prAna Polybag Project Update
In February 2011 prAna made a significant change in how we ship our products from our factories to us and therefore to our customers. The apparel industry has a dirty little secret in how much plastic we use in packaging our products. The standard is for each product to be shipped in a single plastic bag to protect the product. This amount of plastic starts to add up, especially if you are a retail store when you unpack all of those clothes. The was the motivation to look at alternatives. With some research and amazing team work prAna was able to shift 33% of our products out of plastic bags.
Since then we have still been tinkering behind the scenes to strengthen our program. There is nothing like the real world to give such great feedback. So we have taken in all the information we received from our factories, our customers and employees over the past year to push ourselves to take more products out of plastic. Check out an article from REI on how this project has impacted their company.
The core of this program is to deliver our products to our customers in the aesthetic and quality that they expect from us. So we were cautious at the start to remove all of the plastic, which protects the products. So we put together a task force to identify areas of opportunity and start conducting tests. We reviewed all of our products and the fabrics and asked ourselves if more colors and styles could have the plastic taken off.
“It’s great to know that with the little effort it took to walk the warehouse and ask yourself, does this piece need to be in a poly bag? The results could mean so much. It feels good when we can help out our customers and the planet at the same time.” ~ Jeff Dresser (prAna Returns Manager)
The hard work done meant some great results, which could be implemented right away.
We thought you would like to see the impact from 3 years of this program.
- Removal of 4.5 MILLION plastic bags
- This equates to the reduction of 31,000 pounds of plastic.
- With the release of our Fall line in 2014, 74% of our line will not use polybags.
prAna’s sustainability strategy includes a commitment to looking at waste reduction throughout our operations and polybags is a part of that. The project has been a fun one that has inspired many throughout the company.
“I am on the task team and this information is still impressive!” ~ Rachel Lincoln (prAna Women’s Product Developer)
We hope that you are as excited as we are!
~ Nicole Bassett, Director of Sustainability