multiple times
  • Helps to create a circular economy

TBX: What other packaging options have you and your team looked into? 

DM: We have looked in to water-soluble packaging. Which is great in theory but can break down when exposed to the high humidity encountered in overseas shipping. This would cause a risk of damaging the product it is supposed to protect.  Paper has been seriously considered but some of our retail partners require our packaging to have visibility to what is in the package, so we are unable to use paper, at least for now.  We’ve also looked into PLA, a corn based product, at this time costs are high and Life Cycle Assessment of PLA has shown few if any advantages over the material used in our bags.

TBX: What kinds of ways have you heard of customers re-using our bags?  

DM: The biggest reuse of our bags that customers have told me about is to put toiletries in during flights in order to get through TSA. It makes sense.  The bags  allow visibility, are strong,  and they seal well. People have also told me that they are great for storing rolled up socks, underwear, bras and sleepwear in their drawers and suitcases.  They are handy bags with lots of potential uses. You can recycle them but why not be more sustainable and reuse them for a while?

TBX: Thanks for sharing this info with us, David. We’ve learned a lot from you!
DM: My pleasure!  I love our product and our commitment to sustainable solutions.  I’m happy to share my knowledge anytime.