Some three billion trees are cut down every year to make paper packaging, and a rise in online shopping has necessitated the use of even more cardboard boxes.
But across footwear, food and beverage, beauty, luxury and fashion — brands are phasing out single-use paper packaging and signing initiatives like Pack4Good.
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The initiative is from Canopy, a Vancouver-based environmental nonprofit, which runs CanopyStyle (a commitment to reduce harmful rayon and viscose sourcing that includes more than 320 fashion brands, retailers and designers).
Building upon the commitments in its “Life 360” program, LVMH Group announced on Friday that it will join both the CanopyStyle commitment and Pack4Good initiative, adding even more weight to the initiative that represents some $600 billion in annual revenue.
“The Canopy partnership is a new way to accelerate and illustrate our commitment to fight deforestation,” according to Hélène Valade, environment development director at LVMH. Through its Life 360 strategy, the Group is committed to not using raw materials from zones with a high risk of deforestation or desertification. Valade said it made “total sense to commit with Canopy for both paper and cardboard packaging and man-made cellulosic fabrics.”
Pack4Good launched in October 2019 and aims to help brands eliminate paper from ancient and endangered forests in packaging while speeding up adoption of, preferably, 100 percent postconsumer recycled material and next-generation fibers for packaging because of their significantly lower environmental footprint.
Brands must commit to a minimum of 50 percent recycled/postconsumer recycled paper packaging. Percentage requirements are not outlined for next-gen fibers due to market availability. Where virgin fibers must be used, then wood must be Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, certified.
By CanopyStyle definitions, next-generation solutions have origins in agricultural residues (wheat straw, for example). These technologies typically use residues or waste left over after a food harvest — saved material from being burned or landfilled.
In addition to this commitment, LVMH said it will roll out new certification systems for biodiversity-related criteria across its supply chain by 2026, while furthering its hand in regenerative agriculture (for grapes, cotton and wool) and sustainable luxury innovations.
Calling LVMH’s owned sites an “incredible playing field through which to explore new avenues for circularity between its businesses,” Valade made a note of how the group’s champagne brand Veuve Clicquot already recycled 25 percent of grape production waste for its Naturally Clicquot packaging.
It’s a theme to continue as the group implements regenerative agriculture programs across its supply chains by 2030 and endeavors to regenerate five million hectares of habitat through conservation efforts, too.
Today, more than half of LVMH-owned brands implement the FSC certification, be it packaging or viscose-based products and the group aims to apply “eco-design principles,” as Valade said, across all group packaging with the aid of recent commitments.
“Already some Maisons have implemented ground-breaking innovation as Ruinart who teams up with papermaker James Cropper to craft a new case for its bottles,” Valade said. “The new case, which is made from natural wood fibers from sustainably managed forests in Europe, is nine times lighter than the previous generation of gift boxes. It consists of an entirely recyclable second skin with technical features like a snap button for easier opening and represents a major technological advance in the art of paper-making.”
Virgin oil-based plastics will be omitted from packaging by 2021 to make way for recycled options and alternative innovations already underway (plant-based alternatives are seen from the likes of Guerlain and Stella McCartney). Sephora, for one, replaced most of the plastic traditionally used in its tubes and pots with materials made from sugarcane waste.
Along with LVMH, Ugg, Hunter Boots, Grove Collaborative and Another Tomorrow are among 30 brands across categories that committed to Pack4Good this week. All fashion signatories of the Pack4Good initiative are also signed on to the CanopyStyle initiative.
Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy said the companies are the “leaders ready to transform paper packaging supply chains and scale up solutions to save forests and our climate,” by taking solutions from the margins to the mainstream.
Over the past six years, CanopyStyle progress has been earnest with 90 percent of global viscose producers modeling commitments akin to CanopyStyle and more than half of the global viscose supply chain having shifted out of critical forests.
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