RePack: paving the way for sustainable packaging

| August 14, 2014

Packaging takes up an enormous amount of resources, often at the cost of the environment. Thankfully, a sustainable packaging solution could already exist with RePack. We had the opportunity to interview Jonne Hellgren about his venture with fellow Finnish sustainability experts and industrial designers, Juha Mäkelä and Petri Piirainen.

via RePack

Instructions on using the product via RePack

1) What is your mission with RePack? Why does packaging need to be sustainable?

Ultimately our mission is to abolish disposable packaging. We have quite enough disposable crap in the world already but are often lacking alternatives. That’s why we created RePack. To prove it’s possible to create sustainable alternatives that make business sense as well.

2) Did RePack go through previous iterations that ended up not working?

Of course. We started with a cardboard box that is easily flattened to return mode. We didn’t want to transport by air – that would waste resources. However we quickly saw that cardboard could not take the battering of a postal return system and moved onto bags. Now we are on our 4th generation packaging with four different sizes.

3) What are the significant obstacles today in implementing sustainable packaging?

Supply chain complexity is our biggest obstacle, right after consumer behavior. As reusable delivery packaging hasn’t existed yet it will take time before people start using it and – hopefully – demand it.

4) Which market/region do you see the most potential impact with RePack?

Now we’re scaling our fashion solution in Europe and this is our main focus. We are also developing RePacks together with our clients for furniture, food and medicine/wellness products. We, and our clients, see great potential in those areas that only reusability offers.

5) What feedback or recognition are you proudest of thus far?

We really liked it when someone at a fair asked if we come from Sweden. But no, we are from Finland. Finland is well known for architecture and design; the land of Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, and lately Harri Koskinen for example. In early 2014, RePack was one of four winners of Finland’s biggest design prize, Fennia Prize – and as the first startup ever. We are very proud of that achievement!

Follow RePack on Twitter as they strive to transform packaging solutions for ecommerce companies, and move towards a more sustainable world.

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Category: Conservation, Recycling programs

About the Author ()

Half-stallion, half-cyborg*, Mike found his way eastward after 24 lovely years in Denver. Mike enjoys living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, rooting on his Colorado sports teams (Go Broncos!), wearing sandals in the winter, and home brewing beer. Previous to his role of Social Media Manager at SmartSign, Mike worked in the finance industry. He's a critically acclaimed haikuist under the pen name, Maiku. He can count to 10 in eight languages, including English, Hebrew, Hungarian, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, and Pig Latin. His lofty life goals include learning how to fly fish, acquiring proper pizza dough spinning technique, and figuring out how to whistle. You can find him frequently smacking his head on ceilings, door posts, and exit signs, (he's tall) or tweeting at @SmartSign. *Editor's Note: Since cyborgs are technically half-robot and half-human, Mike's specific heritage is quarter-robot, quarter-human, and half-stallion.

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