We recently came across an article titled ‘no clothing brand can figure out how to quit this one plastic bag’, and we wanted to shout back WE CAN! So, instead of shouting at the author (because that would be rude, right?), we thought we would share the story of our fully biodegradable packaging with you – right down to the individual garment bag, which is so commonly composed of plastic, and is what the article in question was referring to.
Single-use plastics are a major environmental concern. Most of the plastic that has been produced still persists and it is a problem that will outlive people for many centuries. The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly 5 million tonnes – which in the 1950’s was the annual usage for the ENTIRE world. The world’s annual consumption of plastic materials has increased from this 5 million tonnes to nearly 100 million tonnes today. The fact that our plastic usage is growing rather then decreasing despite the growing awareness of its negative effects both in terms of production and pollution is really quite alarming.
At Nomads, we have always been very conscious of our impact on the world around us and are committed to seeking the best materials and methods available to minimise our carbon footprint.
In 2016, we knew that our packaging needed attention – so we got to work researching alternatives to the dreaded plastic polybag used for individual garment packaging.
Following careful consideration and testing, we decided on a fully biodegradable non gmo-cornstarch alternative, that importantly doesn’t require sunlight to break down. This type of material is commonly referred to as bio-based plastic, or bioplastic.
It’s important to note that these are not ‘biodegradable plastic’ bags, which although well intentioned are not the solution to the environmental issues that plastic causes. These materials require certain temperatures to break down and will sink in water. Once at the bottom of the ocean, they won’t be exposed to the factors needed to biodegrade, and will essentially act the same way as traditional plastic.
Our cornstarch bags provide the same strength and durability as the widely used polyethylene (plastic) whilst being fully biodegradable – just place in your food waste collection, or regular household bin. The bags will take between 3-6 months to break down – the same rate as your vegetable peelings!
The outer packaging of a Nomads order is made from FSC sustainable sources, as are our swing tags. If you also request one of our bi-annual catalogues then worry not - these are printed on uncoated FSC certified paper using vegetable-based inks.
Please reuse, recycle or compost your packaging after use!
After garments are created by our fair trade partners in India, they are packed directly into these bio-degradable bags for distribution. Our cornstarch bags are clearly marked 'This bag is biodegradable'.
Please note that Nomads organic cotton knitwear is still currently packed in non-biodegradable bags - we made the decision that we didnt want to simply discard these without ever having served a purpose. Once stocks have run out, these will be replaced with the far superior cornstarch bags. Until then, please reuse or recyle these bags.
We only use the best quality natural fibres in Nomads Clothing – which is kinder to your skin as well as the environment. Learn more about the great qualities of Nomads natural fibres here.
Ultimately, we aim to design and make beautiful clothes that increase the awareness of the need to shop responsibly, and to prove that it is more than possible to live a stylish, sustainable life. We continue to search for the best practices and materials to use as new developments are made and will always update you on our sustainable journey!