Newton Running has been all over the environmental and packaging blogs this week with a story about our eco-friendly shoebox. The story reached a fever pitch with a re-post on treehugger.com. The shoebox design mentioned in the treehugger story is cool to be sure, but after a lot of research we found out its not very sustainable for us to produce or ship the molded pulp shoe boxes.
We learned that not only were the pulp boxes significantly more expensive to make, but they are produced far from the footwear factory and they would dramatically increase overall freight costs because they do not stack in containers, warehouses or retail stores efficiently.
Newton has instead developed a new rectangular shoebox (pictured above) that is produced from 100% post consumer waste and uses soy-based inks. The new packaging is easy to store and ship, it’s lightweight and it’s easy to break down and recycle. Rather than tissue paper, we're using recycled cardboard inserts (scraps from the box die-cut) to protect the shoes.
And, my mug is all over the new packaging, so naturally, I love it :-)
We think this new box is a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution to packaging and shipping our shoes. The molded pulp boxes are a classic example of the frequent disconnect between design and development. While the pulp design was innovative, ultimately we found that our new packaging has a significantly lower carbon footprint, and this is what we are striving to achieve in everything we do at Newton Running.
For those of you who want to read all the pros and cons of our boxy issue, keep reading.